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The disc golf rules for putting are slightly different from the rules for other shots.
This is because your stance will often be different during a putting shot. It’s important to understand the putting rules in golf.
Regulation language can get confusing, especially if you’re new to the sport.
First, you have to establish when the disc golf rules for putting apply.
The official rulebook for disc golf has specifics outlined for this. In section 806.01, the book defines a “putting area.”
What the Regulations Say About Putting Area
The putting area is the area within ten meters surrounding the target.
If a player’s ball is within this area, they’re taking a putting shot rather than a distance shot.
After players release the putt, they have to show that they have fully controlled their disc balance.
If the player doesn’t demonstrate this, they will be given a penalty for a stance violation. It’s important to prove that the marker disc didn’t interfere with the shot.
The Difference Between Putting and Fairway Rules
Every fairway rule still applies when you putt. The only additional rule is the one about needing to provide proof that you control the disc balance.
On the fairway, you can touch the ground in front of the disc once the ball is released.
But you can’t do that with a putting shot until you prove your balance.
You must also have at least one supporting point that is touching the ground.
When you’re standing up, each leg is a supporting point.
If you balance on one leg for your shot, you technically still have a legal supporting point.
But if you make a shot while jumping in the air, you’ll be in violation.
How to Demonstrate Balance
You have to demonstrate balance when you putt.
Balance doesn’t have anything to do with the weight of your putter or the accuracy of your stroke.
Instead, it’s related to how well you yourself balance.
Balance is one of many athletic qualities that a golfer needs. When you putt, you need to show that you can keep both feet on the ground behind the putt.
You can’t step forward as you swing, leap forward with your swing, or fall forward because you overbalanced yourself.
As soon as you’ve shown that you’re balanced, you can move after the ball.
But you will take a penalty stroke if you place your foot in front of the putter or fall forward as you putt.
Why Can’t You Move Forward When Putting?
On the fairway, stepping forward during a stroke is fairly common. But there’s an easy reason why this rule changes during putting.
Putts occur when the ball is within 10 meters of the target. These are the shortest strokes in the game.
If you step forward, you shorten the distance between you and the target.
That’s not a big deal at large distances, but it makes a big difference in the putting range.
Stepping forward to guide your shot defeats the purpose of putting. When you putt, you’re supposed to use a combination of accuracy and careful power to reach your goal.
There’s no need to generate the extra energy that you get from falling forward or stepping forward.
Stance Violations for Both Fairway and Putting
There are other stance violations that you can commit at any time during a golf game.
You don’t have to wait to enter the putting zone!
The official disc golf rulebook has extensive explanations and definitions of different stances, different violations, and the specific penalties for violations.
Foot faults occur when your foot is in a place it shouldn’t be as you throw.
But many players commit foot faults without realizing it, especially if they haven’t read the specific regulations.
Foot faults are penalized by adding an extra stroke to the player’s tally.
Stance violations will talk about the position of your “supporting points.” Supporting points include any part of the body that touches the ground or another supporting object.
Your supporting points will most commonly be your legs, but they can also sometimes be your hands.
If you brace yourself against a rock or wrap an arm around a tree trunk, that counts as a supporting point.
You can also count artificial supports like canes, crutches, and other mobility aids as supporting points.
The Teeing Area
The beginning of a hole always starts with a tee. This is a demarcated area in which your ball needs to be placed for your first shot.
You have to have a minimum of one supporting point inside the teeing area.
You also can’t have any supporting points outside the teeing boundaries.
That means that you can’t lean on trees outside the teeing area.
You also can’t have one foot outside the area, or crouch down with a hand outside the area.
If you have crutches or a cane, they need to be inside the teeing area.
The “Lie” on the Fairway
As you get onto the fairway, you have to have at least one supporting point contacting your “lie.”
Your lie is easily defined when your disc rests in a hazard or within bounds. It refers to the 30 by 20 centimeter area that begins at the very back edge of the disc.
If you put a mini marker on the front edge of the disc instead, your lie is the 30 by 20 centimeter area that branches from the back edge of the mini.
This is the most major guideline for fairway play.
There is one more requirement, though, which is that you cannot release the disc if there’s a supporting point closer to the basket than your lie.
That means that your foot can’t be positioned further forward than your disc.
However, unlike with standard putting, you can set your foot down in this area as soon as you release the ball.