Disc Golf Etiquette

Drugs and the Disc Golf Course

This, I am sure, will not be the only time I talk about recreational drugs and their use on the disc golf course.  It deserves to be the first thing we talk about because of the impact it has on the image of our sport.

First let’s define what recreational drugs means.  For this conversation, recreational drugs are any substance that an individual could consume on the golf course or by whose consumption could affect the course, players, or environment.  By this definition this list includes cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana but could also include cough syrup.

Keep in mind this is about the image of our sport.  I am not judging anyone’s use of drugs.  I support your right to do anything you want to your body.  It’s not about that.  It’s about respecting your environment and the sport; not damaging your reputation, the reputation of your course or club.

I have certainly had a beer on the golf course and expect I will do so again.  I do my best to follow course rules and if it states that there is no drinking on the course because it is near a school or the community made a request, I refrain from having a drink, etc.

Many courses have such rules and I too often feel they are unnecessary rules, unenforceable rules.  Drugs are part of our lives and our sport, even if it is just others that are doing them.  They are part of every sport.  How many joints are smoked next to the basketball courts of the world?  They are done on every ball golf course in the world.  What is different?  Discretion.  Also greens fees – another blog – but mainly Discretion.

 With discretion, we can all have what we want and the image of the sport does not need to suffer.  You can have a drink or smoke on the course, just be discreet.  Easy ways to practice discretion: use a coozie for your beer, have a mixed drink in an orange juice bottle, have a one-hitter behind a tree, bring edible marijuana.  I am not advising you break the rules; just be discreet; be responsible for yourself and your actions.

Disc golfers too frequently flaunt their drug use, proud to be the outcast.  But if what we want is to be buzzed during a round why do we have to be so obnoxious about doing so?  Where is the line?

The line is really easy to find.  Any activity that tarnishes the public image of our sport or interferes with the enjoyment of our sport by any interested party crosses the line.  Here are some common examples:

Slowing down the group behind you because you insist on packing a bowl right now, is crossing the line.  Consuming any drug on the course while children are present is crossing the line.  Asking the members of your group if they mind if you smoke a joint or drink a beer during a tournament round, as nice as you think you are being, is crossing the line because you have made someone else responsible for your actions; own your actions.

Next blog will be about the etiquette of the “Party Group” and remember:

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



Categories: Disc Golf Etiquette

5 replies »

  1. “I support your right to do anything you want to your body.” – I am going to use this line.

    I appreciate your blog posts. I think recreational drug use is the leading reason why Disc Golf is not a mainstream sport. I am more conservative and would say that eliminating those recreational drugs would be even better for the sport. However, discretion would be a large step forward compared to where we are right now.

  2. I agree that the ultimate goal would be to remove drug use on the golf course entirely. This would not stop someone from having a buzz if they wanted one. Just having a discussion about it is an enormous step forward.

  3. I would have to agree with Mark and jweil101 on this one. Though I agree with the right to do whatever you want, I think the sport needs to completely eliminate drugs. I know it will still happen but to go mainstream we need to follow suit with all other sports. Perhaps when we start getting private courses where this can be more heavily monitored, will we then start to lose the stigmas.

    Though it is a step in the right direction, I just don’t think adding discretion is enough. Great topic and I hope you come back to it in the future.


  4. It seems North America is the problem with this topic in general. We have such a bad name because if it. I mentioned I was headed for a DG course in MI two days ago at the border and the guard flat out asked me if I smoked weed. I was blown away…he even pressed me and asked if I’ll even be allowed to play if I don’t have any weed. This speaks volumes as to how our sport is viewed through other people’s eyes. I do agree with the above statements, but the fact is there is so much damage already done, it needs to be banned altogether, to have any chance of reversing the bad press. Drinking alcohol is leagal and IMO more harmful than weed; but its not legal to drink in public or most parks. the litter that follows from cans, bottles and cigarettes are clear signs to everyone that takes notice. We may not be seen during, but anybody can clearly link these activities to our sport with a quick glance. Not many hold up the rules at tournaments, where we are supposed to be “more professional”. It may be more discrete, but its still present. How will a causal round get corrected? It won’t, IMO and that is where the real problem lies. Flaunting and carelessness will forever keep us down and frowned upon. Ideas? Love to hear some thoughts on a more positive spin in corrective action.

  5. Thanks Chris. The only reason I think a complete ban may be unnecessary is the success that ball golf enjoys. Ball golf has many drinkers and smokers on the course just like we do yet they are not tagged with this stigma. I think it is a larger problem that includes attire, behavior, money, and several other factors combined. I do think the first place to start would be to 100% enforce the rule in all tournaments.

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