When I was brand new to disc golf, I was really bad. Oh, yeah, I’m talkin’ WTF-Richard-throw-your-disc-into-that-tree-10-feet-away bad. But I still had fun because, c’mon, it’s disc golf! So for the first year, I played a lot doubles disc golf with my friends. And I learned quite a bit about how to play doubles in all its glory.
In this post, I’m going to lay out a quick guide for you about doubles disc golf. We’ll be looking at solo play, casual doubles, and competitive play as well as the PDGA rules for doubles, how all of this can help you get better, the different types of doubles play (most popular types to least popular types of play), and 3 tips for your doubles play. Alright, let’s get to it!
What exactly is doubles disc golf?
Also called party golf, doubles disc golf allows you and a friend (or multiple friends) to all play together in various game types that allow you to work together to achieve a better score. Doubles can be played in a couple of different ways, with the most popular game type being best shot disc golf. Doubles disc golf is a fun way to play if you’re playing through a casual round.
Doubles disc golf is also played in competitive tournaments with teams of players playing against each other. Doubles, in competitive fashion, is played using a variety of different game types including best shot, worst shot, tough shot, alternate shot, best score, combined score, and odd man.
Official doubles rules
The Official Rules of Disc Golf’s Appendix B contains the rules for Doubles and Team Play. You can find the entirety of Appendix B here on the the PDGA website.
Below is a summary of the official doubles rules as listed on the PDGA website ⬇️.
Why will this help you get better in disc golf?
I love doubles disc golf and I have since I first started playing. Why?
• Doubles is a no pressure way of playing: if you want, you can go out with your buddies and play teams just to play. And if you’re trying to keep scores down, you’ll be able to. Because both you and your partner(s) will probably throw a good shot or two.
• Better scores can lead to improvement: so we’ve already established that you’ll probably get better scores when playing doubles. But more than that, when you start seeing yourself getting these better scores it can be super motivating. That motivation in itself has helped me play better. But better scores can mean more fun on the course. And I almost always play better when I’m having the most fun out on the course.
• It can be be competitive or casual: you can play a casual doubles round with any of the different types of play listed below. Or you can ramp it up to super competitive and play for bragging rights. Check out the following seven different ways to play doubles disc golf below ⬇️.
The different types of doubles play
Best Throw (Best Shot)
Best throw is definitely the most popular way to play doubles disc golf. And it’s super simple as well.
Both team members will throw off the teepad at first. The team then chooses which of the two discs to play from on the next throw. So basically, whoever’s shot was better is where you will both throw from on the next shot.
You all will throw from the next chosen lie and once again, will pick the best throw. Once one player is able to hole out, that hole is completed. Both team members don’t have to make it in the basket. Now just add up your score. This will be the number of throws from the lies that were played plus any penalty throws (throw 1 ➡️ best throw chosen ➡️ throw 2 ➡️ best throw chosen ➡️ throw 3 to hole out = 3 throws).
This game type is undeniably frustrating but can add an extreme twist to your rounds.
Both players throw and the opposing team chooses which throw a team is to throw from next. The goal is to maximize the opposing team’s score by picking the worse of the two throws. Both players again throw and the opposing team picks the worse throw. Each hole is completed when both players on the team hole out.
This game type is similar to worst throw, but only requires one team member to hole out.
The team picks which team member throws first on the first hole. From then on, you alternate who throws at every throw. First you, then your buddy after your throw, then you after his throw. A hole is completed when either member makes a basket.
In best score, you and your partner will both play as if you were playing singles. You both throw your own drives, approaches, and putts. Upon completing the hole, whoever records the lowest score is what your team score will be. So if your score is better on hole 1, that is your team score. If your partner has a better score on hole 2, that score is added in with your score in hole 1 to equal the team score.
For combined score, you play as though you’re playing a singles round. But after each hole, you add up the score. Each player throws their own disc, and the players’ scores are added together to make their team score. Not the most popular way to play, but this one is still fun.
3 tips for doubles disc golf
1. Better players throw first
Let the better of the two throwers throw first for three reasons. First, the better player doesn’t want to see a bad throw and then be pressured when throwing. Second, the player who’s not as good, when seeing the better player absolutely sling the disc, will probably have a better throw. Third, the better player going first allows a bit of freedom to take a bigger risk on their shot. Even if your throw is terrible, the second player can come in and get a decent throw in to save the score.
2. Know the throwing order (and keep it)
Establish a throwing order early and keep it. Once you’re in a good groove and playing well, you don’t want to have to think about trivial things like who’s throwing next. Throw in order based on our first tip and keep that throwing order.
3. Take a risk!
This last tip is probably the best one on this list. No matter what kind of doubles gametype you’re playing, don’t be afraid to risk it all. This just means that you shouldn’t stick to a singles mindset. It’s you and someone else both getting a chance to play almost every single shot, so don’t ever play it safe during a normal doubles round. Make it a point to try a tough gap or to make a 50 foot putt. It’s ok. Take the risk…because it will pay off in doubles.
Try out single doubles
Before you go, I want you to try out what I’ve called, “Single Doubles.” This gametype is casual and is played by just you. Basically, you’re playing doubles by yourself using more than one disc. It’s kind of like having a partner but you’re throwing both discs. I like to play like this sometimes because it takes some pressure off when playing a tougher course or if I’m just looking to get some more throws in during my round. I normally throw my first shot as normal, then I use the second shot to take a risk or take a shot I wouldn’t normally take. It’s fun and it can get you some extra practice. So try it out!
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