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In ball golf the green is special.  The grass is trimmed so perfectly that a small ball rolls [mostly] predictably across its surface.  Have you even stopped to consider this horticultural marvel? 

In disc golf we have a 10 meter ring.  You can't even see it most of the time.  "Am I outside of 10?" we routinely ask, not even sure if we are inside this ethereal realm we call the green.  Putting inside of this 10m ring is pretty routine and often shots from much longer drop.  There is no real connection to ball golf in our concept of a green.

Or is there?  I propose that the green in disc golf is not the 10m circle, but a much larger expanse... say 150' just for arguments sake.  Almost anyone can approach to the pin from that distance.  For Pros and advanced folk that distance should be an automatic 2-putt or even a long throw in.  Does that seem an extreme range for a green?  Well for an amateur in ball golf a 80' putt from the "green" can still result in a 3 putt and often does. 

In disc golf the space between you and the basket on our 150' green can be littered with trees and there's almost always wind to contend with (part of our green is invisible) so you're not guaranteed a 2-putt from that distance.  Sorry, but no one said putting was easy.  Great players just make it look that way. 

Why does it matter?  Because it has great implications for our determination of par and the way we design our courses.  No par 3 should really be inside this circle for instance.  Tee shots on a par 4 should not reach this "green" area.  Players should have to approach into it after a solid drive.  2 fantastic and long shots on a par 5 might conceivably get you on the green just like happens in ball golf, but it should be a rare occurrence. 

I know there are those out there that think that we should not strive to emulate ball golf, but I say we're fools if we don't take our lessons from them when and where we can.  You might be a frisbee purist, but you're still playing golf.  Get over it an enjoy it and give a nod to our ball golf predecessors in the process.

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I do smell what your stepp'n in Brandon! The size of my "green" changes daily depending on weather conditions and my ability to focus. Greens are limited only by our personal putting abilities. Grass length does not define a disc golf green.

You want to change the following rule from 10 meters to 45 meters? Why?  As I see it your proposed change would just hurt weaker players and further increase the advantage that strong arm players already have.  Why not have the PDGA allow only overstable drivers?

 

803.04 Stance, Subsequent to Teeing Off

A. When the disc is released, a player must:
(1) Have at least one supporting point that is in contact with the playing surface on the line
of play and within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc (except as specified in
803.04 E); and,
(2) have no supporting point contact with the marker disc or any object closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc; and,
(3) have all of his or her supporting points in-bounds.

B. Stepping past the marker disc is permitted after the disc is released, except when
putting within 10 meters.

C. Any throw from within 10 meters or less, as measured from the rear of the marker disc
to the base of the hole, is considered a putt. A follow-through after a putt that causes the
thrower to make any supporting point contact closer to the hole than the rear edge of the
marker disc constitutes a falling putt and is considered a stance violation . The player must demonstrate full
control of balance before advancing toward the hole.

That's not what I'm suggesting.  I guess I should have titled this post, "Re Imagining the Green."  Most of this was about changing the way we think about the green, not changing the rules we have in place.  10m seems to be a good traditional putting distance and in fact a lot of players struggle to propel the disc 10m without a follow through, so I wouldn't want to change that.
One thing pointed out and I think it needs to be addressed is, the 10 meter ring. I know during some tournaments a 10 meter circle is drawn, but a permanent one needs to be made. How? I haven't a clue, but it would be nice.
Use three small bricks set into the ground.
Brandon, I get what you're sayin. I love when its just days after a fresh mow and many holes do give off the feeling of a true green. Imo, the problem is that disc golfers would rather score well and ofcourse the availability of land.
All other professional sports have defined boundaries on the field of play, that is what DG needs to start doing.  We need to nod to ALL professional sports along the way as this sport develops.

Good call Sean.

 

Yes, this is some of the thinking I hoped to elicit with this post.  I feel like it's a let down that you have to ask, "Am I on the green?"

 

I have seen some courses where they have used boulder or wooden tiers in order to create a separate putting level.  You can throw in from outside of it, but it's significantly harder.  You also can't slide up (or roll for that matter) to the pin.  You have to pure an airshot onto the green.  I really enjoyed those holes.  That's a labor intensive option, but maybe we need less okay courses and more GREAT courses out there to make this sport take off.

Ryan, that's a nice inexpensive option, maybe even five if your parks dept. is generous.  :-)
This tiered approach would allow course designers to define their own green size.  The putting 10m ring would still be in effect.  I really like this option.  This post was written a bit out of my day-dreaming and frustration with the lack of complicity in disc golf.  Don't get me wrong, I love throwing discs and always will, but since I probably won't win worlds I should start using my brain to better the sport.
These are 2 of the greens on my course. Designers can make greens if they use the land well. I've played yrs. of ball golf and really if you have to throw instead of putt you are not on the green.

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