In the world of disc golf, many players are unfortunately not even aware of the “etiquette” concept.
I’d guess that many players have had no exposure to ball golf prior to discovering disc golf, and everything about our version of the sport is more casual. Most courses have no pro shops, no marshal, no tee times, and feel much more like what they are: a public park where people can come, go, and do as they please.
However, anyone familiar with ball golf knows that etiquette is a big part of the game. Golf is a self-officiated game, with no referees, umpires or the like to point out when a player has broken a rule or committed an infraction. But “golf etiquette” is specifically concerned with the unwritten rules that have less to do with the scoring part of the game and more to do with respect for the other players in your group and on the course.
According to Merriam-Webster, etiquette is defined as “the
conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by
authority to be observed in social or official life” In the ball-golf
world, this translates to a universally-understood group of social mores that all serious competitive or even learned recreational players observe.
The more laid-back nature of disc golf means that the rules of etiquette for our sport will differ accordingly. However, the reality that it’s still golf — a game that calls for intense focus to play well, mixed precariously with interactions with groups of people both familiar and unfamiliar — requires us act within unspoken but generally agreed-upon mores.
I personally enjoy a disc golf setting that simulates this aspect of ball golf as closely as possible, and if you’re reading this, odds are that you also treat your rounds of disc golf as more than just tossing plastic for a couple hours. If that is the case, please read my non-exhaustive compilation of disc golf etiquette guidelines and let me know what you think. Tell me if you agree or disagree, and if there is anything I overlooked, which I’m sure is the case.