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

Woo Hoo! I finally made it back home to Minnesota to see Becky and the girls after a week on the road. But not before sneaking in three additional new courses in Southwestern Wisconsin.

View from the Hole 1 tee at Hillsboro Centennial DGC in Hillsboro, Wisconsin.

My first course on the day was Hillsboro Centennial DGC in Hillsboro, Wisconsin. The footing on the course was absolutely horrible, likely due to the heavy rain from last night. But every shot that wasn’t made from rubber mats on the tee was a bit of an adventure…slipping and sliding my way up and down hills.

A Few More Courses in Wisconsin on the Way Home: Tonn’s Travels

One of the unnumbered holes at La Farge DGC in La Farge, Wisconsin.

The second course on the day, La Farge DGC, had even more treacherous footing, as the course was built upon low-lying land next to water. And to add insult to injury, the course had no map, no numbered tees, and no numbers that I could find on any of the baskets. Not a great experience, though as one needs to do when dealt the occasional “lemon” in life, I made lemonade and enjoyed a safari round, as best I could.

Thankfully, the last course on my day, on my trip to Michigan, was a very positive experience. The Pines in Cashton, Wisconsin was a beautifully-maintained course, with numbered posts at every tee, along with numbered baskets. Felt okay posting a -2 (25) there as well, so it was a good way to end my trip, in a disc golf sense.

My most interesting memory on the day? Driving through Amish country, and seeing literally dozens of school-aged children walking to school in traditional clothing, but each carrying what appeared to be Igloo coolers. I have seen Amish families on numerous occasions in the past, driving through parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, etc. But that was the first time I’ve seen dozens of Amish children carrying plastic coolers to school!

My trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan is now complete.  Twenty-eight new courses over eight days, in addition to attending and exhibiting at a conference for work, as well as meeting one of our illustrators in Michigan. I’ll call it a success!

Magic Number = 561 (1,439 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

A Few More Courses in Wisconsin on the Way Home: 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.

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A Few More Courses in Wisconsin on the Way Home: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

Today was a fun day. I set two different alarm clocks this morning, making absolutely sure I would not sleep through my $150 ticket for a ferry ride across Lake Michigan. But after I was up and ready to head to the ferry in Ludington (Michigan), I couldn’t help feeling excited at saving a full day of driving and hotels off my trip back to Minnesota. That, and re-living memories of crossing Lake Michigan with Derek Place and Erik Koob very early in my course collecting adventure.

Looking back toward Ludington, Michigan from the S.S. Badger, with no land to be seen, crossing Lake Michigan.

It was on that trip with Derek and Erik, several years ago, when I got to play my first disc golf courses in Indiana and Michigan. Got to play one of the top ten-rated courses in the world: Flip City. I was thinking a lot about Derek and Erik while traveling across Lake Michigan today. How lucky I was to have the opportunity to enjoy a little disc golf vacation with them before we all got even more busy with work, kids, girlfriends/wives, etc.

After making it to Manitowoc (Wisconsin) and getting my “land legs” back, I got about the business of course collecting while pushing as far West as I could before dark and the next round of rain. I started with a quick 20 holes at Jaycee Park Quarry in Sheboygan, followed by a not-as-quick round of 18 holes at H.A. Meyer Nature Park in Plymouth. Not as quick, due to the fact that the wind was HOWLING…and the air temperature went from jeans and sweatshirt weather on the ferry to a temperature of 85 F by the time I was playing in Plymouth.  I was shedding layers as fast as I could, but that hot weather was not something I had planned for in early October in Wisconsin.

The S.S. Badger and Course Collecting in Wisconsin: Tonn’s Travels

Course map for Murray Park in Ripon, Wisconsin.

After surviving the course in Plymouth, I made my way to Ripon, to play a quick, very windy nine holes at Murray Park, then snuck in a quick six holes at Mile Bluff DGC in Mauston before the next round of thunderstorms arrived in the area. And arrive they did, as it was quite an impressive lightning show, with the air temperature dropping by more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit! But I got to watch said show from the comfort of my hotel room for the evening.  One more day and I’ll be home!

Magic Number = 564 (1,436 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

The S.S. Badger and Course Collecting in Wisconsin: 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.

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The S.S. Badger and Course Collecting in Wisconsin: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

Made my way from Grand Rapids up to Ludington (Michigan) this afternoon, but not before I had a chance to sneak in one more course on my way. I had my choice of 4-5 places to play, but when I saw there was a ten-hole course named Boom Park in Muskegon? I knew that was going to be the winner.

