The planets aligned for me today in the midst of helping family clean and prepare my great aunt’s home for an eventual sale in Northeast Iowa, including bringing my smartphone back to life so I could use my UDisc app to help direct me to courses (thanks again to Dave Baker at Computer Support Plus in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin for the help). So I snuck over into Southwestern Wisconsin for a few hours to play four of the last courses between Minnesota/Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin that I had yet to play.
My morning began in Exeter, Wisconsin, checking out six new holes of disc golf at Exeter DGC. The course showed signs of recent flooding, including a large temporary “pond” near the Hole 5 basket. But I avoided most of the mud and water, putting a -2 (16) on the card. An estimated round rating of 942.
After Exeter, I made my way over to Evansville, Wisconsin to check out Evansville DGC. What a fun, challenging nine-hole course in the wind! Long and short tees, as well as two sets of baskets per hole, and just enough water to make you think about if you REALLY want to run that ace or try and set up your deuce. Pat Blake, the designer of that course back in 2013, did a great job. Nice work, Pat! I snuck in an even-par 28 from the blue tees to the blue baskets (long to long), for an estimated round rating of 960.
From Evansville, I made my way to Monroe, Wisconsin to play Kiwanis DGC. Another Pat Blake (and Terry Miller) design, and I came away impressed by that 18-holer too. People living in that part of Wisconsin have a fun 27 holes of disc golf to enjoy within thirty minutes of home, which is great for the sport. The strong wind made the length of the course (5,900 feet over 18 holes) and some smaller water features a bit scary. I managed a -2 (54), for an estimated round rating of 918. But a couple locals I was talking with said anything under par in that type of wind (20 MPH sustained, with gusts over 30 MPH) was solid.
After Monroe, I made my way to Darlington, Wisconsin to play the one course I HAD to play on this trip: Curiousfarmer DGC. Matthew Walter, the owner of the land and designer of the course, makes the course available for play in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The course is also typically only available to play in the afternoon, and only on certain days of the week, so access can be difficult. But with me “in the neighborhood” and Matthew saying that the course would be available at the day/time I would have free on my calendar, I knew this might be one of my only opportunities to play the course.
I always love playing courses with the folks who’ve designed them, as it allows me a chance to “see what they see” and get inside their heads a bit. Understand what their thought process was when locating tees, baskets, mandos, etc. And Matthew was very patient with me as I asked several questions, as well as stopping at every tee to take a picture that I could add to Disc Golf Course Review.
Hole 3 at Curiousfarmer kicked my behind! I missed the mando (the window in the building, in the photo shared in this article), and wound up carding a six on that short hole. I also missed the mando on Hole 5…which had me sitting +4 after five holes. But I settled down after that, shooting -3 the rest of the way (a LOT harder than the hole distances might seem to indicate, with all the wind and mandos), to finish at a +1 (71). But our scores were irrelevant. What mattered was meeting Matthew and a couple of his buddies that arrived to play right as I was leaving. That, and I was happy just to be playing at all, after partially tearing my right calf a few weeks ago.
It can be far too easy for us to “count our curses” sometimes, instead of counting our blessings. And to me? Playing four courses today, having a smartphone that was working again, having a working vehicle, and getting to spend time with Matthew and his friends, my aunts, uncle, mom and great aunt was a serious, serious blessing.
Magic Number = 502 (1,498 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.