Frequently Asked Questions
The PDGA is a not-for-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors, and hundreds – if not thousands – of volunteer hours to create all the programs managed by still more volunteers and 18 PDGA staff members. The PDGA uses the membership fees to:
- Organize and manage 4,000 + competitive events worldwide, and the PDGA supports each event with hard-copy and electronic information;
- Manage player points, statistics, and rating system for 46,000+ active members;
- Produce four full-color glossy publication of DiscGolfer Magazine annually;
- Support the annual PDGA Professional, Amateur, Masters, and Junior World Championships;
- Provide outstanding achievement awards to the PDGA player of the year, the TD of the year, the volunteer of the year, and touring players;
- Produce an online disc golf course directory with over 8,000 entries;
- Keep track of demographics that we supply to journalists, PR promoters, and other interested parties;
- Fund the PDGA Innovation Grant Program to create, to increase, and to promote the awareness of the sport of disc golf and the Professional Disc Golf Association through the support of innovative project ideas, both domestic and internationally;
- Fund the Marco Polo Program, which supports the introduction of disc golf into new countries by providing support and guidance as infrastructure is developed;
- Design and maintain the PDGA website where members can track their personal statistics in sanctioned events and get up-to-date information on tournament results, disc golf related news, event coverage, and important announcements;
- Support development and maintenance of tournament and league organization and registration at DiscGolfScene.com;
- Facilitate live event coverage of premier disc golf tournaments, including video coverage, hole-by-hole scoring, and more;
- Send out hard-copy and e-notices, membership info, ballots, the weekly E-newsletter, and other mass mailings;
- Publish the Official Rules of Disc Golf and manage periodic revisions and updates;
- Manage the Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events, a companion to the rules of play;
- Produce an Information Kit available to PDGA members and non-members alike. The kit contains stats, demographics, testimonials, brochures and is useful for anyone interested in installing a course in their area or promoting the sport in general;
- Print a glossy promo brochure "Get to Know Disc Golf?" – that is available to anyone;
- Organize and subsidize an insurance policy that is available to Tournament Directors for PDGA sanctioned events;
- Develop and maintain rules official certification process;
- Provide Course Marshals at the PDGA Pro, Master, and Amateur World Championships;
- Provide sponsorship to Major, National Tour, and Elite Series which may include the form of a financial contribution, banners, flags, Marshals, and event registration/management assistance;
- Host monthly teleconferences and two annual PDGA Board of Directors Summit;
- Test and approve discs and baskets for sanctioned play;
- Examine other important aspects of disc golf from the environment to sustainability;
- Provide new members with a "welcome" membership package;
- Gratefully acknowledge 10 and 20-year PDGA members with an exclusive bag tag;
- Continue to fund initiatives that work towards broadcasting disc golf via traditional television;
- Open the International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia in April of 2007, providing offices for the PDGA staff, the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, and The Ed Headrick Museum. This facility has three championship courses open to all disc golfers;
- Create and enforce standards for PDGA sanctioned events;
All these PDGA activities and programs build credibility for disc golf and contribute to the formalization and growth of the sport. In short, as a PDGA member, you enjoy all the direct benefits of membership as listed above while also supporting and promoting the development of disc golf. The PDGA supports disc golf around the world and allows multiple opportunities for PDGA members to be active and engaged community members that help with the continuous growth of the sport of disc golf. Impact your local and international disc golf community by joining the Professional Association for all disc golfers.
- Make sure you've downloaded the most recent version of UDisc on your preferred operating system.
- Open UDisc and tap the “Profile” tab. If you're new to the app, you'll need to create a free UDisc account.
- Enter your PDGA number.
- Check the email address you use for your PDGA membership and click the link to confirm you’ve linked the accounts.
Processing, shipping, and delivering your PDGA membership package may take up to 4-6 weeks. We ship using Business First Class which generally takes 3-10 days once shipped depending on your shipping address. Thank you for your patience.
The Birdie, Ace and Eagle Clubs are premium membership upgrades that enable the PDGA to continue to strengthen our programs, grants, and activities globally including:
- Innovation Grants
- Competition Endowment Program
- Marco Polo Grant Program – an International Initiative
- Player and Course Rating Systems
- Marketing of the PDGA National Tour and PDGA Majors
- Support for the PDGA Website and Media Initiatives
- Upkeep of our sport's permanent home, the International Disc Golf Center
Birdie Club members receive a Birdie Club logo disc and Birdie Club Bag Tag. Ace Club members receive an Ace Club logo disc, Ace Club logo shirt or Ace Club metal mini and an Ace Club Bag Tag. Eagle Club members receive a lifetime membership, two personalized Eagle Club logo discs, and an Eagle Club softshell jacket. All members of these clubs are listed on our website and in DiscGolfer Magazine, the official publication of the PDGA.
Absolutely! The PDGA is the Professional Association for ALL disc golfers.
Yes, a family discount is available. The family discount applies when two or more PDGA memberships share the same address. The second and, or any additional family members that sign up with the PDGA with the same address will receive a five dollar discount on their PDGA membership. The PDGA family membership discount will only send a single subscription of the quarterly publication of DiscGolfer Magazine to the address on file.
Currently, we do not offer prorated memberships. If you feel you are going to compete in several PDGA sanctioned events before October 1st, then it will be worth it to go ahead and join. When you join the PDGA, any required non-member fees at PDGA sanctioned events are waived. However, if you will not be competing much before then, join after October 1st and your membership will be extended through the following year.
You will receive four issues of The DiscGolfer Magazine. If you join or renew your PDGA membership after the publications release date, then back issues will be included in your welcome/renewal package. Any issues with receiving The DiscGolfer Magazine, please contact the Memberships Manager.
Although some Tournament Directors offer to accept memberships at an event, it can sometimes lead to a lengthy process. Your registration information will arrive with the tournament report, and that report may not be due until 30 days later, depending on the tier level of the event. Your best bet, for a faster turnaround, is to process your membership online for the quickest processing.
