Disc Golf Rules of Play
The growing popularity of the game of disc golf begins with the essential fact that throwing a flying disc with power and accuracy is a marvelous sensation. The constant challenge, the social nature of the game, the good physical and mental conditioning, and the fact that it is inexpensive to begin play are also attractions. Disc golf is a recreational sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or ability.
The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc. Each onsecutive throw is made from where the disc came to rest after the last throw. Score is determined by counting the number of throws made on each hole plus penalty throws and then summing all holes. The winner is the player who completes the course with the lowest score.
The course consists of a series of holes laid out so that when the player completes one hole he or she proceeds to the beginning of the next until all the holes have been played. The player is provided with a teeing area from which to begin each hole and a target to complete the hole.
Disc golf courses are normally laid out among wooded areas with diverse terrain to provide natural obstacles to the flight of the disc. These natural obstacles are very much a part of the game and must not be altered by the players in any way to decrease the difficulty of a hole. Disc golf courses are normally 18 holes in length, but there are other combinations as well, including 9-hole, 22-hole, 24-hole and 27-hole courses in existence. Disc golf courses can be found in each of the 50 United States and in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Guam, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Hungary, United Kingdom, Peru, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Taiwan.
Disc golf is a game that expects high standards of etiquette and courtesy. Among the basic considerations of etiquette are such things as concern for spectators and other players and respect for plant life on the course. These rules have been designed to promote fair play for all disc golfers. In using these rules, players shall apply the rule that most directly addresses the situation in question.
Description of the Game:
The game of disc golf consists of throwing a flying disc from the teeing area to a target by a throw or successive throws. Players shall play the course as they find it and play the disc where it lies unless allowed otherwise by the Rules. The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest throws plus penalty throws is the winner.
Play shall begin on each hole with the player throwing from within the teeing area. When the disc is released, at least one of the player's supporting points must be in contact with the surface of the teeing area, and all the player's supporting points must be within the teeing area. If a tee pad is provided, all supporting points must be on the pad at the time of release, unless the director has specified a modified teeing area for safety reasons. If no tee pad is provided, all supporting points at the time of release must be within an area encompassed by the front line of the teeing area and two lines perpendicular to and extending back three meters from each end of the front line. The front line of the teeing area includes the outside edges of the two tee markers. Running up from behind the teeing area before the disc is released is permitted. Following through in front of the teeing area is permitted provided there is no supporting point contact outside the teeing area when the disc is released.
Marking the Lie:
After each throw, the thrown disc must be left where it came to rest until the lie is established by the placing of a marker. This can be done by placing a mini marker disc on the playing surface between the hole and the disc, directly in line with the hole, on the line of play, touching the thrown disc. A player may instead choose, without touching or repositioning the thrown disc, to use the thrown disc as the marker. The marker may not be moved until the throw is released. A marker inadvertently moved prior to the throw shall be returned to its correct location.
Stance, Subsequent to Teeing Off:
When the disc is released, a player must:
(1) Have at least one supporting point that is in contact with the playing surface on the line of play and within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc (except as specified in; and,
(2) have no supporting point contact with the marker disc or any object closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc; and,
(3) have all of his or her supporting points in-bounds.
Stepping past the marker disc is permitted after the disc is released, except when putting within 10 meters.
Any throw from within 10 meters or less, as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the hole, is considered a putt. A follow-through after a putt that causes the thrower to make any supporting point contact closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc constitutes a falling putt and is considered a stance violation . The player must demonstrate full control of balance before advancing toward the hole.
Disc Above the Playing Surface:
If a disc comes to rest above the playing surface in a tree or other object on the course, its lie shall be marked on the playing surface directly below it. If the point directly below the disc above the playing surface is an out-of-bounds area, the disc shall be declared out-of-bounds and marked and penalized in accordance with 803.09. If the playing surface directly below the disc is inside a tree or other solid obstacle, the lie shall be marked on the line of play immediately behind the tree or other solid obstacle. The director may designate a one throw penalty for discs that come to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual objects.
Out of Bounds:
A disc shall be considered out-of-bounds only when it comes to rest and it is clearly and completely surrounded by the out-of-bounds area. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the water. The out-of-bounds line itself is considered out-of --bounds. In order to consider the disc as out-of bounds, there must be reasonable evidence that the disc came to rest within the out-of-bounds area. In the absence of such evidence, the disc will be considered lost and the player will proceed according to rule 803.11B in the PDGA Rules of Play.
A player whose disc is considered out-of-bounds shall receive one penalty throw. The player may elect to play the next shot from:
(1) The previous lie as evidenced by the marker disc or, if the marker disc has been moved from an approximate lie, as agreed to by the majority of the group or an official; or
(2) A lie that is up to one meter away from and perpendicular to the point where the disc last crossed into out-of-bounds, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. This holds true even if the direction takes the lie closer to the hole; or
(3) Within the designated Drop Zone, if provided. These options may be limited by the tournament director as a special condition.
C. The Rule of Verticality. The out-of-bounds line represents a vertical plane. Where a player's lie is marked from a particular point within one meter of the out-of-bounds line pursuant to the rules, the one-meter relief may be taken from the particular point upward or downward along the vertical plane.
A player who fails to play any hole or fails to hole out on any hole during the round may be disqualified, at the discretion of the director, using the following guidelines:
(1) Holes missed due to late arrival may be scored and penalized according to section 804.02.
(2) Inadvertently failing to hole out (as determined by a majority of the group or an official) shall result in 2 penalty throws being added to the number of throws plus penalty throws already taken on the hole. The hole shall then be considered completed.
(3) Intentionally failing to hole out (emergency, injury, plane flight, etc.) constitutes withdrawal from competition. The player shall be withdrawn from competition and officially listed as "Did Not Finish" on the scorecard and in the event results.
Disc Entrapment Devices:
In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must come to rest supported by the chains or within one of the entrapment sections. This includes a disc wedged into or hanging from the lower entrapment section but excludes a disc resting on top of, or hanging outside of, the upper entrapment section. The disc must also remain within the chains or entrapment sections until removed.
***This is a very basic outline of the PDGA Rules of Play for the game of disc golf. For the entire Rules of Play please go to http://www.pdga.com/rules