After having a few weeks to try and adjust to my epilepsy medication, I thought it was high time I get back in the saddle and get back to course collecting today! Particularly since a course I helped to design, Seven Mile Lake Park in Fulda, Minnesota, recently opened to the public. So after asking a few family members nicely if I could “hitch-hike” down to Fulda this morning…

Source

One of the things I do several times per week is put on my imaginary “private investigator’s hat” and hunt for disc golf courses that none of UDisc, Disc Golf Course Review and PDGA.com know exist. I like doing this in effort to help lots of small town courses and clubs promote themselves to the greater sport…in hopes of generating more traffic and maybe a bit of additional…

Source

DGA | Disc Golf Association DGA | Disc Golf Association – The Founding Company of Disc Golf!

A friend of mine from the Mankato, Minnesota area, Jamy Deboer, recently let me know that he had heard rumors of a new disc golf course a little less than two hours from me, at Kamp Dels Campground and RV Park in Waterville, Minnesota. And as luck would have it, I was asked to attend a meeting in Faribault, Minnesota this morning for work. Waterville is on the way to/from Faribault, so I made sure and put my backpack in the car prior to leaving home. I had serious doubts about being able to play any disc golf today, as there have been heavy thunderstorms, even warnings of possible tornadoes forming in the area. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to bring my discs along to my meeting, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

My meeting ended a bit after 11:30am, and as it did, the sun was actually trying to poke through the clouds in Faribault! So I said my quick goodbyes, hopped in the car, and made my way to Waterville. The wind was HOWLING between storms, and the ground was still very wet after days of rain.  But when I arrived at Kamp Dels, it wasn’t raining.  Hooray!  Only one problem: All visitors are supposed to check-in and register at the “red barn” that welcomes guests at the main entrance to the park. But when I arrived at the red barn, all the doors were locked and the lights inside the building were off.  So I grabbed my backpack, left my car in the main parking lot, and went out looking for someone who could both point me in the right direction to the course…as well as tell me that it was okay to be playing the course on their property.

View from the Hole 4 tee at Kamp Dels DGC in Waterville, Minnesota.

After 10-15 minutes of searching for another human being, to no avail, I spotted the familiar yellow band of a disc golf basket in the distance. So I headed up a hill on the far North end of the property and stumbled upon the Hole 1 tee. Once I located the course, it was very easy to navigate between holes. Your typical “prairie-style” course, with lots of rolling hills and fairways mowed out of shorter yet thick/difficult rough.

The wind was scary today…so I tried to mostly play it short/safe off the tee.  Managed two deuces (Holes 4 and 5), along with one bogey (4), on a strange Hole 6, whose fairway made a big semi-circular shape around a pond (with no way to cut across). A good player, in good weather?  Is probably shooting at LEAST a 23 on that course…so 26 is nothing to remember.  But all my discs made it home safely with me in that wind, and I got to add another new course to my collection.

Magic Number = 593 (1,407 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.

About Derek

Kamp Dels: Tonn’s TravelsDerek 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow Derek Tonn on his Travels.

Kamp Dels: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

DGA | Disc Golf Association DGA | Disc Golf Association – The Founding Company of Disc Golf!

I found out this morning that my wife and daughters were making a trip to Mankato, Minnesota to shop, catch a movie, have fun…just the girls!  No humans with XY chromosomes allowed.  🙂  So with about 7-8 hours of newly-found free time on my hands, I quickly decided that I would cross a 2018 “Bucket List” course off the To Play List: Cedar Creek Central in Fairmont, Minnesota.  Designed by Trevor Boehne, who I always say is probably Minnesota’s best tournament director, as a part of the now 54-hole disc golf complex at Cedar Creek Park (which is widely regarded as the top area for disc golf in Southwestern Minnesota), Cedar Creek Central is my kind of disc golf.  “Billy goat golf,” up and down lots of hills.  With lots of narrow alleys that double as fairways and water O.B. on eleven of the eighteen holes. And while the course only measures 5,403 feet in length? It plays a lot longer than that, due to the elevation changes, narrow fairways, and lots of twists and turns between the tees and baskets.