If your membership package has not arrived within 6 weeks of being processed, please contact the Memberships Manager with your order number, your PDGA number, and your current mailing address. Once your address is confirmed, we will have the PDGA Fulfillment Office resend your membership package.
The new PDGA Policy on Eligibility for Gender Protected Divisions was proposed by the PDGA Medical Committee and was approved by the PDGA Board of Directors on March 12, 2019. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) established a new policy from the Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism in November 2015, and the new PDGA policy is in alignment with the latest IOC standard.
PDGA memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable. PDGA membership benefits and services are available to you immediately upon completing the registration process.
Starting in April of 2019, each month's ratings update will occur on the second Tuesday of the month with the submission deadline being the Thursday prior.
|Report Submission Deadline||Ratings Publication Date|
|January 8, 2019||January 29, 2019|
|February 5, 2019||February 26, 2019|
|February 26, 2019||March 19, 2019|
|April 4, 2019||April 9, 2019|
|May 9, 2019||May 14, 2019|
|June 6, 2019||June 11, 2019|
|July 4, 2019||July 9, 2019|
|August 8, 2019||August 13, 2019|
|September 5, 2019||September 10, 2019|
|October 3, 2019||October 8, 2019|
|November 7, 2019||November 12, 2019|
|December 5, 2019||December 10, 2019|
|January 9, 2020||January 14, 2020|
|February 6, 2020||February 11, 2020|
Your PDGA Player Rating (PR) is a number that shows how well you have played in PDGA competitions in the past year in comparison to the Scratch Scoring Average (SSA) of the course layouts you played. Players who average the course layout SSA will have a rating of 1000. Top pro players who average scores lower than SSA have ratings over 1000 ranging up to 1050. PDGA amateur men average around 900 rating and women around 825. Each additional throw in your score will reduce your rating from 7 to 13 rating points depending on the SSA of the course.
Players who enter a PDGA event in a division tracked by the PDGA will automatically get their results entered into the ratings system. A new member will receive a Preliminary Rating as soon as they play an event when the TD posts Unofficial Results.
Your first rating can be calculated after just one valid round of tournament play. It will be posted on the PDGA website the next time the ratings are updated.
Your current PDGA player rating and stats can be found on your PDGA Player Profile. You can search for player profiles by selecting Player Search from within the Membership menu. If you know your PDGA number, you can simply add it to the end of the following URL: www.pdga.com/player/[PDGA#]. For example, to look up Ken Climo's player profile, you can go to www.pdga.com/player/4297.
All amateurs with the exception of aged based divisions, like Juniors or Masters and older, compete in divisions based on rating levels. You may not play in a lower division if your rating is above a certain number. The ratings breaks for each division is shown on page 5 of the PDGA Tour Standards. In addition, there are ratings events where everyone – Ams and Pros – play in a division based on their rating.
If you have pre-registered, the TD may allow you to remain in that division as long as the event is within two weeks of the ratings posting date. If you did not pre-register before the new ratings were posted, then you are expected to play in the division (or higher) where your new rating now resides.
Tournament Directors may upload tournament scores using the PDGA Tournament Manager web app. Preliminary unofficial ratings will be calculated for each round (click on the Show Ratings link). The results of the event at this stage are considered "Unofficial Results". When the PDGA receives the official tournament report from the tournament director, course layout assignments are verified, points are calculated, and scores are certified as official.
If you don’t see any scores or unofficial ratings during or just after the event, it’s because the Tournament Director has not uploaded the scores.
Your rating is only updated when Tournament Directors have submitted the reports for events you played in to the PDGA office by the deadline three weeks before each update is posted. If you haven't played in any new events or in those that have been reported to the PDGA, your update date and rating continue to stay frozen at the same values.
Either an event you played quite a while ago just got reported for this update or it’s possible an older event you entered needed to be corrected when a scoring or course layout assignment mistake was reported or discovered.
If you are looking at Unofficial Results or ratings, contact the TD about making corrections. The PDGA office cannot help you since they do not have the tournament report from the TD yet. If you are looking at Official Results and see a problem, send email to [email protected] and include a link to the event.
Propagators are players with a rating above 699 and based on at least 8 rated rounds. Their scores each round are used to determine the course rating (SSA) and subsequent unofficial ratings for each player that round. It takes at least two propagators (also known as props or gators) playing a specific course layout for the online software to calculate unofficial ratings for a round. Propagators are shown on the tournament pages with their rating in bold type.
The unofficial ratings for each round are calculated from only the scores the propagators threw that round. Their scores will naturally vary from round to round even when it looks like the weather conditions are similar either on the same day or even the next week with a completely different set of propagators. The typical variance in a round rating for the same score under similar conditions can range up to 25 rating points (about 5%).
Yes, it can sometimes be true by a few percentage points. However, here's the catch. It's not because these top players have higher ratings. A couple factors are in play. There can be additional tournament pressure in higher tier events especially when local players are grouped with traveling pros.
Yes. The weather and tournament pressure are automatically taken into account resulting from the typically higher scores propagators shoot in tougher conditions. These higher scores thrown by propagators will produce higher ratings for the same score on the same course layout compared with rounds played in milder conditions and recreational play.
Sometimes. Once the tournament scores and report are submitted to the PDGA, a preliminary SSA is calculated for each round. Then, the software compares these preliminary SSAs. If these two SSAs are statistically far enough apart, each round will get separate official ratings because the software identified a statistical difference in playing conditions between rounds. However, in most events these preliminary SSAs are close enough that they will be combined to produce a single official SSA so everyone gets the same rating for the same score in both rounds.
Sometimes. The official ratings (not unofficial) can end up different for the same score thrown early versus later in the day when weather changes significantly. This special process to calculate ratings by time segments over the day is done when the TD or another official notifies the PDGA that certain rounds had significant weather differences, especially wind. The ratings team will either break up the scoring data for those rounds by time segments within a single large division (more than 80 players) or by grouping smaller division(s) who played near the same time of day.
