Chris Clemons Playing Disc Golf

Playing Through in Disc Golf

Haven’t played many rounds and you’re not sure what “playing through” in disc golf means yet? Maybe a group behind you asked to play through and you weren’t exactly sure what to do. Birdie Blog is here to help and make sure your beginner disc golf experience is as fun as possible. 

Disc Golf Etiquette 

What is disc golf etiquette? Its a phrase that denotes the proper way to play a round of disc golf with your group and the groups playing around you. Proper disc golf etiquette ranges anywhere from the pace of play (how fast you and your cardmates are moving from hole to hole), to letting the lowest scoring card member throw first on each subsequent hole and general disc golf course rules. 

Playing a “Slow” Disc Golf Round

Not everyone is throwing 400 feet each shot or running through every hole. Most disc golf players want to enjoy their round out in the park. The point of disc golf in the first place is to have fun and throw discs. So what happens if some of the groups on the course are playing faster than you? 

In many instances, you’ll find it necessary to let a group “play through” if their pace of play is faster than yours. This phrase directly refers to allowing the group behind you to tee off before you and play the rest of the disc golf course before your group. Here are a couple examples of what this might look like on the course:

  • Group A (your group) is finishing up hole seven and Group B is behind, waiting. They are a more advanced group and have shown faster pace of play for a couple holes now. It would be proper disc golf etiquette for Group A to ask them if they would like to play through. 
  • Group A is a card of 5 players and Group B is a card of 2. If Group B has a faster pace of play due to the smaller size of their card, it would be good disc golf etiquette to ask them if they’d like to play through.

It’s Your Turn to Play Through

By sheer statistics, you will eventually have to take your turn and play through on the disc golf course. While for many beginners looking to just have fun on the course, the prospect of throwing in front of another person or group you don’t know is intimidating. In fact, many beginner disc golf players will back away from the opportunity to play through and slow their own pace of play down to avoid such experiences. This is natural and nearly every disc golf beginner has felt this at one point or another. Here are a few things to remember when it’s your turn to “play through” on the disc golf course:

  • Everyone wants to see you succeed. There isn’t a single disc golf player on the course that want you to make a mistake (unless maybe in a tournament.) 
  • Playing through is an opportunity to meet new disc golfers. Slow down and talk to the group for a minute. Ask how their round is going and what disc they’d throw on the particular hole you’re playing. Most disc golfers love talking about disc selection and will be happy to give you pointers or suggestions. 
  • Playing through is a positive thing as it shows your pace of play is good (unless you’re playing through every group on the course.) If you never had to play through a group then you’d maybe have to reconsider your approach to disc golf pace. 

The Most Important Part is to Have Fun

Always remember, there will be more good experiences on the course in your lifetime than there will be bad. When a group offers to let you play through or a group behind you has caught up to you, take it as an opportunity to make new friends or watch a more advanced player throw. Your disc golf pace of play isn’t something to be worried about and more times than not you’ll be playing faster than you think.

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