Conditions were less than ideal today, with lots of mud around the course, as well as lots of areas where the rough was fierce.  So I decided to sacrifice ego/score in order to save time avoiding the searching for discs off the fairway.  I decided to play the entire round using only my Squall and my Steady.  Which turned out to be an excellent decision in hindsight.  As while I probably sacrificed 2-3 strokes on the card?  I only missed one fairway off the tee…and never went in the water.

View from the Hole 10 tee at Cedar Creek Central in Fairmont, Minnesota.

Hole 10 (above) was one of my favorites on the course, and my tee shot landed in nearly perfect position “around the corner” to the right with a good line from there to the basket for my second. However, that hole nearly spelled disaster for me, as while I was approaching the water and bridge, I suddenly found myself sliding on the mud.  With me coming to a stop via my right shin hitting the front of the bridge.  It hurt, but I wasn’t hurt (if that makes sense).  Had I hit that bridge with a bit more force, however, that could have resulted in a pretty nasty leg injury.

It was only in the mid-70s for temps, but with all the humidity and “billy goat golf,” I was able to wring my shirt out by the time I got to the car. The course was every-bit as good as advertised.  There are still dozens of trip hazards in the fairways, and I think that course will be very slippery to play in the rain and snow. But it is probably my favorite course of the three at the park, at least based upon potential (once they get after those trip hazards, tighten a few screws around the rough, and do what they can to make the walk between holes and up/down hills to various baskets a little less treacherous).  Excellent job with the design, Trevor!  It was even more fun to play than I had expected. And I’m curious how my Squall-/Steady-only round of 59 measures up against how other players have been doing on that new course.

Magic Number = 595 (1,405 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.

About Derek

Cedar Creek Central: Tonn’s TravelsDerek 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow Derek Tonn on his Travels.

Cedar Creek Central: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

DGA | Disc Golf Association DGA | Disc Golf Association – The Founding Company of Disc Golf!

After taking a bit of a break from work this morning, to cruise around the course directories of UDisc and DGCourseReview, as I do a few times per day…partially as part of my efforts to try and keep the various disc golf course directories current, partially as a chance to day-dream about the new places I might try and play in the months and years to come, I noticed something new at DGCR: Two new courses with fewer than nine holes in Olivia, Minnesota…about a 45-minute drive North of me.  And upon further exploration, I was able to confirm that Olivia has recently opened six-hole and three-hole courses in two different city parks, designed by Cale and Paul Leiviska.

Olivia has been talking about installing disc golf for at least the past decade.  Always rumors, or “maybe next year.”  So I was surprised to see that disc golf had finally been introduced into the community.  Surprised that I (and a few of my friends) hadn’t yet heard anything about it.  But with my wife and daughters still away from home for most of the day today, I thought I would make the trip North to check out said designs.

When I saw that Cale had designed the course, I was excited, as I know he did a terrific job with the Afton Alps course in Hastings, Minnesota, as well as with a handful of courses up on the Iron Range in Northeastern Minnesota.  But the courses in Olivia were “garden variety” recreational courses, at best.  With a few suspect hole designs, at worst.

View from the Hole 4 tee at Henton Park in Olivia, Minnesota.

Hole 4 in Henton Park, for example. A right-to-left flight path, with the basket tucked in the trees behind the left field fence in an adjacent ball field.  Any lefty (like me) or a RHFH player is going directly over center field and left field from that tee position…and if you miss short, and there is any type of ball game happening on that field?  It’s a problem.  I suppose they could make the light pole (visible in the photo) a “mando” right of said pole!  But even then, a LHBH player is still going to be tempted to throw an S-curve to cut that corner (what I did off that tee) …while a RHBH player with a big enough arm, who misses their line a little high or short?  Is going to land their disc in the outfield.

