Now is a great time to be getting into disc golf! During the last few months I’ve introduced a few friends to the sport and have noticed it’s kind of intimidating to be a beginner on the course. So, I’ve decided to write a simple beginner’s guide to disc golf etiquette. If you follow the ideas listed below you’ll have no problem fitting right in.
What Is Disc Golf Etiquette?
Simply put, etiquette refers to the rules and behaviors that a specific group follows. Disc golf etiquette includes ideas on how to behave on the course, how to treat other disc golfers, and how to have a safe and enjoyable time playing.
Best Practices To Follow On The Course
1. Limit Groups To Five Players
One thing you’ll notice after a few rounds is how quickly you can move through the course if you’re playing alone or with a friend. Once you start getting into larger groups(more than 5) the pace of play really slows down.
I’ve found that a lot of courses try to limit groups to be no more than five players because it can cause a backup of people waiting. If you are going to play with a larger group though make sure to follow the next tip in etiquette and be prepared to let faster groups play through.
2. Allow Faster Groups To Play Through
If you look back and see a solo player, or a couple that is waiting on the last hole it might be time to let them jump ahead of you. The easiest way to do this is to finish the hole you’re on and wait for them to catch up, allowing them to start the next hole first.
You’ll find that some players just go through a hole much faster, so by waiting for an extra minute or two you can prevent a backup of people waiting. This will also make it so you can focus on your throws and not be worried about rushing so that other groups aren’t stuck waiting on you.
3. Avoid Talking During A Player’s Throw
At the very least it’s important to be quiet while others are about to throw. Not that you have to be dead silent but personally it’s much easier for me to focus on my throw with fewer distractions. Like a few of these etiquette tips this one is kind of up to who you’re playing with.
I have some friends who don’t seem to care about talking while they throw, but it’s a good habit to get into if you ever plan on playing in tournaments.
4. Stand Behind The Player Throwing
Now I don’t mean stand directly behind the player throwing. I think that would go against all of these etiquette tips listed. What I do mean is to make sure you are out of their line of sight. While waiting for your turn to throw, if you can it’s best to stand off to the side and wait for their throw before you start getting ready.
It’s also important to follow this rule because it means you’re out of harm’s way if a throw goes errant. Stay safe and stay behind whoever is throwing!
5. Keep Music To A Reasonable Volume
I think we’ve all run into a few groups before that have some music blasting out of their bag. Just like in the tip above, talking during a throw can be distracting and so can loud music. If you need to have music while you play, try to be considerate of those around you.
Maintain a reasonable volume while others are around, and if possible pause the song while others are about to throw.
6. Don’t Throw Multiple Discs With A Group Waiting
Nobody wants to go out to the course and spend a bunch of time waiting to play. I know that it feels like good practice to adjust and throw a few discs on a tough hole, but be aware if anyone around you is waiting.
This is a good idea to follow with putting too. Taking few extra putts on a hole to get some practice in is fine if you aren’t holding anybody up!
7. Don’t Litter
Luckily for us disc golfers most courses are plenty of trash cans around the course. Nothing can ruin a course more than the people not taking simple care of it.
We all need to do our part to keep the courses clean and maintained. If you see any bottles or wrappers on the course take a second to bring it to the closest trash.
8. Watch For Inaccurate Throws
Safety is an important part to remember and the best way to be safe is to stay alert when others are throwing. Make sure you are a safe distance from others while they throw and can avoid any inaccurate throw coming towards you.
If you see an errant throw coming from a group behind you, it’s also nice to pay attention to where it lands so that you can point them in the right direction. They’ll be glad that somebody can help them find what could very well be a lost disc.
9. Yell Clear On Blind Holes
If any holes go around a bend or in a direction that isn’t visible from the tee pad, yell out to the group behind you once you’re finished. This way whoever is waiting doesn’t have to keep checking whether you’re done and can know exactly when it’s safe for them to throw.
10. Wait Until The Player’s Ahead Of You Clear The Hole
For safety reasons make sure the hole is clear of players before you step up to throw. There are certainly longer holes that it might be fine to start as they are finishing putting, but it’s better to be safe and just wait.
If you can’t see the basket make sure you walk up and check that the hole is clear, or have heard directly from the people in front before throwing.
11. Yell Fore Whenever A Throw Goes Off Course
If you release a disc and can tell right away that it is headed in the direction of another player the best thing to do is shout out to them. The common thing to do is yell “Fore!”, which should alert everyone to watch out. As early as you can is best that way anyone in the way has plenty of time to dodge an incoming disc.
12. Follow The Order Of Play
Normally in disc golf the player who had the lowest score on the previous hole would have control over the tee pad and throw first. This order continues down to the player who had the most strokes last hole.
The order of play is also followed during each hole so that the player furthest from the basket would be the next player to throw.
If you follow these rules it should make for a smooth round without slowdowns to figure out who should throw next.
Here’s a link to the official rules on order of play.
13. Attempt To Return Lost Discs
Most disc golfers put their name or at least a number on the bottom of their discs. If you find a disc out on the course, shoot them a text or give a call to see if you can reach them. A lot of times I’ve found that whoever lost the disc is still out on the course, which makes for an easy return!
The next step if you find a lost disc is to return it to the front desk. You’ll often find a lost and found section of discs at courses. If you leave it there at least they have a chance of finding it once they return. Sometimes you also might get lucky and have the person tell you to keep the disc!
You guys will find that most of these tips aren’t too hard to follow. If you make an effort while out there it’ll make for a fun and safe round for all! If you have any other tips on etiquette in disc golf or disagree with anything listed above I’d love to hear it.
Have fun out on the course!