This is true in some cases. The roughly 2%-7% difference (1-3 throws) seems to be due to a little more pressure on players when playing tournaments versus leagues. Presuming the weather conditions are similar, it appears to be the most likely factor to account for the difference. The good news is that this effect doesn't help or hurt the ratings of players overall. No matter how difficult or easy a course plays, the average player rating of the propagators before the round is about equal to the average of the ratings they receive in each round. Check it out and see.
If you do not complete a round due to sickness, injury or other emergency, you will receive a score of 999 indicating you Did Not Finish (DNF) that round. You will not get a rating for that round but will receive ratings for any other rounds you completed before and sometimes after that round (if TD allows). You or someone in your group must inform the TD that you did not complete the round and why. If you complete the round even though sick or injured, you will receive a rating for the round. So keep that in mind when deciding whether to complete the round.
This is considered a Did Not Finish (DNF) with a penalty. You will receive a score of 888 for the round which triggers a penalty lowering your overall rating up to 5 rating points for a 6 month period. If your current rating is within 5 points of dropping into a lower division, your rating will only be dropped enough to keep you in your current division.
When reported by the group to the TD, the offending player will receive an 888 DNF for trying to manipulate his rating. The 888 triggers a penalty lowering the player's overall rating up to 5 rating points for a 6 month period. If their current rating is within 5 points of dropping into a lower division, their rating will only be dropped enough to keep them in their current division.
All rated rounds you have played and have been reported to the PDGA within 12 months of your most recently rated round will be Included in your rating calculation. However, if any one of those ratings is either more than 100 points below your average rating or more than 2.5 standard deviations below your rating – whichever number is smaller – that round will not be included in your current rating update and indicated with a No.
At least 13 holes must be played by the field to produce an official round rating. For courses with less than 13 holes, scores from two rounds can be combined to produce an official round rating. Official ratings can be produced for rounds up to 36 holes long. The number of holes in each round is weighted to determine a player's PDGA rating.
Every throw equals about 10 rating points on a typical 18-hole course from the long tees. If your scores average 10 throws over SSA, your rating will be 100 points lower than 1000 which would be 900. So a player with rating of 950, who is about 5 throws better than a player with a 900 rating, should probably spot the 900 rated player about 4 to 5 throws if they are trying to level the playing field for the round.
In theory, yes, but it has a very low probability of happening. We know that a propagator will throw more than three shots better than their rating about 1 in 6 rounds. We calculate ratings based on at least 2 propagators. And normally, we have more than 20 in most events. But let's say we just have 5. The odds that all 5 propagators will shoot more than 3 shots better than their rating in a round is 1 in 7776 rounds (1/6 to the 5th power).
Dealing with ‘sandbagging’ – players entering a division below their skill level – used to be a challenge. Since 2002, PDGA Player Ratings have been used to group amateur players in competition divisions to prevent players from entering divisions below their rating. In addition, ratings provide one element for ranking the world's top players on the PDGA Tour. Course ratings pave the way for statistical comparisons of courses around the world with the potential to help improve their designs and levels of challenge.
How would you calculate a fixed rating for a course layout simply by taking measurements, looking at foliage, fairway widths and accounting for hazards? It’s also common for TDs to add temp holes, change tee or pin positions, or use new permanent or temporary courses such that no course rating would be on file to use for that layout. Then, imagine trying to calculate and keep track of those layout ratings on courses with dual tees and 2 or more pin placements per hole that can produce thousands of configurations.
All rated rounds you have played and have been reported to the PDGA within 12 months of your most recently rated round will be included in the calculation. However, if any one of those ratings is either more than 100 points below your average rating or more than 2.5 standard deviations below your rating – whichever number is smaller – that round will not be included. That works out to about 1 in 50 rounds getting dropped. Rounds where you DNF (Do Not Finish) are never counted in your rating.
Yes. The violation with the most severe penalty is applied. Ties are broken by what happened first. A single throw cannot be penalized for more than one violation
The meaning of “first” in the rule is the common understanding of when the disc first enters a state where it is in violation of a rule. One common pair of rules that can be violated during a single throw are OB and Mandatory. In that case, you would compare when the disc last crossed into OB with when it crossed the mandatory line, and play whichever happened first.
Yes. The affected player may then choose to play provisional throws.
Benefit of the doubt only comes into play as a tiebreaker when the group cannot make a decision, for example if two players see the disc as safe and two see it as OB. If a majority of your group thinks it’s OB, then it’s OB.
Maybe. It’s up to the TD. You may be penalized for the OB because that is the correct ruling for that throw. However, you should not be penalized for having played from an incorrect lie (misplay), as you played according to your group’s ruling. If there is doubt about whether a ruling is correct, you should consider playing a provisional.
If you are playing an event where it is announced that PDGA rules apply, then the PDGA Rules of Disc Golf apply, whether the event is sanctioned by the PDGA or not. The Competition Manual only applies to PDGA events. If no announcement has been made regarding the rules, you can play by whatever rules your group or the event participants agree on, including the PDGA rules.
All PDGA-sanctioned tournaments have a Tournament Director. For non-sanctioned events or casual play, if anyone has authority over the players, they can take on the responsibilities of the Director. If no one wants to be the Director, then you will have to play without some of the functions of the Director. For example, there may not be any appeals of group rulings. Some Director functions may be available in other ways.
No. To make calls during tournament play, you must have been authorized by the Director as a Tournament Official. Passing the test does not make you a Tournament Official (referred to throughout the rules as an Official). Additionally, Officials have restrictions on making calls depending on whether they are playing or not. An Official (including the TD) who is playing cannot act as the sole Official for calls that affect players in their division. A non-playing Official can be the sole person to make a call where rules indicate an Official may make the call.
Penalty throws for: out-of-bounds, hazard, missed mandatory, above two meters, stance, marking, taking improper relief, or lost disc. All other penalties and warnings apply.
PDGA policy is that video evidence can only be used to document player misconduct as defined under section 3.03 of the Competition Manual. Evidence of player misconduct may be evaluated at any time by the PDGA Disciplinary Committee. No other use of video or other media is allowed for the purpose of making rulings during tournament play.
No. A throw begins when the disc is moving forward in the intended direction. A disc dropped or knocked out before or during a backswing does not count as a throw.
There are no restrictions on how you throw the disc. You may throw backhand, sidearm, overhand, thumber, or any other way that occurs to you. You can throw it with your foot if you want.
No. The player who is next after the absent player can throw after having waited 30 seconds. If the missing player hasn’t shown up by then, they get par plus four for the hole (essentially, that player is late for that hole, similar to being late for their starting hole).
Directors may use any of several methods to define the teeing areas and drop zones. A single course may use more than one type of tee. When in doubt, ask the Director. Here are some common ways of designating teeing areas:
No. The rule states that all supporting points must be within the teeing area at the time of release. “Supporting point” refers to any point on the player that is in contact with the playing surface (in this case the tee pad), rather than to a complete body part such as a foot. The part of the foot that is hanging off the end is not a supporting point because it is not in contact with the playing surface, so no violation has occurred.
A bridge is an example where one playing surface is vertically stacked above another playing surface. Each playing surface is treated independently. The bridge is in-bounds unless the TD has declared it to be OB, regardless of whether a playing surface above or below it is OB. If the two-meter rule is in use, it does not apply because your disc is on, not above, the playing surface. You mark your lie on the bridge, and there is no penalty.
That is a marking violation since an improper method was used to mark the lie. A player’s first marking violation results in a warning.
No. Once you’ve picked up the thrown disc you cannot use it as a marker.
If there is room to mark your disc directly below it, that is what you do. If not, you mark at the first available spot back along the line of play.
Yes. The phrase “part of the player’s body” should be interpreted to include not only clothing but also mobility devices such as canes or crutches (as long as they are providing support).
Holding on to something behind your lie for support is not prohibited by the rules, provided that the object is in-bounds. It also must not be moved, since you are required to take the stance that results in the least possible movement of obstacles on the course. You are not allowed to hold onto another person for support, as that person is not part of the course.
Yes. Inside the culvert is not a playing surface, but the hillside above it is. If the TD has not provided guidance on how to handle discs entering these culverts, then players can mark on the hillside directly above their disc with no penalty.
Yes, that is allowed. Your stance was legal when you released the disc, and you did not go past your lie (closer to the hole) after releasing.
In general, no. Picnic tables, along with any other park or course equipment, are obstacles on the course. They are to be treated as any other obstacles, for example a bush or a tree. How you play your next throw depends on the picnic table. If there is room for you to take a stance under it, even by sticking your leg underneath, that’s what you do. If your disc is on top of the picnic table and there is room underneath, it is a lie above ground and you mark directly below it and play from there.
Yes, if you are able. There is no limit on the size of a casual obstacle as long as it meets the definition. You can move it as long as that’s practicable and you throw within the 30 seconds allowed by the Excessive Time rule.
Yes. If part of the branch is in your stance or run-up behind your marker, you’re allowed to move it, even if another part is between your lie and the hole.
No. Since it is not on or behind your lie (your lie is on the playing surface), it has the same status as a healthy, connected branch. You will have to play around it.
No, unless the Director has declared casual relief for them. Those plants affect players differently, and very rarely pose a serious health risk. If your disc goes into some plants and you don’t want to play from there, you can take optional relief, or abandon the throw, at the cost of a penalty throw.
The Director may declare an area to be OB or a Relief Area, in which case you mark your lie according to the relevant rule. If no special handling of the area has been announced by the Director, and you are prohibited from entering it, then it is a Relief Area, and you play according to the applicable rule. Note that you can take optional relief, or abandon the throw, at the cost of a penalty throw.
If the problem with the tee is a casual obstacle that cannot be easily removed (such as standing water), you can take casual relief behind the tee. No relief is provided for other adverse tee conditions, though you can place a towel down to provide traction if the tee is slippery. If the tee is poorly marked, locate an Official or a local player in another group if possible to help identify the tee area boundaries.
Only if at least some of it is on the ground on or behind your lie, in which case it is debris and can be removed as a casual obstacle. If it’s only in your flight path or it doesn’t touch the ground, it cannot be moved.
Greater relief could be a drop zone, a re-throw, or the ability to move the lie. Relief (moving the lie without penalty) is granted for situations that are out of the ordinary, so the Director has a lot of leeway to deal with exceptional situations.
Yes. The mandatory line only extends to the incorrect side of the mando. There is no line on the correct side of the mando, so coming back around on that side does not change the status of the throw. You have crossed the line and have not come back across it, so you have missed the mando. Note: If your disc crossed that line and then came back across the line, you have not missed the mando. One way to think about mandos is to imagine the path of the disc as a string. Pull that string taut, then see which side of the mando it passes to.
You go back to your previous lie.
It’s not an easy call, because the mandatory is poorly defined. Your group will first need to decide what the mandatory object is, i.e. whether one of the two upper trunks is a continuation of the lower one. Once that has been determined, your group will have to decide on which side of that object your disc passed.
The rules that apply to a disc above the playing surface also apply to a disc below the playing surface. If you can locate your disc in the crevice and no reasonable stance can be taken there, you can mark your lie directly above it on the playing surface without penalty. If the point directly above the disc is in the air or within a solid object, mark your lie at the first available spot back along the line of play.
By default, the two-meter rule is not in effect. The TD may choose to put it into play for as much of the tournament as they choose, including for particular obstacles. If that happens, it will be covered in the players’ meeting and/or the caddy book.
That is still subject to the two-meter rule, as it is not a target. The only exception is the target for the hole being played, so if you somehow manage to get your disc stuck above two meters on a target for another hole, it is subject to the two-meter rule.
Since an Official has ruled, the two-meter penalty is applied, and the lie is placed directly below where your disc had stuck, as can best be determined by the Official and your group.
If your group agrees that there is compelling evidence that the disc went into the OB lake, then you assume that that is what happened, and play it as OB. If there is uncertainty about whether it went in the lake, then you play it as lost.
It remains a lost disc, and you continue back to your previous lie.
No. Your other foot can be as close to the target as the back of your marker. So, your other foot does not have to be directly to the side of the foot behind the marker. In fact, the foot behind your marker can be as much as 30cm back (the length of the lie) and/or 10cm to the side (half of the lie’s 20cm width), which means that your other foot can actually be closer to the target. It just can’t be closer than the back of your marker. Also remember that the shape that marks the same distance to the target as the back of your marker is a circle whose center is the target.
Yes, as long as you make your next throw within the 30 seconds allowed by the Excessive Time rule.
Yes. Going back to the previous lie is one of the OB options. Alternatively, you could declare an abandoned throw with the same result. You can also take optional relief back along the line of play (without it costing you an additional penalty throw) because you would be taking optional relief following a penalty for out-of-bounds. That is probably your best option.
No. The fence defines an OB plane which flexes as the fence flexes. Unless the disc has penetrated and remained lodged within the fence, the fence is considered to be a continuous impenetrable surface. Your disc was not in-bounds at any point when it struck the fence.
Yes. Optional relief is available for free (without adding a penalty throw) after a throw that results in a penalty throw and that requires placement of a lie (such as OB or above two meters).
No. Note that the interference and position rules are written in terms of a disc being moved rather than merely touched. The other player did not change the location of your disc. In fact, a disc must sometimes be manipulated in order to determine its status or whose it is. If you move your possibly OB disc, it is automatically OB. But there is no corresponding rule that makes it in-bounds if someone else moves it. If that happens, you restore your disc to its approximate position as agreed upon by your group.
A player’s first stance violation results in a penalty throw. In this case, there were multiple violations. Normally, the first violation to occur is the one that counts. In this case, that’s the foot fault (though it doesn’t really matter as it’s one penalty throw either way). There’s no re-throw, so the disc is played as OB. Since a player cannot receive penalty throws for multiple violations on a single throw, there’s just one penalty throw.
It’s when the entire disc crossed the line. To be super-technical, since the disc is a circle, there will be a single point of last contact with the inner edge of the OB line. That is the point you use for marking.
If you choose not to take casual relief back along the line of play, then you must take your stance as you would anywhere else on the course. The only time you are allowed to move obstacles is to move casual obstacles out of your lie. If you do not want to play the lie as is, or take casual relief, you can take optional relief, or abandon the throw, at the cost of a penalty throw.
No. “Casual water” as listed in the rules is water as it’s commonly understood, in its liquid form. The rules do not grant casual relief from snow, ice, or even steam should you encounter it. Note that the Director can announce that ice or snow are casual obstacles, in which case they may be moved if they are on or behind your lie.
If your group agrees that there is compelling evidence that the disc is in the puddle, then you assume it is in fact in the puddle, and take casual relief without penalty. Your group will need to agree on an approximate location so that you can take your relief back along the line of play. If your group is not confident that the disc is in the puddle, it is played as a lost disc.
You can place it in the tray, but you must release it and let it come to rest before retrieving it. A release is a required part of a throw, so merely touching the chains or the tray with your putter is not a throw and does not complete the hole.
You have not completed the hole . Mark your lie below the disc and continue.
Yes, the disc is supported by the target and some part of the disc entered the target by going above the top of the tray and below the bottom of the chain support. One way to think of entering the target correctly is to picture a cylindrical plane going from the top of the tray to the bottom of the chain support. If the disc breaks that plane, it has entered the target correctly. In this case, the part of the disc that is still hovering over the tray has done that.
A few scenarios for how discs could end up supported by the basket are pictured below:
- The orange disc spanning the nubs is good, whether it got stuck there on its way in or on its way out after having hit chains. Part of the disc is over the top of the tray so it has entered the target correctly.
- The red disc dangling on a single nub is good. Some small part of the disc is over the top of the tray, so it has entered the target correctly.
- The white disc is good. The only way it would not be good is if it fell through the top, which does not appear possible for this target.
- The red disc suspended in the chains is good. It must have gotten there by entering the target correctly.
- The yellow disc is good. The bottom of the disc breaks the cylindrical plane between the top of the tray and the bottom of the chain support, so it has entered the target correctly.
- The soft red disc wedged in the tray is almost certainly not good, as by far the most likely way for it to get there is by flying into the side of the tray from the outside. If it somehow entered the target over the top of the tray and bounced back out before getting stuck in the side (extremely unlikely), then it is good.
Yes. A throw that is observed by the group or an Official to enter the target by wedging through the tray or by dropping through the top of the chain support is not considered good, even if it comes to rest in the basket or chains, because it has not entered the target correctly (above the rim of the tray and below the top chain support). If no one sees the throw on a blind hole or when the target is too far away, the group must make a decision.
It’s hard to say. Your group will have to make a judgment call. To demonstrate “full control of balance” the player must perform some action that breaks up the flow of movement toward the target after release, before proceeding toward the target. Some examples of actions that demonstrate balance might be: (1) a clear pause and display of balance, (2) placement of the back foot on the ground behind the mark, or (3) retrieval of the marker disc. The key to all of those is to show balance and control of your body behind the mark before moving forward.
No. Once your disc came to rest supported by the basket, you completed the hole. You can pick up your disc and go to the next hole.
Probably not. It’s a group decision. There’s a very high probability that the disc wedged itself into the tray from the outside. A disc must enter the target correctly in order to complete the hole. The odds that it entered above the tray and then wedged in the tray on its way out are extremely low. However, if your group cannot reach a majority decision, the benefit of the doubt goes to the thrower and the ace counts.
