Disc Golf Games
Note: I'm still working on this page.
Basic Disc Golf
Disc Golf may be a new sport to you, but it's been around for a long time. (Probably started about the time they had so many UFO sitings) Long enough, in fact, to gain a reputable following of players, tournaments, and professionals, and courses all over the world. Disc golf is played by throwing a frisbee-like disc from a tee area toward a target. Subsequent throws are made from where the previous disc lands, until you hit the target. The fewer throws you make, the better the score.
There are special discs for this, including various brands of drivers, mid-range and putters. There is also a major organization, the Professional Disc Golf Association, to promote disc golf. They also publish the official book of rules of play for disc golf.
Games People Play
There are two schools of thought when it comes to games. There is the one school where you should play according to one set of rules. If you have a weekly tournament, it should be the same format each time. The other school, well, those are the ones that skip school (though that is not being recommended) and just go out and have fun. Those are the ones that like variety. Of course, variety is just one reason to play different games. Different games can also polish different aspects of your game, execution, strategy, or just learning how to play.
Some of the neat games that I've heard of or played are wolf, alternate, and cross-country. When I started directing tournaments, we tried or devised a number of different games. Best Shot, Best Score, Best Lie, Worst Shot, Tough Shot. This list is a summary of the most common games we played.
Since I've started playing I've learned that there's more than one way to play. Not knowing anything about golf, I thought this was pretty neat. I learned early that in addition to regular scoring, there's individual scramble where you throw two discs each time, choose the best lie, and throw two more, etc. It gives you a second chance on each throw, a better score and more practice. It's called solitaire scramble.
Match play is simply recording whether or not you win a hole, no matter what the number of throws.
In the skins game format, players compete for money for each hole rather than the low score for the
round. Low entry skins could, for example, be 25c for each hole (from each player), with holes 9 and 18 being worth two skins. A player must win a hole outright to win a skin. If a hole is tied, the skin and money carries over to the next hole. After three ties, the next hole would be worth four skins.
The most challenging part of this game is calculating the winnings at the end of the game. With this example, you can designate a $5 entry (25c x 20 skins) for each player and then reward players 25c for each hole, for each player. More confusing calculations involve designating how much each player pays each other.
I've heard about this game, but never thought of playing it. Each player gets a certain number of plays. When he finishes using his throws, he puts up a marker where he ended.
I don't remember the name of this game, so I named it Drop Out. This is normally played with a large number of players, such as 10. All players play as a group and after each hole, the one player with the lowest score is dropped out of play. The last player in the game is declared the winner.
In scramble or "team scramble", each of two players throws a disc and then they choose the best lie for the next throw, each player throwing a disc again. Ideally, team scramble is good for 4 or more players, but if there's just the two players they have a score to shoot for.
Best Shot, or Best Lie are generally the same as scramble.
In best score, each player on the team completes the hole and the team scores the lowest score of the two players.
The team in a worst shot round has to throw subsequent throws from the worst shot. The other team may have to decide which is the worst shot. In practical play, once a player holes out, his team is through. This version is sometimes referred to as Tough Shot. In more serious play, all team players must hole out from the same position.
Each member of the team alternates in their throw. If one player tees, another play must throw the next shot.
Wolf is a bit odd to follow when you first play it. Ideally it is played with an odd number of players as a group, commonly 5. The person designated as the wolf for the hole waits for each other person to tee off. After each person drives, he can take him as his partner for that hole, or pass. The other players are then the opposing team. If he doesn't select any player, the last person to drive is his partner by default. Each person has an even number of turns to play as the wolf. Scores are kept individually. The wolf always throws last.
Each player's score is taken from his team's score.
Later in the game there is strategy involved. For example, in order to keep a contender from taking the lead, he can be selected as the partner, insuring the wolf and the contender score the same on a hole.
One variation on the rule is that the wolf may elect to play individually against the other players, as "lone" wolf.
Variations are also played with 6, 7 or more players, sometimes with more than 2 players on the wolf team.
Worst Shot Wolf
Playing worst shot wolf is the same as playing worst shot doubles. Instead of using the best lie for the team, you use the worst lie.
Odd man singles.
This variation is often used when there is an odd man in a team event. The odd man plays as a team and gets one extra shot per hole. A variation of that is where he pays for two players and gets to play as two players, an extra shot from each lie.
Odd man singles can also be played as an individual format where each player gets an extra shot per hole.
3 in 1 (666)
An 18 hole round with different format/scoring for each of 3, 6 hole sections.
Of course, there are games that can be played individually or with teams. In reality, many of the team games could also be played individually in a scramble format.
This object of the game in string golf is the same as regular play, except that each player or team gets a certain amount of string that he can use to lengthen his throw. Ideally, he would use it to lengthen the length of a putt so that he lowers his score by a stroke.
This variation gives each player in the group a certain number of "Sorry Dudes". He uses a Sorry Dude to force another player in the group to throw again, ideally after he has thrown a good throw. I have seen players ace a hole and then have to throw again because someone said Sorry Dude. This format can be used in individual play as well as team play. If the announced rules included it, it could even be used to permit a team member to throw over a bad shot.
Team selection is critical in the play of team games on a small course with major variation in skills.
By rating 1-4, 2-3
Teams could be assigned based on the official or course ratings (or handicaps) of the players in the group. In a small 4 player group, the top player would be teamed with the #4 player; the #2 and #3 player would be teamed up.
Pick your partner
Various ways to designate which players can pick. Most commonly, the bottom players on the field are given the opportunity to pick his partner, on up through the field.
Pro Am pick
Again, the bottom player in the group would be given the opportunity to pick his partner. In most cases, the bottom Am player would pick a player from the Pro field.
Draw or Flip
Cards are usually used to choose teams. Shuffle and pass out two cards for each team and match those players as a team.
With flipping, all players flip their discs and divide off into heads/tails. Both of those groups separate and flip and subdivide until there are 2 players. Odd flips are usually teamed together.
Pro Am draw
Pro player field is given one card for each player, and Am player field is given one card for each player. Matching cards are paired together.
There are also variations that are based on course layout.
In order to create a new course with existing baskets, a director may designate new tee locations for each hole. This is usually to increase the difficulty, though it could also be used to simplify a course for women, kids or new players.
Cross country (Safari)
Cross country uses all of the original tees and holes of the course, but in a different order. The rules for cross country are
a) Beginning on tee #1, pick any hole to throw to.
b) Subequent hole begins on the next tee.
c) You can't play a natural hole or a hole you've already played
d) You can't play hole #18 until the last hole.
California (combine holes)
This is another game with the name California, not to be confused with playing California as an odd man. Simply, play from tee one to hole two, tee three to hole four, and so forth. After the first round on an 18-hole course, you've only played 9 holes. This makes for a quick but long round, though you could choose to play the other holes, tee two to hole three.
This is played from a designated area next to the basket to the previous hole, beginning by teeing from basket one to hole 18. This should only be played when there are few people on the course. One could also play this forward.
Pick your tee
Play the regular holes, but the designated player is allowed to pick the tee location. Rules may limit the score on a hole, for example, nobody scores higher than a 5.
Design your own course.
Bag tags are numbered tags given out to each player in a club or event. The number is determined by the placing in an initial bag tag event. Subsequent bag tags can be sold later with remaining number. In subsequent designated tourneys, players can challenge other players for their bag tag. If they win, they get to exchange bag tags. For example, player with bag tag #4 could challenge the player with bag tag #2.
In some events, all bag tags are re-distributed according to the placing in the event, with the best scoring player getting the lowest numbered bag tag. Different courses and clubs have different rules associated with owning a bag tag.
Bag tags can also be used as a means of grouping players.
Games on other sites
Since Disc Golf is a based on ball golf, most any golf game can be adapted to disc golf. One golf site with a list of games is