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Old 09-02-2017, 09:15 AM
Sgraham602 Sgraham602 is offline
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Default 'non golfer' course etiquette

I'm fairly new to disc golf and wanted to get the opinion of some other players. This morning I was playing on my local course, which is an extremely tight wooded course . It doesn't appear to be very popular, as the past month that have been playing it (every weekend) I haven't seen anybody else on the course. This morning, however, there were a few people out... the only thing is that they weren't playing disc golf. They were instead walking or running on the course in the opposite direction . Luckily I was in between shots when I encountered each person, but I wasn't sure if I was out of line to tell people that they shouldn't be running/walking on the course? I've got to imagine that a disc to the head could do some damage. I decided not to say anything as I was playing alone and wasn't in a rush. A few people stopped to ask how my round was going and were very polite.

What is the protocol here? The course is in a park that has a lot of running trails and paved bike paths. Is it common for people to use a disc golf courses for running and walking??
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:43 AM
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Stable Stable is offline
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It's always a good idea to think of yourself as an ambassador of the game. As those individuals were passing by you could give a friendly wave and let them know that they're on a golf course and it's possible for them to get hit unintentionally. Help them be aware. People are always more receptive if you initiate the right way. Don't be abrasive.

If there were a tournament going on that day you would be right to let them know the course is closed to the public.

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Old 09-02-2017, 09:45 AM
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brutalbrutus brutalbrutus is offline
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...and picnicking, sunbathing, picture taking, metal detecting, pokemon chasing, ive even heard about two people hanging a hammock and getting it on. There are hundreds of reasons people might be out on the course and not be throwing. Just gotta deal with them as they come. Some people are quite friendly, others not so much. I usually give people a warning about the discs, most people don't consider them dangerous. Sometimes I'll hand them one to give them an idea. Sometimes you have to give them directions to a safer area. Mt Airy is especially bad for the sunbathing, picnic, picture taking crowd but has a dedicated area for these kinds of things on the other side of the park. Other times, you just let them be, lol.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:48 AM
Orioles_Lefty Orioles_Lefty is offline
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I've experienced this a few times on a number of different courses and can only conclude that the "clearing" provided by a disc golf course invites people to see the holes as useful for walking/running as well. Placing a course in a multi-use park invites multi-use of the course even if that's not how it should work (on most holes most of the time). Sounds like some of the folks know what you are doing, so it's not like they need an education.

I hate interacting with non-golfers and I know I offer more danger to them than them to me, so I'm very diligent about checking fairways for non-golfers. I rarely say anything as I don't know what I would say to improve the situation. I wouldn't say you would be out of line to say something, but I think you will be disappointed by the conversation most of the time.

I once came up to a protected, mostly-blind green and found a young woman painting a landscape. She was sitting on a rock on the backside of the green painting on an easel. It was a pretty scene to paint.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:50 AM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgraham602 View Post
I've got to imagine that a disc to the head could do some damage.
Yes, it certainly can.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgraham602 View Post
Is it common for people to use a disc golf courses for running and walking??
More common in some parks than others, particularly shared situations. This is why I don't necessarily think it's a good idea to "shoe-horn" a course into a shared use park amid walking paths/trails, or where there's other previously well established park activity.

You can't necessarily expect the general public to realize whether they are on a DG course or not, especially if the area is not clearly defined and/or shared use. The responsibility must lie with us, because we know what's happening. Soccer mom looking at her phone, with toddlers scurrying about, is simply strolling through park, completely unaware what someone else is doing 250ft away.

I handle those situations by politely (but convincingly) approaching the non players and explaining to them that while this is a public park, they are walking through a section of that has been designated for people to throw frisbees in, and that they might want to be watch out and be carefeul so no one gets hurt. It usually helps if you can point to the basket your throwing to and/or the tee you threw from.

Than said, I think most parks and recs depts do pedestrians and DG'ers a huge disservice by not posting signs that say "CAUTION: YOU ARE ENTERNG A DISC GOLF COURSE - WATCH FOR FLYING DISCS" at high traffic points of entry to courses.

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Old 09-02-2017, 09:51 AM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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Originally Posted by Stable View Post
It's always a good idea to think of yourself as an ambassador of the game. As those individuals were passing by you could give a friendly wave and let them know that they're on a golf course and it's possible for them to get hit unintentionally. Help them be aware. People are always more receptive if you initiate the right way. Don't be abrasive.

If there were a tournament going on that day you would be right to let them know the course is closed to the public.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:54 AM
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brutalbrutus brutalbrutus is offline
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Than said, I think most parks and recs depts do pedestrians and DG'ers a huge disservice by not posting signs that say "CAUTION: YOU ARE ENTERNG A DISC GOLF COURSE - WATCH FOR FLYING DISCS" at high traffic points of entry to courses.
I've been seeing these a lot more, recently.

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Old 09-02-2017, 09:58 AM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Hard to say exactly what the protocol is in terms of whether they should be there or not. Different parks treat things differently, but my guess would be that there are no official rules preventing them from running on the course like that. It's a public park that is presumably free to use for anyone, so it's not as though disc golfers have priority over runners or vice versa. You can't kick them out and they can't kick you out. The expectation is everyone shares the space.

As to what you as a disc golfer should do in a situation like this, I would at least try to initiate a conversation with the runners to make them aware of the disc golf course. Not necessarily to make them leave or stay away, but to make them aware of the course (if they aren't already) and perhaps talk them into running with the traffic when they are on the course. Better they walk/run fairways from tee to basket where they'll be coming up behind throwers rather than walking/running basket to tee and moving right into a disc to the forehead or something.

The biggest problem we face having courses in public parks is that a disc golf fairway doesn't stand out to a non-golfer the way, say, a baseball diamond or a soccer field does. If there's a baseball or soccer game going on, everyone recognizes what it is and stays off the field. Tougher for folks to do with our game. And even if someone recognizes a disc golf hole for what it is, their idea of the game probably involves regular frisbees that they don't think will hurt them if they are hit so they think nothing of strolling through anyway.

The only thing we can do is educate where we can and otherwise defer to other park users. We know what we're doing. They don't. Therefore if they get hurt by a disc, guess who's fault it is?
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:06 AM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brutalbrutus View Post
I've been seeing these a lot more, recently.
Good to know.

Let's be perfectly honest: the chance of hitting people with discs is very small. It's just that in certain circumstances, it's a quite foreseeable possibility, particularly as Orioles Lefty said; if the clearing they are walking through happens to be a fairway we're supposed to be aiming for.

The right thing to do is to reduce the chance of foreseeable risk. Making people aware of their surroundings is a big step in that direction.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:06 AM
Orioles_Lefty Orioles_Lefty is offline
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Lots of parks departments add disc golf courses to parks because they are viewed as appropriate for and good use of shared-use space. This we have to live with.

But, that said, I'm not going to have an "educational" conversation with any non-disc golf user on the course save perhaps the soccer mom described previously. Those picnickers I came across in the fairway at Patapsco 1. What was I going to say to them of useful consequence? The guy in Syracuse who liked to use Heritage 7 as a open space to play catch with his dogs. What said to him?

I don't think my success rate in those conversations is going to be over 5%. So why bother?
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