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.
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.
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.