Course Collecting in Northeast Iowa: Tonn’s Travels
In the past few years, I had played literally every course available to play in Northeast Iowa. One of the cool motivators in UDisc is to filter their map of disc golf courses to display only unplayed courses, then seeing hundreds of square miles of empty space! 🙂 That said, the only constant is change, and as soon as a person plays every course available in a particular region? New courses start appearing in those same areas. So with me needing to head to Grand Rapids, Michigan to exhibit at a conference for work? I thought I would go back through Northeast Iowa and play seven new courses that have appeared since I had last played disc golf in the area.
My day began at East Park in Mason City, Iowa. I noticed a guy playing a hole or two in front of me, and I thought I would see if I could catch up to him and throw the round together. That guy turned out to be Team Titan member Mike “Snap” Mikkelson, who got the nickname “Snap” for being a fellow red-head. AKA “Ginger Snap.” Mike was a fun guy, who told me all about how disc golf helped save his life by getting him away from some unhealthy people and situations. My putter betrayed me on a deuceable hole or two, but otherwise “Team DGA” held its own on a course that was MUCH tougher than the old nine-hole course that used to be located in the same park.
Osborne Park had TEETH! Easily the most difficult nine-hole course I’ve played in a while. As the picture shows above, the typical hole at Osborne essentially had mowed walking paths through tall rough. And being pressed for time, I really didn’t feel like spending several minutes per hole looking for my drives. So I threw safeties off nearly every tee, trading a good score for a full bag and more time. I can see a LOT of players (skilled and less-skilled alike) complaining about that course, however. As it would be incredibly easy to lose discs out there, as well as stumble upon snakes or ticks.
After leaving Osborne Park with a full backpack (whew!), I carefully avoided “soccer practice” at Westside Park in Dyersville (the course has a few holes that are all but unplayable when soccer is happening in that park), before arriving in Peosta to play Kelly Oaks Park as the sun was setting.
I think a few locals thought I was the Energizer Bunny, as I practically ran between shots! But I wanted to get the entire round in before dark. That, and I still needed to make it to my hotel in Dubuque that evening, after grabbing a late dinner. I managed to finish the round…but just barely. But I enjoyed that meal and hotel room in Dubuque, feeling accomplished after seven new courses played on the day!
Magic Number = 582 (1,418 Courses Played)
About Tonn’s Travels
How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re our “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.