As incredible as disc golf is, there are still many facets of traditional golf that haven’t made their way into our sport. As you can probably tell, I’m a large advocate of integrating traditional golf techniques when appropriate. There are many similarities between the two, but one that seldom translates over for the common player are many forms of etiquette that make traditional golf so much fun. While it may not be a big deal to some — talking while someone is throwing shouldn’t happen. If it’s a friendly round, by all means have a blast, but if you are playing in tournaments or with serious players, this is the simplest form of etiquette. While there are many forms of etiquette that can be addressed, we are going to look at standing in someone’s line, or being in their line of sight.
Many of the following forms of etiquette that will be discussed aren’t necessarily in the rule book, but are common forms of “gentlemen’s rules” in traditional golf. When on the course, there are many things you don’t do:
- Don’t walk through your playing partner’s line (between their ball/disc and the hole). DEFINITELY don’t step in their line (more applicable to traditional golf).
- Move your shadow if it is in their line. This is an incredible distraction, as it also “moves” with your movement.
- Don’t stand in someone’s line of sight. If they are putting, don’t stand behind them. Don’t stand in the distance where you can be seen when they look at the hole. They shouldn’t have anyone in their line of sight while putting, or hitting/throwing in general.
In disc golf, player’s are obviously less concerned about shadows or player’s walking in their line, as they are throwing a disc through the air and not putting a ball along the ground. That being said, if you ever catch yourself directly in line with the basket and your playing partner while they a throwing/putting; try moving. It may not seem like much, and your buddies may care less, but its proper etiquette as you want to give them the best opportunity to make their putt, as you would like the same done to you.
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love going out with a bunch of friends and laughing it up, but we can also play in tournaments that have little to no communication where the player’s sole focus’ are to birdie every hole. On a traditional golf front, the “gentlemen’s rules” of etiquette like not standing in someone’s line of sight seems to translate down to every skill level — from the beginners that play with their father’s to the elder golfers that play once a week. In disc golf, however, it is seldom seen as the sport has a more casual approach, and caters to a variety of skill and interest levels — as opposed to traditional golf, which is more of an “elite” or niche sport that catches the interest of a completely different demographic.
Maybe bringing some of these simple rules of etiquette won’t apply to many of you, but hopefully it’ll make you think. Next time you are directly in someone’s line of sight while they are putting, scoot out of the way before they putt. I’m sure it may not bother them, as it does few, but it’s a polite thing to do as we urge you to compare the two the next time you play. Putt with someone in the background behind the basket, and then do it again with no one in your range of vision. It’s quite the difference — and not only is it a nice thing to do for you playing partner, but asking someone to move next time may help you sink a few more putts and shave some more strokes off your game.