Disc Golf Etiquette

Why I golf at sunrise

I mostly golf at 6:30 a.m.  Why do I mostly golf at 6:30 a.m. you ask?  Douche bags, that’s why.

It really worked when I was an Arizona golfer.  But now I live in Central California, the hub of disc golf on the west coast, and I can’t seem to get away from them.

Disc golf is largely free.  Get yourself a couple discs and you are ready to go.  Used ones sell for a couple bucks in the pro-shop Final 9 in Orangevale, the home of the A-tier St. Patrick’s Open at the Shady Oaks Course.  With unemployment being such an issue, free activities are huge.  It can also be incredibly family friendly and community building.

Instead, disc golfers are usually seen as drug abusers.  Every round I play in California, even at 6:30, has at least one instance of bad behavior, lack of etiquette, or disrespect for the course, fellow golfers, and neighbors.  Courses have been shut down in my community because of bad behavior – the Schweitzer course closed this year.

How does a sport whose structure was taken from ball golf with all its snobbery and etiquette get labeled so poorly?  How did a gentleman’s game get transformed into a sport of stoner’s?  And why does it matter that disc golfers are stoned or drunk?

I’ve never played a round of ball golf where I did not have a drink.  PGA golfer Robert Garrigus recently admitted to using marijuana during tournaments.  But why is it such a big deal with Disc Golf?

Etiquette is why. Etiquette and discretion. 

Golfers openly display their jars of pot on picnic tables a quarter of a mile from a middle school.  Golfers carry 12 packs of bud light in one hand and discs in the other.  They are frequently loud with profanity.  Gangs of local golfers treat outsiders like Flea’s gang of surfers in “Point Break.”

That is why I am starting this blog.  I think there are disc golfers that want to make our sport as respectable as ball golf.  I want communities to invite disc golf courses, not fight against them.  I want parents to feel comfortable with their kids at a disc golf course.  I want to be able to tell my employer that I am in love with disc golf without worrying what he or she might think of me.

The first step to achieving our goal is to open a discussion about etiquette.  Each blog will tackle a different aspect of etiquette in our sport from my experiences in numerous disc golf communities.  I will make strong suggestions and hopefully will receive useful feedback from other interested disc golfers.  I hope to include some book reviews that will assess a ball-golf book’s usefulness to the disc golfer, just so I’m not always such a stick in the mud, though that is what I am good at.

This one was long but, now that we understand each other, I plan to issue concise reviews of situations the daily disc golfer will face.  Next blog will be on “Recreational Drug Use” and please remember:

“Don’t Be The Douche Bag On The Course Today.”


Categories: Disc Golf Etiquette

2 replies »

  1. Well said. I struggle with people I would otherwise consider compatriots ruining recreational games because of their affinity for 12 packs and the like. It’s not cool, and this article explains why better than I could have. Be conscientous- not a douchebag!

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