Yes. Scorecards submitted without a score marked for a hole are incorrect and will have two penalty throws added to the correct total score.
Abandoning a throw means that (except for being added to the score) the throw never happened. The original throw plus one penalty throw are counted in your score. When you abandon a throw, the resulting lie is disregarded and any penalties incurred by that throw are disregarded as well.
You will be throwing 3 after declaring that you are abandoning your drive. You count your original throw and add one penalty throw for abandoning that throw. Penalties incurred by an abandoned throw are not counted.
A provisional throw is used when a player disagrees with the group’s ruling and no Official is available, or when it might save time in case of a possible lost or OB disc, or missed mandatory. Provisional throws allow play to continue by deferring the ruling until the status of the disc in question can be determined, or an Official is available to settle the matter. In the case where a ruling is disputed or uncertain, a player may have to play out from both the original and the provisional throws, essentially completing two legs.
No. A throw of less than five meters (in the air) to return a disc is not a practice throw.
Yes. It traveled more than five meters in the air, so it was a practice throw, regardless of the purpose of the throw.
Yes. The throw was not made as a competitive throw, nor was it made to set aside an unused disc or to return a disc to a player. That makes it a practice throw.
The disc is played relative to where it first came to rest. Since that was clearly above two meters, you are subject to a penalty throw just as if the disc had stayed in the tree. As for the player whose throw knocked your disc down, the interference rule does not apply when the interference is caused by a competitively thrown disc.
If the hole was played in place of a hole that is part of the course, then a two-throw penalty is added to each of the scores for that hole. If the hole was played in addition to the holes that make up the course, a two-throw penalty is added to each player’s total score (the scores for the extra hole are disregarded).
That’s a misplay because the wrong lie was used. A foot fault, or stance violation, presumes that the correct lie is being used but that the player missed it when throwing.
Your second throw was a misplay because you made it from an incorrect lie. It should have been made from the drop zone (or from the tee if there is no drop zone). Since you caught your mistake after a single misplayed throw, you don’t count or play that misplayed throw. Instead, you get one penalty throw for the misplay. Your next throw is from the correct lie for the missed mandatory. The penalty for missing the mandatory still applies since it was made before the throw that was a misplay.
The penalty is two throws, as stated in rule 811.C. An additional throw is added (based on 811.F.3) to represent the final throw on the hole that was not completed. The score for that hole is the number of throws that were made, plus two throws for the penalty, plus one more for completing the hole.
Yes. That is a type of misplay known as Missed Hole Due to Late Arrival or Absence. You get par plus four on the hole.
For each player, it depends on how many throws were made. If only one throw was made, there is a one-throw penalty. If two or more throws were made, the player finishes the hole and takes a two-throw penalty. If at least one player has made two throws, the group continues play. Otherwise, the group picks up and goes to the correct hole.
No. A player is absent if their group does not have any indication that the player will show up. That’s not the case here, so the player gets a warning for Excessive Time. However, if the player is taking an inordinate time away from the group (say, more than a few minutes), they can be considered absent.
Not so much. Intentionally misplaying a hole to your advantage can get you DQ’ed. The rules about starting on the wrong hole or in the wrong group are intended to address inadvertent mistakes. Deliberately starting in the wrong group to avoid a greater penalty puts you at risk of a greater penalty, including DQ. In this case, the TD could reasonably assess both penalties: par plus four on your first hole (for being late), and two penalty throws for starting on the wrong hole.
Maybe. Though being a jerk isn’t explicitly listed as a courtesy violation, any action that is “distracting or unsportsmanlike” can be penalized. You and your group will need to decide if the player’s behavior is bad enough to call. Short of that, it is something you, your group, and/or other players will have to work out with them. If the behavior is bad enough, or there’s a pattern of it for that player, you can notify the TD and/or the PDGA Disciplinary Committee.
Yes, but you must still throw within the 30 seconds allowed by the Excessive Time rule.
Yes. They are legal for PDGA play as long as they also meet the overall restrictions (weight, rim sharpness, flexibility, etc) as outlined by the PDGA Technical Standards document. Players always have the right to question the legality of a disc used in competition. In such cases the TD will make the final call.
Yes. You are allowed to add discs to your bag after the round has started. Make sure the errand does not distract other players and that you don’t violate the Excessive Time rule. The best time to do that is between holes
Yes. The use of grip aids is acceptable since nothing in the rules specifically prohibits their use. You may need to clean the disc periodically to prevent grip material from building up and adding thickness or weight to the disc.
Yes. Gloves are specifically allowed by rule 813.02.A as a device that controls abrasion.
Yes. You may place a towel or a small pad which is less than 1cm thick when compressed on the lie, including within a drop zone or teeing area.
No. Once your opponent concedes a putt, you have completed the hole. A putt thrown after that is an extra throw. The first extra throw incurs a warning; subsequent ones incur penalty throws.
No. Team members must use a single marking method to mark the lie, and mark the lie only once.
A woman may play in any division as long as she meets the qualification criteria for that division. There are no divisions that are restricted to males only.
If a group mistakenly starts play early and then hears the official start signal, they return to the tee and start over. None of those throws count as practice throws even if made after the two-minute warning. If the group actually started early but never heard the official start signal, their scores stand as thrown with no penalties.
Once the Touring Pros for a given year are calculated they are sent an email with information on how to take the Official's Exam free of charge. If you didn't receive this email please contact the PDGA Office.
You may take the exam an unlimited number of times until an acceptable score of 80% is achieved.
The PDGA Rules Official certification is good for three years, unless otherwise noted by the PDGA Board of Directors due to a major rules revision.
Tournament Directors of PDGA Sanctioned events are required to be a Certified Official. Starting in 2011 passing the Official's Exam is now required for all amateurs and professional competitors playing in a National Tour Elite Series or PDGA Major event.
