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Preserving the Game of Disc Golf

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Disc golf has gained popularity as a dynamic and challenging sport enjoyed by players of all skill levels. To maintain the integrity of the game and ensure a positive experience for all, it is crucial to adhere to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Code of Conduct. This article emphasizes the significance of the code and explores why damaging trees and branches on the course can detrimentally impact both a player's game and score.

PDGA code of conduct

The PDGA Code of Conduct represents a framework of guidelines designed to foster an environment of sportsmanship, fairness, and respect in disc golf. It serves as a moral compass, ensuring that all players are engaged in the game with integrity and adhering to shared values.

The Detrimental Impact of Breaking Trees and Branches

1. Respect for the Course

Disc golf courses are thoughtfully designed, incorporating natural elements like trees and branches to challenge players' skills and strategy. When individuals intentionally break or damage these features, they disrespect not only the course but also the efforts of course designers and maintainers. Preserving the course's integrity contributes to a better overall experience for all players.

2. Sportsmanship and Etiquette

The PDGA Code of Conduct emphasizes the principles of good sportsmanship. Engaging in destructive behavior, such as breaking trees and branches, goes against the spirit of the game. It demonstrates a lack of respect for both the course and fellow players, hindering the development of a positive and inclusive disc golf community.

3. Negative Impact on Other Players

Damaging trees and branches disrupts the intended natural obstacles on the course. By altering shot angles and difficulty levels, it affects not only the player responsible for the damage but also other participants. Consequently, this interference can lead to frustration and hinder the overall enjoyment of the game for everyone.

4. Adverse Effect on Performance

Strategically navigating around trees and branches is a fundamental aspect of disc golf. These obstacles force players to assess their shots, adjust strategies, and develop precise throwing techniques. Breaking trees and branches eliminates this valuable skill-building opportunity, hindering personal growth and ultimately impacting a player's game and score.

Benefits of Honoring the PDGA Code of Conduct

1. Preservation of the Sport

By upholding the PDGA Code of Conduct, players contribute to the preservation and growth of disc golf as a respected sport. Respecting trees and branches on the course ensures that future players can benefit from the same natural challenges and beauty that drew enthusiasts to the game in the first place.

2. Personal Growth and Skill Development

Preserving course elements such as trees and branches challenges players to learn and adapt their disc golf skills. By maneuvering around these obstacles, players can refine their techniques, develop patience, and enhance strategic decision-making abilities. Embracing the challenges presented by natural elements allows for personal growth, leading to improved performance and scores.


The PDGA Code of Conduct plays a vital role in maintaining the essence and integrity of disc golf. By refraining from damaging trees and branches on the course, players uphold the values of respect, sportsmanship, and fair play. Preserving these natural elements not only enhances a player's experience but also contributes to the development of a unified disc golf community. Let us embrace the principles embodied in the PDGA Code of Conduct and recognize the importance of safeguarding trees and branches, fostering a sport that is both challenging and rewarding for players of all levels.

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