It was actually a difficult course to locate, even with the help of the great app UDisc! But after a bit of effort, I did manage to find my way back to the course. Playing the course wasn’t the greatest experience, though I think a lot of that can be attributed to how swampy things were after a lot of recent rain. But let’s just say that, after days (and days) of wet feet and slipping-and-sliding around various courses? Playing Boom Park felt more like a job.

I will admit that my attitude probably wasn’t great playing that round, as I was anxious to simply get to Ludington and relax. That said, things improved after I got to Hole 9 and ended up spending about ten minutes helping another player look for his lost disc, right of the fairway. He told me, about three of four times, that he didn’t want to waste my time searching for his disc. But I told him that I would stay there until we found it. And, after looking in an area we hadn’t yet gotten to, I saw a portion of his disc sticking up above the weeds and brush. We played the tenth hole together, then I got back on the road, arriving in Ludington in time to meet one of my co-workers for dinner.

Magic Number = 568 (1,432 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

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.

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

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Boom Park: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

For the second day in a row during my work conference here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had JUST enough time to sneak in a quick eighteen holes between the conference I am attending and sunset. So today, I headed West to Grandville and Jenison to sneak in a couple nine-holers.

View from the Hole 9 tee at Heritage Park in Grandville, Michigan.

The first course I played was Heritage Park, a very short course (1,971 feet) that had a few tricky shots, but nothing overly difficult.  I didn’t play the best, to the tune of a -6 (21). But there were a couple chances to lose discs on that course, and being in a hurry? I was happy to leave with a full backpack and six deuces. The second course I played was at Rosewood Park. Wide open, playing around a large “bowl” that must have dropped at least 20-25 feet below where most of the baskets were positioned. After slipping mid-release on the Hole 1 tee and getting uncomfortably close to a couple joggers (think about one of the worst grip-locks you’ve seen, then imagine a lefty having his disc cruise all the way to the bottom of said grassy “bowl,” ha!), I settled down to post a second -6 (21) on the day.

Those joggers saw the disc the entire way…and it was never even close to hitting them. I was simply embarrassed, as it was probably the ugliest shot of my 2018 campaign.  At least, so far.  🙂

Tomorrow I wrap-up my official conference activities for work, then make my way North toward Ludington (Michigan), so I can catch the ferry across Lake Michigan and shave at least one day of driving and hotels off my trip. Hooray!

Magic Number = 569 (1,431 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

A Couple Quick Courses in Grand Rapids: 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.

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A Couple Quick Courses in Grand Rapids: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

A very quick, short update to say that I managed to have just enough time between conference activities, a storm, and the sunset this afternoon to sneak in one more eighteen-hole course here in Grand Rapids, Michigan: Old Farm Park. It was on my list of courses to play when I was here last Summer, as a part of our Disc Golf Foundation Board meetings. But with JUST enough time to “Run-a-Round” (copyright: Alan Hansen Begg) after my conference activities were finished, I was able to get that course played. I played it well, to the tune of a -9 (45). And not five minutes after I got in the car and headed back toward my hotel, the skies opened up and it rained.  And rained.  And rained.

Nice to sneak one more course in after work today, when I knew it might be tough for me to get back over here to play it! Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. And today, luck was on my side.

Magic Number = 571 (1,429 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

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.

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

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Old Farm Park: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

Today was mostly a travel day, as I needed to make sure and get to Grand Rapids, Michigan by late afternoon for some responsibilities with my work at mapformation. That said, I did manage time to squeeze in three courses on my way to Grand Rapids. My first course was Bourissa Hills in New Carlisle, Indiana. A fun nine-holer that was made even more fun by actually seeing the sun for the first time in days, I made what was my best shot of the trip so far. A 350-foot tee shot on Hole 2, down a hill than back up a bit of another hill, landing my Undertow about seven feet right of the basket for the deuce. Which had a few people in the park, attending a youth football game, look at me strangely after I did my best Howard Dean impersonation from the Hole 2 tee. 😀

View from the Hole 9 tee at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

After Bourissa Hills, I was feeling pressure to pick up the pace, so I reluctantly scrapped plans to play an eighteen hole course in Kalamazoo (Michigan), playing a nine-hole course at their Central High School instead. An interesting little course, though Holes 8 and 9 had me scratching my head. As you will see in the photo (above), it was another hole on the trip where you are playing over roads.  And worse, playing over a road where you could not see traffic coming from the left. I wondered how many vehicles have been hit by discs since that course was installed.  Hopefully only vehicles, and not people walking, running or riding bikes.  🙁

After Kalamazoo, I got up to my conference hotel as quickly as I could. And I decided I had enough time to sneak in a short 18 hole course.  So I headed out to Jaycee Park for a VERY quick (35-40 minute?) round. I played that course very well, and 2-3 cards of locals were a little shell-shocked at how well I was playing…how quickly I was playing. Managed a -8 (46) while essentially “stopping and popping,” allowing just enough time to set my foot behind my disc, exhaling, and throwing my next shot. I’ve noticed in the past few years that when I am playing fast, not taking time to really think about what needs to happen (or think about what could go wrong), I tend to play very well.  It is playing with other people who need to take 30-60+ seconds just to decide what disc to throw, not to mention needing to simulate a release of their tee shot, approach or putt before they actually release their disc, when I tend to struggle with my game.