Christmas Morning for a Course Collector: Tonn’s Travels

View from the Hole 9 tee at Sunrise Park in Olivia, Minnesota.

There were several holes in the two parks where the design just felt a little unnecessarily close to potential trouble.  A good, smart player?  They’ll never land their disc in a neighbor’s yard, or into a ball field, or ???  But the designs seem as though a significant number of discs will be flying over fences, into neighbors yards, etc.  Hole 9 out at Sunrise Park was a little like that (the three holes in that park are numbered 7, 8 and 9).  A good player?  Won’t come close to the neighbor’s yard on the North, or the shelter to the basket’s West.  But less skilled players?  Players who might be playing under the influence of a few beers with their buddies?  Let’s just say I didn’t like it.  The hole SHOULD be safe!  But I can think of numerous situations (wind, player skill level, players “under the influence,” etc.) where there could be problems.

That said?  I will happily add two more “surprise” courses to my course collection on a sunny Sunday morning!  Two more new courses than I thought I might be able to sneak in before I head down to Kansas City in a couple weeks, to take part in Board meetings with the Disc Golf Foundation.

Magic Number = 623 (1,377 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.

About Derek

Christmas Morning for a Course Collector: Tonn’s TravelsDerek 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow Derek Tonn on his Travels.

Christmas Morning for a Course Collector: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

DGA | Disc Golf Association DGA | Disc Golf Association – The Founding Company of Disc Golf!

Before I start, let me just say that it has been a LONG three weeks! Over ten inches of rain and serious flooding on the course I hold most near-and-dear to my heart here in Springfield (Minnesota). So bad, in fact, that we might not be able to enjoy disc golf in our community for the rest of 2018. That, coupled with a busy Summer season at work, along we me being talked into running for elective office for the first time here in our county (www.derektonn.com), and it has been tough to find time to sneak away to play some new courses.  Although when the planets aligned this morning (my wife and youngest sneaking off to have a day to themselves, while my oldest wanted to hang out at home with our cat…in between naps (for the two of them, ha!), I was finally able to head up to Gaylord, Minnesota to see with my own eyes the long-rumored course on the Northeast end of their town.

Gaylord DGC was a project that was entirely designed and managed by locals, right down to the installation of homemade baskets.  Baskets that I was disappointed to find will usually drop your putter out the bottom after every made putt.  The tee pads are also interesting, being about 3′ x 2′ squares of gravel…some of which are placed mere feet from the previous basket (as in the photo below).  But I am guessing that the course doesn’t get a tremendous amount of traffic, so for locals to have a place to let a little plastic fly after work or on the weekend?  It’s okay.

View from the Hole 8 tee at Gaylord Disc Golf Course in Gaylord, Minnesota.

Not having been able to play disc golf in over three weeks (flooding, work and/or campaigning did their collective best to conspire against me), I expected to struggle.  But I was throwing my Undertows and Squalls like I’d been playing hours per day, every day, during the entire month of June!  I mis-fired off the tee on Hole 5, and I missed a 25-foot putt for deuce on Hole 6.  But other than that, I was able to collect my deuces on every hole…even giving the Hole 8 basket a VERY close-shave off the tee.  It’s a course where good players could shoot an 18 without TOO much effort!  But I was plenty happy carding a 20, rust and all.

I’ll need to get rid of all that rust, as I’ve got several disc golf trips planned in the months ahead!  Madison, Wisconsin on July 20-22.  A nice driving trip to/from Kansas City, Missouri for a Disc Golf Foundation board meeting from August 15-20.  A driving trip to/from Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 26 to October 4.  And a driving trip to/from Norfolk, Virginia from October 13-23.  Lots of opportunity to play new courses over the next four months!  Hopefully work, campaigning, health and weather will cooperate.

Magic Number = 632 (1,368 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.

About Derek

Back in the Saddle Again: Tonn’s TravelsDerek 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow Derek Tonn on his Travels.

Back in the Saddle Again: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn