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Every disc golf course is different and many have obstacles or landscapes that change how you play disc golf! If you’re a new player, you might be wondering, ”what is a drop zone in disc golf?”

Many courses change the way you play by adding specific drop zones, which is why it is so important to understand what it is before you head out on the course.

What is a drop zone in disc golf?

A drop zone is considered a place on the course where play is resumed if you can’t play from the lie.

The drop zone is often marked and it is usually played like a teeing area when the disc goes out of the playing area.

It is typically used to create a place for players to throw from when they throw out of bounds on a specific hole or if there are other obstacles like water.

What happens if my disc goes out of bounds?

Everyone has been out of bounds at some point. It marks the regular playing area on a course and many people wonder what to do if their disc goes out of bounds.

If you throw your disc out of bounds, it will cost you a stroke or a throw but you can still keep playing.

You will either play from a designated drop zone as mentioned above, or you can throw from the last spot you threw on if there isn’t a designated drop zone.

Don’t get too flustered if you have gone out of bounds.

Can you throw from out of bounds?

The official PDGA rules designate that you cannot throw from out of bounds after you threw it there.

You can either throw from a designated drop zone, a previous lie, or a lie that has been marked by a disc that is next to the playing line or the one that is nearest to your out of bounds disc.

However, if you’re just playing with friends, you can try to toss it from out of bounds.

It might not be recommended however because it will likely be a very challenging throw.

What to do if you throw your disc golf disc out of bounds?

There are three paths you can take when you’ve thrown your disc golf disc out of bounds.

  • Don’t worry about it. It’s important to remember that it happens to everyone and just realize it was a bad throw. It isn’t a big deal and you can easily make it up on the other holes.
  • Make up for it with a miracle throw. Miracle throws are a fun way to make up for throwing your disc golf disc out of bounds. If you’re already behind, it can be fun to throw a hail mary.
  • Take a mulligan. If you’re playing with advanced players, you might not be able to do this but if you are just playing with friends they will likely allow you to take a mulligan. Just make sure you don’t do this with every bad throw.

How to prevent a disc golf disc from going out of bounds

There is no surefire way to prevent your disc from flying off the field. However, there are a few tricks that can help you prevent it.

  • Learn to map the course. Don’t blindly throw your disc before you know where the basket is. It is important to find out if there are designated drop zones if you do go out of bounds so you can plan your best shot. However, it is best to verify where the basket is before going out of bounds to decide on your best throw.
  • Practice throwing more accurately and with more distance. Practice is the best way to perfect your technique to become more accurate. When you are able to have more accuracy for longer distances, it is less likely that you will go out of bounds or be forced to use a designated drop zone.
  • Decide on the best throw for you. There are a number of different shots you can use to reach the basket. Picking the right one to get the least amount of strokes can also help you prevent your disc from going out of bounds. When you have more control of the different kinds of shots, you will be able to stay on the course more accurately.

What is a mandatory or “mando” in disc golf?

Most amateurs don’t need to worry about drop zones or Mandos in a casual game.

A Mando is an obstacle the disc must go through, around, over, under, or past in order to score.

If the Mando is not accomplished by the player, they may have a penalty.

How is a Mando related to a Drop Zone?

If a player misses a mandatory, they will have to throw from the drop zone.

Mandatories and out of bounds are the two main places when you have to use a drop zone.

Do I need to play by these rules?

If you’re a professional player, you will need to play by the designated PDGA rules and follow the out of bounds rules by using a designated drop zone.

However, if you’re just playing with friends, you don’t need to play by the professional rules.

It is more important to learn proper throwing form, accuracy, and techniques than it is to play by all the official rules.

Sometimes it is fun to just get out there and play!

Final thoughts

Playing with mandatories isn’t as likely to come up for amateur players.

Many courses have designated drop zones where you can jump back in the game if you accidentally threw your disc golf disc out of the playing area.

The more complicated shots like flex shots, S-shots, and flip shots can sometimes go rogue when you’re trying to learn.

If there isn’t a designated drop zone, simply use the marker closest to the out of bounds.

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