Not much disc golf will be played over the next few days, as I will be busy exhibiting and attending a conference for work! But another three new courses played on the day is positive yardage.  Felt good that I had the time to sneak that many in.

Magic Number = 572 (1,428 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

Course Collecting in Indiana and Michigan: 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.

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Course Collecting in Indiana and Michigan: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

Another day, another seven new courses played in the rain and wind. Today felt more like a “job” than a hobby or fun…as I needed to slosh around in wet, muddy ground while keeping my discs low to the ground in strong wind conditions. That said, I got to learn a lot about how NOT to design disc golf holes, as well as meet one incredibly nice, passionate person who loves disc golf!

View from the Hole 4 tee at Felderman Park in Bellevue, Iowa.

Felderman Park was my first stop on the day, and I was a bit stunned to see just how much the design of that course forces discs to fly over paved walking trails. Hole 4 (above) is a perfect example. Unless you go very wide to the left, which few/no players would do on the tee? That hole essentially has two, even three, points where your disc will be flying directly over the paved trail. And if someone using the trail is running or riding bike? Your disc could be on them before you ever saw them coming. Before they ever knew someone was using the disc golf course, much less the fact that a disc is flying at them. I’m not sure who designed that course, but it seems like a prime potential candidate for several safety improvements.

After finishing up at Felderman Park, I played three quick rounds in Illinois: Old Mill Park, Point Rock Park, and Merema. Shortly thereafter, I had the privilege of playing Lowell Park in Dixon, Illinois on the day it officially opened to the public. As I pulled into the parking area, I was greeted by a smiling, friendly Nora Balayti. Nora was one of the people who was instrumental in getting disc golf installed at Lowell Park, and after a brief conversation, she offered to play my round with me.  She was such a ray of sunshine on a cold, rainy day!  I really enjoyed the ~30 minutes we got to spend talking and playing together.

Course Collecting in Iowa and Illinois: Tonn’s Travels

View from the Hole 7 tee at Lowell Park in Dixon, Illinois.

Lowell Park was actually a topic of conversation at 3DISC recently, as other course designers were critical of the design work (completed in part by Eric McCabe from Dynamic Discs), citing several safety issues (tees for holes in other holes’ fairways, flight paths for discs off the tee running too close to roads in the park, etc.). I mentioned how that course had at least a few things I would change, for safety purposes. But I also mentioned that the course might not have even made the top three “least safe” courses I had played that day! And that before folks are critical of said design, it would help to speak with Eric, speak with locals in charge of the project, to gain a better understanding of how often those roads in the park are used for vehicular traffic. Not to mention learn more about any other constraints or parameters (set by park staff) that designers needed to adhere to.

After thanking Nora for her hospitality, I continued heading East…playing additional courses in Minooka and Frankfort Square (Illinois), before calling it a night in Northwest Indiana. Another good day’s “work,” playing another seven new courses!

Magic Number = 575 (1,425 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

Course Collecting in Iowa and Illinois: 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.

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Course Collecting in Iowa and Illinois: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

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.

View from the Hole 10 tee at East Park in Mason City, Iowa.

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.

After finishing up at East Park, I quickly worked in rounds in Rudd, Marble Lake, and Fredericksburg before making my way to Osborne Park in Elkader.

Course Collecting in Northeast Iowa: Tonn’s Travels

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.

Course Collecting in Northeast Iowa: Tonn’s Travels

View from the Hole 2 tee at Kelly Oaks Park in Peosta, Iowa.

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.

About Derek

Course Collecting in Northeast Iowa: 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.

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Course Collecting in Northeast Iowa: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

One of the chronic challenges with course collecting is squeezing in new courses in limited time, with limited funds. Some people think I must be “semi-retired” or wealthy, playing as many courses as I do. But the opposite is true. I tend to work 55-60 hours per week, with barely a few months of money in the bank as insurance or a reserve against sales with my business drying up. That said, I am always looking for opportunities to “kill 3-4 birds with one stone.” Chances to accomplish multiple To Dos, with every trip I make.  With every dollar and hour I have.

