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My friends and I have yet to play in a tournament or even watch one because we've only been playing for about 6 months and can do without the spanking. We try to follow as much of the rules as we understand but would like to know more about how these rules and certain situations are handled in tournaments so that we will be accustomed to certain situations. Stuck in a tree- always penalty if it is above 2 meters? Are all walkways and roads OB or just what is marked on the tee pad sign? Are doglegs the only manditories that are used? How is a lie that the thrower conciders unplayable handled? What if there are small branches in front of you? behind you? I don't understand foot placement with regard to the disc lie. What objects are you allowed to move to get better positioning to throw? I'd also like to know what rules anyone plays by when just playing with friends. We play as a group of 3 to 6 and it gets pretty competitive due to the competitivness from the other sports we play carrying over. We would like to put to rest alot of the "well i think the rule is" crap and get ourselves prepared to be less embarrassed at our or my first tournament experience.

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check out pdga.com (rules) it all there
"Stuck in a tree- always penalty if it is above 2 meters?"
No, A TD(tournament director) must specifically make this call before the tournament begins. If no 2 meter rule is called than you just take your lie directly below the disc. In a tournament situation you must mark your lie before removing the disc from the tree.

"all walkways and roads OB or just what is marked on the tee pad sign?"
I would in most cases go by what the sign says, or find someone who knows who the tournaments are played at these courses. Things change depending on who is TDing a tournament. I have played in several where nothing applies, and others where everything plus some applies. Or just play everything OB(creeks, roads, walkways, etc.) and you will be well prepared for anything.

"Are doglegs the only manditories that are used?"
That depends.....
Here in Louisville all true Mandos are clearly marked on the tree with paint as well as on the sign. We also have a course with a triple mando, which is essentially a large soccer goal that you must shoot through. So no Doglegs are not the only mandos used.

"How is a lie that the thrower conciders unplayable handled?"
First of all the thrower is not the one to decide, so to speak. Unplayable means unplayable, such as you are standing on a severe cliff, stuck in the center of a large thorn bush, disc is on top of hole of ground hornets, etc. So if it is truly unplayable than you must move directly behind the disc to a point that is safe. Even if you have to move backwards 40 ft, to make your lie safe than that is what you must do.
OB's are a little different. You must place those lies at the point where the disc originally crossed OB. EX. you have a hole the has OB that is right of the hole the follows the entire length . You throw a hyzer that flies the entire 300ft. but it crossed OB 10 ft into it's flight. You take your next lie 10ft from the tee pad. Not 300 ft away

"What if there are small branches in front of you? behind you?"
Deal with it! That is part of the game. If you decide to break them you are DQed(disqualified). If you have to get on your knees, do the splits, whatever it takes, but you can't move the branches. You can't push them out of the way, nor can you brace yourself on them. They were there first not you. Play it where it lies.

"What objects are you allowed to move to get better positioning to throw?"
Only objects that are laying on the ground "BEHIND" your disc. If something is behind and in front of you disc, it must remain. Otherwise you can't move anything!

"I'd also like to know what rules anyone plays by when just playing with friends. "
We play by the rules in the rulebook, with the exception of the 2 meter rule, which we never play.

Also read the rulebook repeatedly. Ask local pro's about situations like you have done here. There are a lot of rules in the rulebook that can go different ways depending on the exact situation.
Here is a link to the rules:
Once again read these till you know them backward and forward. I always joke that they make great bathroom material.

Hope I helped you out and you and your friends can get prepared for Tournament golf.
Better check that Unplayable rule: Only the thrower decides whether a throw is unplayable. The disc can be in the middle of the fairway and the thrower can call an unplayable. The player gets a 1-throw penalty and may either move back up to 5m on line with the basket or rethrow from the previous lie. An interesting place where this call can be helpful is when the player is putting say 15-20 feet from the basket, they miss the putt and it rolls down into a steep brush filled valley. Rather than try to hack out of there, the player calls an unplayable, gets the 1-throw penalty and can try that putt again from the same location.
A common but not to often followed rule. Do NOT throw into groups ahead of you.
A big thing that my friends that only play casually have a lot of trouble with is falling puts. If you're within 30ft of the basket you must not walk past or fall past your lie after you throw. You must demonstrate that you have maintained balance (most people do this by bending down and picking up their mini)

My friends like to lean over so fat that they fall or even dive towards the basket. I still always beat them though.
If you love the game and love the competitiveness of the game then you should play tournaments. If you love the game merely for the social or aesthetic or health reasons then you never need to keep score, nonetheless play in a tournament or league.

Playing in a tournament will skyrocket your development as a player. You will see what good players do and realize you can do those things, too. You will learn rules and techniques and strategies you would otherwise be unaware of. Do not be afraid of a spanking. Enter the lowest division of a tournament as soon as you can find one near you (tomorrow morning). It won't cost much and it will be worth every penny.

Or just play with the same group of buddies for years. It will be fun but you won't get much better than you are now. And that is perfectly fine if that is what you want from the game.

For casual play (but still keeping score) most good players follow the PDGA Rules which directly relate to the fairness of the scoring and ignore the ones which do not. In my groups we follow the Stance Rules because where you throw from matters (directly behind your lie) but don't care if someone flips their disc rather than marking it with a mini ( its the same shot either way). We also don't care if you wear a collared shirt, drink beer, keep score in your head, throw out of order, pick up gimme putts,etc. We might give a mulligan to a newbie but not a Pro, depending on the situation and whether there is a bet on the round. We might also pause in the middle of a round and do a short lesson on a particular shot.

The Stance Rules are too lengthy to summarize here but pretty easy to understand when explained in person. Have a Pro do so. You want to practice by them so they become second nature and you avoid ingraining bad habits.

The Rules of Play do not define what is Out of Bounds. That decision is made by the Tournament Director or when playing casually by the group.

You can declare an unplayable lie any time you wish but it will cost you a stroke to do so. Move it straight back to the closest safe spot and give yourself a penalty stroke.

Generally you can move anything behind your lie which is organic and dead and unattached. So leaves and branches, yes. Picnic tables, trash cans, live trees and bushes, no. You can't move stuff in front of your lie. You can't push or hold branches out of your way with your off arm or body to make a shot easier. You threw it there. You play it from there. If you don't like that spot maybe next time you should throw it in the fairway. :)

If you wait to get good enough to play a tournament then it might never happen. If you are afraid of losing then you can never compete in anything. Everyone starts at the bottom. There is no shame in that. Sucking for the rest of your life is a poor option if you are a competitive person. I played in my first tournament a week after I first threw a golf disc. I didn't win. It was great fun.

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