paige pierce waiting at her bag as etiquette to let a group play through

Some Basic Disc Golf Etiquette

There’s already a few blogs about disc golf etiquette out there. But today I’d like to go a little further with some of the suggestions. Now I know that each of these are subjective and people have many different views on the matter. Here’s my general thoughts on some things in disc golf that we can do to make sure everyone has a good time.

When should I let a group play through?

We’ve all been there, you’re in a group with a few people and there’s a pair behind you that’s teeing off on the hole behind yours. Here’s when you let them play through.

  • If you notice that the group behind you has to wait for you; on drives or at the next tee, let ‘em pass.
  • If it’s the weekend, the course is likely more crowded and your group may not be holding up just one group.
  • If they’re much faster than you.
  • If it’s early in the round, say holes 2-15, let them through.
  • If your group needs to look for a lost disc. Wave them through.

If you think any of these things are applicable go ahead and let them pass you. Playing in a group is fun, getting stuck behind one isn’t.

Putting order, who goes, and when?

In tournament play it’s actually mandated by the rules. Whichever player is furthest out must be the next to throw/putt. But maybe you’re not in a tournament, maybe you’re playing casually with friends. Putting can still be stressful so here’s my pointers for playing around the basket.

  • Look around for everyone’s disc before walking to yours. Walking in front of someone who is lining up a putt can rattle them.
  • One thing I like to do is leave my bag in between my shot and the teepad for the next hole. It gives everyone time to get to their discs and see who is “out”. Whoever is furthest gets to putt without people in front of them, and I don’t have to carry my bag.
  • Silence is important when people are putting. Don’t open that beef jerky or crack a soda, wait to retrieve something from your bag while others are putting.

Music on the course

Last month I played in Lerchtoberfest, a disc golf charity tournament. My buddy Chris threw some great tunes on and we jammed as we played. Not every round is like that, in fact most of the time people prefer quiet it seems. As much as our card loved Sublime, not every card wants to hear that.

  • Keep the music volume low. It’s background noise anyway.
  • There’s often families about, so just be cognizant of what you’re playing for music. Not everyone wants to hear vulgarities.
  • If you’re letting someone play through you can turn it down while they’re on the teepad.

If you’re having a bad round, it happens.

Paul Mcbeth, if you’re reading this blog, skip this bit. Everyone else has bad rounds at some point. If you find that you’re in the middle of a meltdown round, try doing these things to mitigate how you affect others.

  • Remember you can’t unthrow previous throws. Your next shot is its own shot. Focus on that one. Hole 2’s bogey is done with, move on.
  • Make smaller goals for yourself. Instead of “park this hole” think “Have a good release.”
  • Complement someone else when they do well. It’s going to lift your spirits and theirs. No one wants a tense card, and polite conversation can fix it.
  • No one wants to hear “It’s just a game.” But it is, a bad round is fine to have every once in a while.
  • I get it, I hate when my rating suffers or when I start losing. Just play smart golf for a couple of holes. You know, not running those 40 footers. Take that lay up and par. You’ll get your confidence back quickly.

Safety first

This one should be your number 1 priority. Safety is important when we have plastic discs getting thrown in excess of 50 mph. These discs hurt you if you get hit.

  • Don’t throw on other groups. If people are putting and there’s a chance you’ll hit them with your disc, Don’t Throw!
  • Check on blind holes, in Maine we have plenty of holes where you can’t see the basket from the teepad. Just jog up there and check to make sure you’re not going to hit anyone.
  • “Fore!” It’s easy to yell and pretty much everyone understands what it means. It’s better to call it and miss the people rather than to not call it and hit someone.

I hope these don’t seem preachy, they’re just things I think help contribute to a better disc golf experience. If you’re a veteran of the sport you’ve probably experienced all of these things. If you’re new to the sport you’ll be just fine. Is there anything that I overlooked? Do you disagree with my points here? Let me know in the comments below.

May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397

Streeter (PGDA #70397 )

He started disc golfing in 2011 and instantly fell in love with the flight of a disc. He has a degree in Sports Management from the university of Southern Maine and has been blogging for SDG since 2020, He writes about informational disc golf content editorials, and disc golf entertainment.

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Hey Brad thanks for reading.

You’re right I missed taking care of your litter. That’s a great point. We’ve got trash cans at every hole for a reason. Hope you have some good rounds this year.

Andrew Streeter

Yes, all of these!

I would amend to turn OFF your music if you are letting a group play through.

I would add, THROW YOUR TRASH AWAY! Every course I have played has trash cans. If there isn’t one nearby, pack it until you get to one. Be like hikers: Pack it in, pack it out. Honestly, I don’t understand pigs who leave their Red Bull or beer cans on the ground or impaled in tree/bush branches and there’s a trash can a mere 15 feet away. Or the really lazy pigs who leave their cans right by the tee pads. Really? Look, if you had the means to pack it in this far on the course, you have the means to carry it until you see the next trash can. And that also goes for your bottle caps. There are those of you who like to press them into the wood posts of the tee markers, in the ground at the front edge of the tee pad, or just around the tee. I love the fact that disc golf doesn’t have snooty fashion requirements to play, but I also don’t want our courses to look like trailer trash, either.

Can I also add this?: If you smoke cigarettes or marijuana, don’t! Not on the course. Three reasons: 1) families with kids don’t appreciate it, 2) those of us who do not partake do not enjoy breathing your fumes (even though it’s outdoors doesn’t mean we don’t breathe/smell it), and 3) many of you drop your butts on the ground by tee pads and everywhere. (See my comment above on trash.)

Ah, man. venting this was good therapy. LOL Now, let me comment on those scum dg-ers who do not call the owner and return a lost disc…


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