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If you’re new to disc golf and just learning the rules, you may find yourself asking, “What if my disc golf disc goes out of bounds?”
This is a common question that new players are sometimes unfamiliar with because it isn’t exactly a well-known disc golf rule that average people would know about.
The good news is that the rule is relatively simple.
What if my disc golf disc goes out of bounds?
The official ruling for when a disc goes out of bounds is straightforward.
Players will lose a stroke, but they will have the option to play their next shot from a few different specific locations that we are going to discuss in the next section.
What are the rules on out of bounds in disc golf?
Now that we are discussing specifics about out of bounds rules in disc golf, we are going to explore the various locations that players can play shots from after they throw a disc out of bounds.
Players always have the option to return to the previous landing spot of their golf disc after an out of bounds throw.
This opportunity is always provided to the player in disc golf, but it oftentimes is not the most favorable choice.
Players have several other locations that they can resume from as well.
There are typically markers out on the course that signify resumption locations for players that are out of bounds.
There may also be marked drop zones that players will have the opportunity to continue playing from.
Other drop locations may exist with direction from course officials or other staff on the course.
It is important to ensure that you make the right choice after throwing a disc out of bounds.
You are vulnerable to penalty strokes if you incorrectly resume playing from an improper location.
You also want to make sure that you are continuing play from the most favorable location for you personally.
You don’t want to pass up on an opportunity by failing to utilize the rules to your advantage.
Playable locations after going out of bounds include:
- Previous Landing Location for Last In-Bounds Disc Throw
- The Marked Drop Zone
- The In-Bounds Playing Surface Closest to the Out Of Bounds Landing Location
- Any Other Locations Accepted by Official Course Staff and Tournament Officials
What if you lose your disc out of bounds?
Losing your disc can be frustrating, but you are entitled to a few rules in the event that this does occur.
You have the right to look for it for around three minutes before you will need to abandon your search and continue playing.
In some cases, you may have more than three minutes, but it depends on the specific circumstances.
If you are unable to locate your previously thrown disc within the time frame, then you will be required to add a penalty stroke and continue playing based on the out of bounds rules that we previously discussed above.
Casual unofficial matches may be a little less strict than official tournament matches, but it is always a good idea to practice the official rules if possible.
Does every disc golf course have an out of bounds area?
The truth is that most official disc golf courses do in-fact have an out of bounds territory that are subject to penalties.
It would be incorrect to say that every single course has one, because there surely are some that don’t, but it would be tough to find an official disc golf course that doesn’t have at least one area marked as out of bounds.
Some of the more complex disc golf courses strategically place out of bounds areas to keep players on edge.
The best courses are specifically designed to test the players’ skill set and placing out of bounds areas in strategic locations can make the disc golf course a whole lot more interesting.
Are there ways to prevent discs from going out of bounds?
Players always wonder if there are special ways to prevent their disc throws from landing in out of bounds territories.
This subject comes down to strategy, skill, and luck.
Some players take risks and some players play safely.
In most cases, riskier players find themselves out of bounds more often, but they also make heroic throws more often.
This balance between safety and risk is often tested on the most complex disc golf courses.
Luck and skill also have quite an influence on the overall equation.
Extremely skilled players can shape their disc throws to avoid out of bounds locations.
Unfortunately, luck has quite a bit to do with everything as well.
Sometimes a little bit of wind can cause harm to even the most skilled players on the disc golf course.
An unlucky wind gust or some other unlucky circumstance can easily turn a great throw into a penalty stroke in disc golf.
Experienced players typically have the knowledge to learn from previous mistakes and avoid throwing their discs out of bounds on a regular basis.
It is always important to learn from mistakes and correct possible issues for next time.
These mistakes will make you better, as long as you choose to learn from them.
Disc golf out of bounds: Final thoughts
Disc golf is a mental game just as much as it is a physical game. Players have to use their skills and strategies to craft intelligent shots that stay in bounds.
Using the rules to your advantage can be a great way to improving your overall score.
It is important to play by the correct rules if you are in ranked official tournaments, because you might find yourself with additional penalty strokes if you do not follow the rules.
With all of that being said, take a quick look at this bullet-point list for a quick summary of all of the important information that we have covered in this post.
- Resume throws from acceptable locations only
- Use strategy, experience, and knowledge to avoid throwing discs out of bounds
- Don’t spend more than three minutes searching for lost discs
- Learn about all out of bounds locations before playing the course