Rules with Rob: 5 Rules You May Not Know That Can Help You

By | July 26, 2013

Here at HyzerFlipped we aren’t the most season veteran’s when it comes to Disc Golf tournaments as most of us have only played 1 or 2 in our entire (and short) disc golf careers.  Personally, I remember my first one, the Downtown Cary Urban Open, and it was a blast but I had no idea about the rules.  I’m sure we aren’t the only ones so I’ve enlisted the help of my good friend Robert Leonard PDGA #21676. Robert is the North Carolina PDGA Coordinator, a PDGA Marshal and has served as a Marshal for two World Championships. He has served as Tournament Director for over 20 PDGA events including a PDGA Major Championship.

I’ve known Rob for a long time so I hit him up with the basic question; What should new tournament players and players in general know?  

Here is what he had to say:

There are tons of rules that are designed to potentially help your game. Everyone automatically thinks that rules are bad but there are tons of situations where knowing them can make your next shot easier or can save you a stroke.

Moving a lie:
There are many instances where a player can move his lie to improve it. While some of these only help with your stance, some allow you to even get closer to the basket.
When a shot is in what is defined as casual water, a player doesn’t have to play from within it. Casual water is typically a non-OB creek or flooded areas from wet conditions. An easier way to define it would be any time your disc is in water but that water isn’t out of bounds. A player can reallocate his lie up to 5 meters no closer to the basket and in line with the basket and the original lie. This may not be a great option on a putt but when you want a run up, having good footing is key.
Any time a players lands within 1 meter of Out of Bounds but is still in bounds, the player is allowed to move his lie off that line up to 1 meter off the out of bounds lie, even if it’s closer to the basket! A player can also move a lie backwards towards the OB line event its closer as well. This can be a huge advantage when putting to get a closer putt or to have a better angle.

Identifying a lie out of bounds:
Perhaps one of the most unknown rules in our sport deals with identifying a disc that the status of being in our out of bounds in question. Simply put, two players have to identify the disc as in or out of there are consequences. If you throw a shot and someone playing (not officials and spotters aren’t included in this) picks up for you and says “you were out of bounds” and no one else verified it, the disc is automatically considered in bounds! On the contrary, if you walk up to your disc and say it is in bounds and move it without someone verifying, it is then automatically considered out of bounds.
In the 2006 World Championships, Ken Climo messed this rule up and picked up John E McCrae’s disc and told him it was out. John didn’t know the rule – and neither did anyone else – and it cost John a shot at the world championship. Ken won his 12th one the next day.  

 Optional Re-throw:
Disc Golf doesn’t have an unplayable rule. Instead, the optional re-throw rule covers this very common rule in golf. At any time a player can re-throw from their last lie with a one stroke penalty. While this rule is very rarely used, it can be handy when you roll hundreds of feet in the wrong direction or get a horrible kick well off the fairway.

Options when throwing OB:
Knowing your options when you throw out of bounds can be very helpful and can do some serious damage control on your score.
Most players forget that you ALWAYS have the option to return to previous lie. While this is similar to optional rethrow, players forget about it when they miss a putt from 15 feet and roll 45 feet and then go out of bounds. By simply returning to your previous lie, you are putting from 15 feet instead of 45 feet.

Doubles shot options
When you are playing best shot doubles, you and are partner are not forced to take the same lie. Why would anyone do this, you might ask. Well if a player is LHBH or RHFH dominant, they might prefer a left to right shot where a RHBH may not want to play that shot. If you and your partner both have equidistance putts on each side of the basket but one player prefers head wind and the other prefers tail wind, you can have the player putt from each lie if you want. While this very rarely comes into play as 99% of the time the better lie is clear, knowing this can randomly help you when you and your partner are having trouble deciding which lie to play
For more information about rules, check out

If anyone has any questions for Rob about the Rules of Disc Golf or Disc Golf in General let us know in the comments and We’ll get him back to answer them.  I wouldn’t however ask his advice for curing a slice in ball golf!

2 thoughts on “Rules with Rob: 5 Rules You May Not Know That Can Help You

  1. nsgould

    I was looking into the Doubles rule mentioned here and I don’t see anything involving this in the rules the PDGA lists. Does this interpretation of the rule apply to all events or on a case by case?

  2. Robert Leonard

    It is always the case. The wording comes from and more specifically, “If the first player throws from the wrong lie, the second player may still throw from the correct lie.” The ability to throw from both lies lies within this wording. The word wrong is just poor word choice. Thanks for reading and asking a question!


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