After twelve days of hard work, cleaning and running thousands of pounds of items to Goodwill, a local museum, the local library, hauling trash to a dumpster, etc., today it was finally time to make the push for home. March has been a good month, but a hard month for myself and my family. I was on the road for 21 of the 31 days, which can be tough on my wife and daughters. Not that they likely miss me, ha! Rather, no one is around to help with all those “Honey-Dos,” cleaning up after meals, help keep the kids on-track with school/chores and getting them where they need to go, etc. So while it’s been good for me to be able to help my family get my great aunt’s home in a state where it can soon be sold, it will be great to get home.
After leaving Northeastern Iowa earlier today, I asked my mom and aunt if they would mind me sneaking in one final course on the way up to the MSP Airport: Plymouth DGC. The last course between Northeastern Iowa and home (in Southwestern Minnesota) that I had yet to play. They said that should be fine, so we made our way over to Plymouth, Iowa after saying goodbye to my aunt and uncle from Georgia.
Upon arriving at the course in Plymouth, I was immediately surrounded by three local kids (all under the age of 8-9) who wanted to ask me twenty questions. “Why are you here?” “What is disc golf?” “Do you have a frisbee I can use?” 🙂 I didn’t have any freebies with me that I could give away, but fortunately I found a disc in one of the baskets that someone left behind…so I told the kids to throw that one. They all oohed-and-aahed as I threw my disc ~250 feet to the first basket (ha!), then gave up playing with me after the third hole when they saw another friend of theirs arrive at the park on their bike.
Plymouth was a hard course to navigate, as there is no map, no numbers on any of the baskets, no marked tees. So I used my previous course design experience and “best guess” as to how the course should flow and play. It was for that reason that I only took a few photos from tee areas for the Disc Golf Course Review site…as I couldn’t be sure of the hole numbers, or that I was throwing from the designer’s intended tee area. But I think I figured out what the designer was thinking, even though I officially need to consider the round as more of a “safari round.”
1,499 total courses now played. SO CLOSE to 1,500! But now it puts me in an interesting position. Do I just play any random “pitch-and-putt” or Rec course I stumble across in my travels? Or do I try and make #1,500 special? I waffle back and forth in my own mind, though I have thought that maybe the new course in Willmar, Minnesota that Cale Leiviska is designing, or Tjader Acres in Siren, Wisconsin, might make for a good #1,500! But if work ends up bringing me near other courses I haven’t yet played that are nothing special, it would be hard for me to leave them unplayed.
We’ll see what the next few weeks will hold. But for now? Sneaking in nine new courses played in Iowa and Wisconsin over the past two weeks has been positive yardage. A step in the right direction.
Magic Number = 501 (1,499 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.