Where Do You Throw Your First Shot From in Disc Golf?

Becoming a formal sport in the 1970s, Disc Golf resembles traditional golf in many ways, except instead of playing with balls and clubs, you play with a flying disc.

Also, whereas in traditional golf the object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest strokes, in Disc Golf the player who completes each hole with the fewest throws of their disc wins. 

In Disc Golf, you throw your first shot from a tee area. This is typically a concrete rectangle or patch of artificial turf. Tee areas aren’t always the same though, and so we cover what most tee areas will look like below. When teeing off, you’re always throwing at the target. The most common target in Disc Golf is a basket, which is usually an elevated metal basket.

After teeing off, as you make your way down the fairway, you must make your throws from the spot where your previous throw landed. If you’re playing in a group, the player whose disc has landed furthest away from the target always throws first. It’s a basic rule of Disc Golf that you should not jump ahead of the furthest away player.

What Do Teeing Areas Look Like?

There is no rule in Disc Golf stating that tees have to look a certain way, and so tees come in many shapes and sizes. Whenever you start a hole in Disc Golf, it’s always on a tee and this is where you throw your first shot from. 

However, even though tees do tend to look very different, there are generally two options for what a tee can be in competitive play.

  1. The first option is for the tee to be an area with boundaries you can clearly see. This could be a concrete rectangle, a patch of artificial grass, chalk lines on a path, or a circle of bricks, or anything that clearly defines the teeing area.
  2. Another option is to just have a line marking the front of the tee. In this case, the teeing area is just an invisible rectangle as wide as that line extending back three meters. It’s worth noting that this imaginary rectangle does not apply when the boundaries of a tee are clearly defined.

For a throw to be legal, you need at least one supporting point in the teeing area. You’re allowed to have more than one supporting point on the tee, but you’re not allowed to have a supporting point outside the teeing area.

Useful Disc Golf Terms

If you’re new to Disc Golf and have not played in a more formal setting, you may not be familiar with some of the terminology. For example, what is a lie? Or a supporting point, for that matter?

Below we’ll go over some terminology for when you find yourself playing at a tournament.

Lie: A lie is a spot behind the marker, and is where the player takes their stance. It is a line usually 30cm in length extending back along the line of play from the rear edge of the mark.

For the first throw in the game, the lie would be the teeing area. The drop zone is also a lie.

Approximate Lie: This is a lie that is often unmarked and is established by the player’s group in order to resume play.

Previous Lie: This is the lie resulting from the most recent throw and is evidenced by marker discs or the corresponding approximate lie if the marker disc has been moved.

Approximate Position: Like the approximate lie, the approximate position is determined by the player’s group. It has to be as close as possible to the original position of the disc.

Drop zone: This is an area on the course from which play is resumed as a substitute for or in replacement of play from the lie. The drop zone is designated by the Director (the official person in charge of the game). The throwing area within a drop zone is marked and played like a teeing area, and a teeing area can also be used as a drop zone.

Line of Play: This is an imaginary line on the playing surface extending from the middle of the target through the center of the marker and disc and beyond.

Mini Marker Disc (or Mini): This is a smaller disc that is not intended to be played with, but rather to mark the location of the lie.

Position: Where the disc is located after it has been thrown and has come to rest.

Provisional Throw: This is an extra throw that has been sanctioned by an official or the player’s group and is part of an alternative sequence of throws that may be used in the case of a disputed ruling. However, once a final ruling is made only one set of throws will count in the player’s score.

Practice Throw: This is a throw during a competitive round that exceeds two meters that does not change the lie. These do not include provisional throws, misplayed throws, and stance violations.

Putt: Any throw from 10 meters or less as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the target.

Relief: This is a change made to the player’s lie or surrounding area. This could be an obstacle that is removed from the vicinity, or if this is not possible, the lie will be relocated away from the obstacle. 

Supporting Point: This is any part of the player’s body that comes in contact with the playing surface or another object that provides support once the disc has left the player’s hand. 

Target: In Disc Golf, the target would be a device whose purpose is to clearly determine the completion of a hole. This is most commonly an elevated basket designed to catch discs and is usually made up of trays, chains, and a chain support mounted on a pole. An object target usually has a marked target area.

Tee Line: This is the line at the front of the teeing area, or the line between the outside edges of two tee markers.

Teeing Area (or Tee): This is an area often bounded by the edges of a tee pad. Otherwise, it’s the area extending three meters perpendicularly behind the designated tee line. This is also a lie.