Disc Golf Etiquette – Rules and Tips for a Good Game
A few basic rules can help ensure everyone has a good time at the course. Follow these disc golf etiquette tips and you will see your game improve and make the rounds go much more smoothly!
Talking at a loud volume while another player is on the tee pad, in their approach, or about to putt is unacceptable. This can distract them and lead to bad throws.
Being polite to other players is a key part of being a good disc golfer. This is especially true for tournament play, but it’s also important during casual rounds. This includes things like not talking too loudly when an opponent is on a tee pad, in their approach, or about to putt. This noise distracts the player and can negatively impact their shot.
It’s also important to be respectful of other players’ space and personal belongings. This includes not walking or jogging through the players’ line of vision, standing too close to them, or touching their discs. Lastly, it’s generally considered polite to shake hands or at least give an inaudible cue of appreciation when a round is over. This shows good sportsmanship and helps build connections that can lead to future rounds of disc golf!
While most disc golfers are really awesome people and show the sport a lot of respect, there is a small group of bad actors that can put a bad name on the sport. They are typically male and tend to be a little bit more aggressive about offering tips or giving positive feedback to female players during casual rounds. This behavior isn’t just rude, it also undermines the efforts of the other players and can make women feel uncomfortable.
It’s a good idea to be punctual when you arrive at the course and to warm up before your first throws. This is important for a smooth start to your round and will help keep the course running smoothly for everyone. Similarly, it’s important to be mindful of your group size and tee time and to allow players ahead of you to take their turn without delay.
Don’t Distract Others
According to Simply Disc Golf, the game of disc golf is best played with minimal distractions. Players should avoid distracting others by moving around, fidgeting with their bags or discs and talking while other players are throwing. This is especially important on the tee pad and when players are putting out. It is also important to be quiet and still when other players are on their turn. It can be very frustrating for other players to have to wait while you chat with your friends or try to get in a good position to throw your shot.
If your disc looks like it could hit someone, yell “FORE!” It is the only way to ensure that people around you take appropriate precaution and prevent injury. Shouting “fore” a few seconds before the disc is actually in danger of hitting them does not give people enough time to react and may cause them to lose focus and miss their opportunity to jump back out of the way.
In addition, it is generally considered rude to talk about another player’s shot while they are putting out. This can make other players feel self-conscious and distracted from their own play. It is okay to discuss the conditions, weather or your own performance after a shot is completed, but try to do so discreetly and away from other players.
It is also a common practice to help each other clean up after each hole. Many public parks where disc golf is played share space with other park users and it is our responsibility to leave the course cleaner than we found it. If you see trash, pick it up and bring it to a garbage can.
Keep It Clean
Disc golfers should always be conscious of the environment, including the surrounding trees, grass, and other players. This means picking up trash when you see it and keeping your own area clean. Discs can easily hit bystanders and cause injuries, so it’s best to play with care and caution.
Players should be mindful of the other groups around them, and offer to let faster playing groups play through if necessary. While it’s not always possible, especially if the group is already on the next hole, it is courteous to make this effort.
There are also a lot of courtesy rules that are part of the PDGA rule book. These include being respectful of other players’ stances, watching other group members throw to ensure fairness, helping to find lost discs, and helping keep score when asked. This is a huge element of the game, and it helps all players perform at their best.
When a player’s foot is touching the ground behind their stance, it’s considered a “foot fault” and can result in a penalty throw. It’s important to pay attention to where you place your feet during the stance phase.
Some players may want to receive tips from other players on how they can improve their game, but others do not. It’s important to be aware of this and only give out helpful advice if it is requested.
If your disc is in danger of hitting someone else, it’s important to yell “fore!” This will let people know that they need to move out of the way of the disc and can prevent them from getting hurt. It’s important to be very clear with your yell as some players might not hear it if you are too quiet or soft.
Don’t Touch Other Players’ Bags or Discs
Aside from the items allowed to reduce or control abrasion of the skin, it’s generally not acceptable for players to touch any other disc, player’s bag or clothing during a game. This is especially important when the player is throwing at a target or from a distance, where touching the disc could potentially damage it.
When playing in a group, it’s also common courtesy to help other members of the group find their lost discs. In fact, this is actually required during sanctioned competitive play, and any players not actively helping others look for their discs are breaking a few PDGA courtesy rules.
Some elements of etiquette are informal, like clearing your disc from the basket before another player putsts or calling “fore” if it looks like your disc might hit someone. However, there are some aspects of etiquette that are actually included in the PDGA’s official Disc Golf rules as “courtesy rules.” These include things such as keeping quiet while others are throwing and staying behind the player until their throw is complete. They also include avoiding unsportsmanlike behavior such as cursing, hitting or kicking the course or park equipment, littering and distracting other players.
Following these disc golf etiquette rules is good for the sport as it helps maintain a positive environment and creates a fair game atmosphere where players of all skill levels can enjoy the game. It also helps preserve the course by avoiding damaging trees, baskets and tees, and removing trash when found. And it contributes to the overall safety of the players by preventing injuries and accidents. While casual players can get away with breaking most of these etiquette tips, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of the official PDGA Disc Golf rules before playing in a group or competing.
Don’t Talk About Your Game
Unless someone asks for advice or tips, avoid giving them at the course. While some players appreciate the feedback, others don’t want their casual rounds turned into an impromptu form clinic.
Disc golfers may talk about the course and their own games in small groups, but it’s important to keep quiet when other players are throwing. Talking can distract other players and make them miss their shot, or it can interfere with their concentration when they are trying to concentrate on their own game. It’s also rude to talk during someone else’s putt. This is especially important if you are playing with an inexperienced group or a new player to the sport.
If you are playing with a fast-playing group, let them play through ahead of you if the situation allows for it. Everyone has different speed and focus strategies, so it is polite to give people space.
Another way to improve your golfing experience is by focusing on the obstacles on the course rather than the other players. If you are concerned about hitting trees, the water, or even losing your disc in the tall grass, it can distract from your throws and cause you to miss shots or throw into OB.
Lastly, remember to bring plenty of water and dress comfortably for a day of walking around the course. Dehydration is no fun, and it can also reduce your performance and enjoyment of the game. It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that are comfortable on hard surfaces, such as sneakers or tennis shoes. If you are concerned about slipping or falling, consider wearing a pair of athletic socks with your shoes.