A glow stick or LED light may be attached/taped to any PDGA Approved disc for use in sanctioned events where play occurs after sunset in that time zone.
In addition, these lights, ribbons, or chalk dust may be used with PDGA Approved discs for use during sanctioned play in daylight, specifically when there is sufficient snow cover on the course where the lights, ribbons, or chalk might make discs easier to locate. Non-PDGA Approved discs such as those with built-in LED lights cannot be used at any time during sanctioned play.
On the top menu bar click on "Events". There will be a drop-down option stating "Tournament Directors"; click on this and look on the far right-hand column to find "TD Payment". QUICK LINK: http://www.pdga.com/tdpayment
Under the top menu bar you will see "EVENTS". There will be a drop down menu; click on "Tournament Directors". The forms will be listed in the column on the right-hand side of the page listed as "Documents and Resources". QUICK LINK: http://www.pdga.com/tdinfo/resources
Yes and No. You may still compete in amateur divisions at A, B, and C Tier events if your player rating falls within the PROS PLAYING AM guidelines here: https://www.pdga.com/pdga-documents/tour-documents/divisions-ratings-and-points-factors. However, you are now classified as a Professional with the PDGA and are ineligible to compete in Amateur Majors such as the US Amateur Disc Golf Championship and Am Worlds.
Please contact the PDGA Memberships Manager with your request for reclassification. Pro class players may reclassify to Amateur class provided they meet the following criteria:
- The player has not accepted cash while competing in a Professional division within the past year.
- The player has not previously been reclassified from Pro to Amateur within the past five years.
- The player's rating is...
- less than 970 for males under 40 years of age throughout the calendar year
- less than 935 for males of ages 40-49 throughout the calendar year
- less than 900 for males of ages 50-59 throughout the calendar year
- less than 850 for males of ages 60-69 throughout the calendar year
- less than 800 for males of age 70 or older throughout the calendar year
- less than 875 for females under 40 years of age throughout the calendar year
- less than 825 for females of ages 40-49 throughout the calendar year
- less than 775 for females of ages 50-59 throughout the calendar year
- less than 725 for females of ages 60-69 throughout the calendar year
- less than 700 for females of age 70 or older throughout the calendar year
A player whose player rating does not meet criterion #3 above may request a medical exemption reclassification from the PDGA Tour Manager, but only due to a permanent injury or condition that will prevent them from ever playing at their former level. The player must submit a request in writing with detailed reasons and supporting documentation from a medical professional. Such requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the player’s round ratings must clearly display that they are playing below the requirement in criterion #3 before such a medical exemption will be considered. A medical exemption will NOT be considered for temporary injuries or conditions.
If you login to PDGA.com (not Tournament Manager) and go to your event page from the tour schedule, you should see an "Edit" tab. That tab allows you to view/edit your Tournament Manager event password as well as edit your event name (should you add a title sponsor, etc.). If you are unable to login to PDGA.com, you can send an email to [email protected] and we will resend your confirmation email that includes your Tournament Manager password.
If you have carefully checked the list (some courses are listed under a park name as opposed to the locally-used course name) and the course is not listed, it is not an existing entry within the PDGA Course Directory. Please see instructions for adding a course at https://www.pdga.com/help/course-directory to add the course to the PDGA Course Directory.
You may use the <Temporary Course> item instead, but should explore having the course added to the PDGA Course Directory for future use.
You may only deduct player pack cost/value from Amateur divisions as the total Amateur purse is made up of both player packs value and the value of prizes awarded based on place of finish. The Pro purse is ONLY comprised of the cash awarded based on place of finish. If you wish to provide a player pack to Pros you may do so, but you need to pay for it in a way other than removing that value from the Pro cash purse.
Within Tournament Manager, click on the "Setup" menu item and then under the "Hole Scoring" section insert a different code for your live scorers and click the "Update Access Code" button. Using that code, your scorers will then only have access to live scoring.
Right, you only want to use a 999 or 888 code for a player that didn't complete (or start) a round that they were scheduled to play. In this case, simply leave the scores blank for the rounds those divisions did not play.
- Career wins consist of individual wins in any Amateur or Pro division. Doubles and PDGA League wins are not included in this total.
- Career earnings are only displayed for players who are classified as Professional. This includes any Pro who has been reclassified as an Am.
If you know of a course that is not listed in the directory, you can add it quiclkly and easily. To add a new a disc golf course to the PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory, you'll need a user account on PDGA.com. If you already have an account, login now. If you don't, create a free account.
If you know that a course has been changed, or if you know something about a course in the directory is incorrect, you can make quiclkly and easily make the necessary edits. To edit a disc golf course in the PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory, you'll need a user account on PDGA.com. If you already have an account, login now. If you don't, create a free account. Once you're logged in go to the course information page and click the "Edit" tab.
Use the PDGA Disc Golf Course Search and select a Country from the drop-down list. You can search by City, State/Province, or Postal Code and the results will return all courses in the directory in order of proximity to your search parameters.
FAQs about the approval, design, and construction of a disc golf course.
Yes. They can be acceptable for the lowest tier competitions. Ideally, the PDGA would prefer that those who produce homemade baskets submit a sample and get them PDGA approved as long as the basket doesn’t violate any current patents. The submission process is here.
Yes. However, it’s imperative that a professional designer be involved for the design phase so the course is not only suitable for those who will play it but also as safe as possible. A contact list of designers who can help find someone to help if they themselves aren’t able to help directly is available here. Typically, Eagle scouts have been doing something to improve an existing course versus building a course.
Much depends on whether holes are mostly in the open or in the woods. Wooded holes have much higher upfront costs for clearing, depending on who does the work. However, maintenance can be minimal other than occasionally trimming some new growth limbs and possibly spreading wood chips on the fairways every few years. Open holes require some level of regular grass mowing but every 2-3 weeks may be fine. Hard surface tees may need to have dirt or gravel added in front of the tees every year or two to deal with wear.
