Today was one of those fun opportunities I get to have a few times per year, presenting a disc golf workshop to approximately twenty Parks and Recreation professionals at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association. A friend of mine, who has had me develop a few different sets of tee signage for the courses in his town, who also had me re-design one of the courses and help him replace older homemade baskets with some great new DGA Mach Xs, asked if I would be willing to present a 45-minute talk about the sport of disc golf to his colleagues at the MRPA. Being a perfect opportunity to sing the praises of the sport I love, as well as the company I love to represent? I very quickly and happily said yes. And the session I offered at today’s conference went about as perfect as I might have hoped.

Cover of the 2019 Conference Guide for the Minnesota Recreation & Parks Association annual conference in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

My presentation was entitled: Introducing and/or Improving the Sport of Disc Golf in Our Parks,” and we covered lots of basic concepts for creating safer, more enjoyable courses for users of city, county, regional and state parks to enjoy. My session was supposed to last 45 minutes, and I came in at 46 minutes…just about perfect. And session attendees seemed to really enjoy (and learn from) the content. My favorite comment came from one particular Parks Director in the Northern MSP Metro. After the session, he told me: “I had never considered safety to be as important of an issue when designing and installing disc golf courses into parks until this session…and I really appreciated you passing around examples of disc golf discs to look at. It was the first time I had ever held a disc in my hand, and now I have lots of good information I can use when we’re considering the creation of a new 18-hole course in one of our parks next year.” EXACTLY the type of outcome I had been hoping for…though now I hope I’ve also sold him on how that potential new course needs DGA baskets in it! 🙂

Talking Disc Golf…with a little Course Collecting on the side – Tonn’s Travels
View from the Hole 6 tee at Windrose Park in Elko, Minnesota.

Before my presentation at MRPA, I also took the “long route” to the meeting by going through Elko, Minnesota, so I could check out a new tiny nine-hole course that opened in that community a few months ago: Windrose Park. Weighing in at only 1,340 feet over nine holes, every hole is essentially a “par two.” But a course is a course is a course, so I was FINALLY able to add course #1520 to my course collection. FAR too long since my last new course! But not being able to drive since May 29 has made course collecting so difficult. Thank goodness my “chauffeur” for the day didn’t mind swinging through Elko on our way up to Minneapolis.

Magic Number = 480 (1,520 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 out “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

Talking Disc Golf…with a little Course Collecting on the side – 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.

DGA | Disc Golf Association

It’s been a rough couple of months. 🙁 Health-wise, my side-effects of my epilepsy medication have made me feel extremely tired and sick to my stomach. The irony of which has been the fact that the type of seizures I experience only make me feel sick to my stomach. No shaking or convulsions. No loss in cognitive ability. Just nausea. With the medication prescribed to treat said nausea (seizures) making me feel nauseous. [sigh] That pleasantness, along with my continuing to not have the ability to drive (four months and counting), has made course collecting all but impossible.

Sample 8×11 tee sign from Nicollet DGC in Nicollet, Minnesota.

That said, the planets aligned this weekend, as a new course opened recently at a K-12 school about forty minutes East of me. A course DGA recently asked me to develop tee signage for (above). And with me expected to attend an event in Mankato, Minnesota earlier this morning, that my oldest daughter also wanted to attend? I asked if she would mind stopping in Nicollet and letting me play a quick round.

Nicollet DGC – Tonn’s Travels
View from the Hole 3 tee at Nicollet DGC in Nicollet, Minnesota.

The course in Nicollet was student-designed, so there are several holes that play parallel to adjacent streets. That, and a few of the holes come uncomfortably close to some adjacent softball and baseball fields. Though the school plans to keep close watch of things, not allowing play on the course when there are scheduled events on the adjacent fields. That, and they are planning to pull the baskets each Winter, making it a seasonal course only available for play in the Spring, Summer and Fall.

I struggled on the course, managing a -3 (26) over nine holes. In my defense? It was WINDY…with sustained winds over 25+ MPH and even stronger gusts! That said, the rust on my game was pretty thick, as my performance on several tees left a LOT to be desired. But it was good to get out on a course again, even if “the struggle was real.” 🙂

My favorite part of the round was bumping into a young father with his wife and preschool-aged son. I assume they lived a few blocks from school, as their son rode his bike to the course while the mom pushed a stroller. The dad asked me if I knew how the course played, since tee signs haven’t yet been installed. So I brought up a map of the course on my phone, and showed him where to tee off on each of the holes. Fortunately, I made good tee shots on Holes 8 and 9 while they watched, so as not to embarrass myself TOO much in the wind.

Magic Number = 481 (1,519 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 out “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

Nicollet DGC – 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.

DGA | Disc Golf Association

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After wrapping up all of my “To Dos” in Wisconsin and saying goodbye to family while enjoying some delicious pancakes, I hit the road for home this morning…trying to sneak in a few more courses if the rain wouldn’t get too heavy. View from the Hole 4 tee at Christmas Mountain Village DGC in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. My first stop on the day, in the rain and standing water…

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