(These disc golf etiquette rules were inspired by Arnold Palmer’s Rules for Golf Etiquette)
Disc golfers have a way of returning favors. At least “good disc golfers” do. I do not play consistently and most of the time I am barely a B-rated rated player, but I consider myself a good disc golfer because being a good disc golfer means more than having a score well under par at the end of the round. If you are a good disc golfer then you are being responsible to yourself, the game, the disc golf course, and the other players. It could be said you are a virtuous disc golfer.
Here are my disc golf etiquette suggestions for being the virtuous disc golfer.
1. Try to avoid being the slow player. Be honest with yourself – if we are always waiting for you to finish up or forgetting that you haven’t even holed out yet then you are the slowest player. You don’t have to hurry up, just play fast enough to stay fairly close to the group in front of you. When it is your turn to putt then be ready. Don’t stop and then decide which disc to use only to grab the one you always use. Did you lose your disc? 3 minutes is what you get if you have someone waiting for you to hole out. If needed encourage everyone to play ready golf.
2. Don’t lose your cool. Ok, so its obvious you are not going to win the doubles round. Does that mean you suddenly quit playing your best? Do you lose your temper because you missed the 7 foot putt? Are you gonna curse now? Poor baby. If you decide to be an assclown and you make your cardmates wish they were somewhere else then consider taking up a different sport – like yoga – please.
3. Be the tree. In other words don’t distract other players when it is their turn to play. Shut up and stand still while the other player takes a stance and the disc is released. You expect others to do it for you so try to do it for them.
4. Try to look decent. First impressions are everything! One day I am playing disc golf in a tournament (The Sizzler) and wouldn’t you know a newspaper reporter decides to join us on our card. Guess who was wearing shorts with massive holes in them???!!! Dressing like I didn’t give a damn didn’t make me much of a disc golf ambassador. Needless to say I did not make the front page the next day. Today’s sportswear can be comfortable so I should check out Under Armor one of these days.
5. Try not to let me know you have a cell phone. I am just as guilty. Sometimes I forget to turn mine off. And I can count on at least one individual to call me at the worst time – like right in the middle of my partner’s drive. Do whatever it takes to shut your device up. If you have to make a call step away and keep it short. No one should know your cell phone exists.
6. Help out your fellow players. Another trait of the virtuous disc golfer is willingness to help out. Good disc golf etiquette ensures that all players in the group assist in searching for any lost discs. Besides, that is the rule. It is helpful to watch the shot to prevent it from being lost in the first place. Help a lost disc golfer and show them where hole 1 is, or where the restrooms are, or the park office, etc. It also helps to pick up an item or 2 of litter now and again.
7. Return the lost disc. Returning the disc will make sure you get yours back. This is karma at its best. I ALWAYS return discs. Recently I was contacted by a guy on facebook named Ryan Craig. He showed me a picture of my bag which was stolen several years ago. He offered to return my discs and bag – and then didn’t. I guess there are people who think cruel hoaxes are real f@#$%n funny. All I have to say is that you mess with karma then expect karma to mess back. I bet he drinks Bud Light to boot! Speaking of which . . .
8. Stop drinking Bud Light and throwing your cans and bottles on the course. Drinking beer on the course is not necessarily bad disc golf etiquette, but his past weekend I played disc golf on a local executive golf course and sure enough, the litter spotted was Bud Light bottles like the ones available at the bar. Bud Light is full of GMO corn syrup anyway! Maybe if you spend an extra $1.75 on a 12 pack you won’t litter. You see Bud Light cans and bottles on the ground anytime someone chooses to throw crap on the ground. The same can be said of cigarettes. These are the most found items on any disc golf course. Each cigarette butt and beer bottle costs you one stroke on your scorecard! The virtuous disc golfer maintains a good course for the other disc golfers and as I mentioned before, picks up litter on occasion.
9. Stop buying plastic bottles of water. Buying plastic bottles of water and then throwing them away in to the landfill is such a waste. Plastic pollutes when it is manufactured, when it is being used, and when it is disposed of. Plus plastic is full of funky stuff. Buy reusable bottles instead and bring them with you. Let the other disc golfers know you do not do the plastic thing anymore!
Those miscellaneous items. You know what they are. Basically they are anything that can enhance or spread the sport in any way. Showing your respect for the sport and each other is another example of disc golf etiquette. Remember that we are all disc golf ambassadors 24/7. Spread the sport people.
Suffice to say disc golf and disc golfers do repay favors. The virtuous disc golfer knows this. Be the good player by exhibiting good disc golf etiquette and you will be the virtuous player. It is important to respect our culture and abide by our established disc golf etiquette rules. I could be the best player, but if I am a d-bag I am not the virtuous player. I am not the good player.
What do you think?