We’ll assume the land is available already, but that’s an additional major expense if it’s not. A barebones installation with light duty baskets, natural tees and simple wooden signs and do-it-yourself design (not recommended) can be installed for about $350 per hole. A full service community course with a heavy duty basket, dual cement tee pads, nice dual tee signs and two sleeves for basket placements on each hole could run up to $1000 per hole which includes a basic design fee on a property with little clearing to be done.
The chart that can help estimate acreage is available here. The very shortest beginner courses may need only half an acre per hole on average. The more wooded the property, the less space is needed because the woods can provide a safe buffer between fairways. Championship courses might need more than one acre per hole but again that can vary based on the amount of woods involved.
The initial steps are the same as getting a course approved for a public park. The Course Development area on this website has many documents to help with approving, designing and installing a new course. Check the Disc Golf Course Designers group to see if any members are located in your area. They can help you through all steps of the process.
The Course area on this website has many documents to help with approving, designing and installing a new course and is located here. Check the Disc Golf Course Designers group to see if any members are located in your area. They can help you through all steps of the process. If there’s no one on that list nearby, do a search of courses near your zip code and contact some of the people listed as contacts for those courses, especially courses in public parks.
Since not all players will play each week of a league, the total score across all weeks can’t be used to do rankings, so ranking is instead done by total points earned within each division of the league. Points are awarded based on how many players a competitor either ties (including themselves) or beats within their division during EACH week of play times the points factor for that division.
Not really. PDGA Ratings are calculated using what's called a zero sum process. The total ratings points earned in a round by the group of players with established ratings (who generate the ratings) will always total the same as the total of their player ratings going into the event.
PDGA rules must be followed in leagues just as they are in regular tournament play. The one exception allowed for league play is players of legal age may drink during rounds if the park rules allow alcohol to be consumed on the course. However, please drink in moderation since courtesy rules can be enforced to penalize unruly behavior.
If the same league plays more than one day in a week, a separate sanctioning form must be submitted for each week day. For example, if you have a league that meets every Tuesday and Thursday, the PDGA would see that as a Tuesday league and a separate Thursday league for reporting purposes. That doesn't mean the league couldn't continue to locally process their league standings, results and payouts with those days combined.
Yes. Players may play in a different division they are eligible for as they prefer each week. That's one reason why every player must play the same tees and course on a specific league day so ratings are calculated properly.
No and Yes. All players must play the same tees on a specific league day. However, everyone can play a different set of tees on the same course or even another course the following week. The league can move around so the same tees/course are never played twice over a 10-week league. If the courses being played in your league are particularly long and too tough for lower level divisions to play the long tees, we recommend sanctioning two leagues running on the same course on the same night. Have your higher level divisions in one league playing the long tees.
The TD determines the basic entry fee per day for each league division. The TD adds $1 fee to each of those entry fees which is paid by each player whether PDGA member or not. From that $1 fee, $0.50 goes to the PDGA and $0.50 goes to the TD to help with their league expenses, compensation and possibly final league prizes. The fee to sanction as a PDGA league is $25.
There's no non-member fee to play in a PDGA league. However, non-members will not receive ratings they can see online nor earn PDGA points.
Yes. Players will earn PDGA points based on how many players they tied or beat in their division during each week of play. League points are 1/2 the amount of points of a C-Tier tournament.
Yes. Some TDs may either want to or be required to sanction their league for the PDGA insurance coverage. It takes at least 5 PDGA members with established ratings over 699 to produce Preview (unofficial) Ratings online each week. However, even if your league has fewer than 5 players with established ratings some or most weeks, the PDGA will use an alternate method to generate official ratings for the current and hopefully new PDGA members in your league once your final league results are submitted.
Yes. Current PDGA members will earn ratings and even non-members will earn them even though they won't be able to see their official ratings until they join or renew. Players will see preview (unofficial) ratings each week when the TD posts the scores online just like regular tournaments.
TDs can run their leagues pretty much however they run them now using best average scores, a points system, best 4 of 10 finish positions or handicaps to determine nightly and final league standings. Payouts will not be reported to the PDGA so amateurs may even get cash payouts if the TD prefers and they will not lose their amateur standing.
Simply sanction multiple league sessions to cover the full length of your league. For example, if your league runs 18 weeks, just sanction two 9-week league sessions to cover it. The main reason for the 10-week limit is so scores get reported to the PDGA within 3 months of the time a league session starts so players can get official ratings for their league rounds without waiting half a year.
PDGA league sessions include 6 to 10 weeks of singles play. No doubles yet. Players enter standard PDGA divisions or the league can be run where everyone participates in one handicap division as long as the TD reports players' raw scores to the PDGA site within standard PDGA divisions so players can earn ratings. The League Director or assistant must be a PDGA Certified Official and they are allowed to play.
- Online Registration
- Registration List
- Unofficial Results
- Official Results
An account on PDGA.com allows PDGA members to link to their PDGA membership so they can manage their contact information online and upload a photo for display on their player statistics page. It is also required is for anyone that wants to add, modify, or review a disc golf course in the PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory or comment on a story.
If you don't have an account, or the system doesn't recognize your email address, you can create a new account at www.pdga.com/user/register.
Your PDGA membership might not be linked to an account on PDGA.com. If you don't have an account, or the system doesn't recognize your email address, you can create a new account at www.pdga.com/user/register.
If you have signed up for an account on PDGA.com, and cannot remember your password or username, follow these steps:
- Go to www.pdga.com/user/password and enter your username or email address.
- Find the email with the subject line "Replacement login information..." in your email inbox.
- Click once on the link in the email to open the "Reset password" page in your web browser.
- Enter a new password that you can remember in the “New password” field.
- Enter that same password again in the "Confirm new password" field.
- Click once on the Log In button.