Today was no exception, as I needed to drive up to Minneapolis St. Paul to do an airport run, picking up two family members after they made a recent trip to Los Angeles. Three courses had opened in the greater North metro area since I had last played every course available. So I left home a few hours early to complete my airport run, allowing enough time to play all three courses.

View from the Hole 1 tee at Wildwood Springs 9 in Dayton, Minnesota.

My first stop was at Wildwood Springs 9, a new course in Dayton, Minnesota. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the fun and variety of those nine holes. A great way to start my day! The wind made it tough, so I held back on the tee (as I did not have much/any time to waste searching for discs in the rough). But I enjoyed my round, and enjoyed talking with the man who lives across the street from Hole 9.

Efficiency: Tonn’s Travels

View from the Hole 2 tee at Riegel Mammoth DGC in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

My second stop was at Riegel Mammoth DGC in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. A heavily wooded course in the beginning, and some wide open “prairie-style” holes to finish, I really enjoyed that course too. Although my funny memory on the day came as I was walking back to my car. A pack of middle school-aged kids on bikes saw me with my pack of discs, when one of the kids smiled and shouted: “Just say no to drugs!” Apparently disc golfers he knows might have a bit of a reputation?  Either that, or he has heard how addicting disc golf can be?!  🙂  I wish the vast minority of disc golfers who use marijuana wouldn’t give the impression to the rest of the world that one hundred percent of disc golfers do the same.  But in that context? Those kids and I enjoyed a bit of a quick laugh, and I got to do a quick bit of “evangelism” for the sport of disc golf.

My final stop on the day was another “course that doesn’t exist.” Association Retreat Center DGC near Osceola, Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure what I would encounter, as UDisc said the course was “private.” But private in course directories can mean just about anything. From on private land but open to the public, to at a school or church but available to play outside of school/worship hours, to “all trespassers will be shot,” ha! But I decided to be brave and check things out, first stopping by the office to talk with staff. Letting them know I am a Board Member with the Disc Golf Foundation. And as Chair of the DGF’s Course Development Committee, which recently expanded our Matching Baskets Program applicants pool, I have been trying to gather more information on properties such as camps, retreat centers, etc. who are offering disc golf to their constituents (since we anticipate more Program applications from these types of properties in the future).

Staff on-site couldn’t have been nicer! They told me that, due to liability issues, only registered campers or attendees of events on their property are allowed to play their course. I told them that I would make sure that information got out in places such as UDisc and DGCourseReview …so that other disc golfers didn’t show up expecting to play. But they also said that, given the fact that I was on a bit of a fact-finding mission for the DGF, that I could play a quick round and check things out.

Efficiency: Tonn’s Travels

View of the Hole 2 basket area at Association Retreat Center DGC in Osceola, Wisconsin.

I played as quickly as I could, taking photos to help me remember what I was seeing for future DGF discussions. I also reported back to office staff before I left, then kept my promise after I got home.  Making sure to clearly state in the DGCR course description that only registered campers or attendees of events are permitted to play the course. I hope that helps them to not have as many disc golfers showing up at their property, expecting to play.

A successful trip!  And one fewer day (and a lot less gas) needed to knock three new courses out in the future.

Magic Number = 589 (1,411 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

Efficiency: 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.

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Efficiency: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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

After spending my morning working on course design work approximately 30 percent of the distance to a new course I had not previously played out in Arlington, South Dakota, I decided to push West to knock my only unplayed course between Springfield, MN and Rapid City, SD off my “To Play List.”

The course at Arlington City Park has its quirks and shortcomings. Throwing over/around the park’s welcome sign on Hole 1. Concrete tee pads on each hole that are 3′ x 3′ square. Etc. Hole 5 (below) also was odd, throwing at a building, over several picnic tables (which I hope are located there temporarily) and under some tree branches. I managed to run my low, fast S-Curve off the tee to within ten feet, to the right of the basket.  But I think most LHBH/RHFH players might end up throwing a big, wide hyzer around the tree.  While RHBH/LHFH players will be throwing at/over that building. Either way? I didn’t like that hole at all, as it seems like people and/or property (i.e. that building) could be easily damaged.

View from the Hole 5 tee at Arlington City Park in Arlington, South Dakota.

Managed a -8 (22) on the short ten-hole course. Didn’t get my deuces on Holes 6 and 10, but was otherwise perfect off the tee and in my putting.  I was happy with that score, as today was just as windy as it was in Waterville, MN yesterday. And another new course played keeps me headed in the right direction.  🙂

Magic Number = 592 (1,408 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

Arlington City Park: 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.

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Arlington City Park: Tonn’s Travels Derek Tonn

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