Disc Golf

What is a Mando, and why do disc golf courses have them?

Mando Throw off the Tee

Understanding Disc Golf Mando

A disc golf mando, short for mandatory, is an obstacle on the course that dictates where players must throw their discs. Mandos can take various forms – they can be trees, poles, or other structures that a player must navigate to the left or right of during their play. These obstacles are not merely for aesthetics or to add unnecessary difficulty; they serve several crucial functions. The purpose of mandos is threefold.

Firstly, they are placed for safety reasons, ensuring discs don’t stray into areas where they could potentially harm others, such as crowded parks or nearby property. Secondly, mandos increase the difficulty level during tournaments, adding an extra challenge for the players by forcing certain types of shots. Lastly, mandos can be used to avoid natural obstacles could be environmentally sensitive.

Playing mandos not only secures safety but also allows players to showcase their skills and decision-making abilities. They test a player’s accuracy, ability to judge distance and angle, and strategic planning. For beginners stepping into the world of disc golf, understanding mandos is a crucial aspect to properly of learning disc golf. When playing mandos, you will find the need for different types of discs to navigate around or through mando markers. Beginner Disc Golf offers a wide range of disc golf sets, drivers, midrange discs, putters, and beginner discs.

Marking Mandos on the Course

Mandos on a disc golf course are usually designated at the tee sign for an individual hole where a mando is in play. In addition to this, signs with arrows are typically used to point out the location and direction of the mando. These signs provide clear and straightforward information about the mando’s position and the required direction of play, helping players plan their throws accordingly.

Navigating Mandos: Rules and Penalties

To add an extra layer of challenge and strategy to the game, some courses feature double or triple mandos, requiring the disc to pass through multiple points. These multi-mandos amplify the game’s complexity, testing a player’s precision, control, and ability to make accurate throws under pressure. They offer a unique challenge that can significantly enhance a player’s skill level when mastered.

Understanding and correctly navigating mandos is crucial in disc golf, as failing to do so can result in penalties. Failing to correctly navigate a mando results in a one-stroke penalty, adding to your overall score in the game. In addition, most of the time you miss a mando, you are required to take your next shot from the spot where the mando is marked eliminating any additional distance gained on the shot thrown in error.

Each mando is associated with a restricted plane, which is a vertical plane defined by the mando. This plane serves as the boundary that the disc must not cross. If any part of the disc enters this plane, it is considered a missed mando. Understanding this plane is crucial for successfully navigating the mando and avoiding penalties. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) introduced updated mando rules in 2022, offering clearer guidelines on the vertical and horizontal planes of the mando. These updates are designed to provide players with a better understanding of the mando rules and ensure a fair and consistent application of penalties.

After missing a mando, players have a few options. For casual play, the rules are usually explained on the tee sign. For tournament play, the rules are usually set forth by the Tournament Director.

Options for missing a mando can include:
1.  Throw from a designated drop zone.

2. Rethrow from the landing spot but with a penalty.

3. Abandon the throw and rethrow from the same spot essentially acting like a two stroke penalty.

Each option carries its own advantages and challenges, and the choice depends on the course or tournament rules.

Strategies for Playing Mandos

Navigating mandos successfully requires a sound understanding of the game’s rules and a strategic approach to playing. Visualizing the restricted plane associated with each mando is crucial in determining the boundaries and avoiding penalties. This mental mapping of the course can help you plan your throws more effectively and increase your chances of successfully navigating the mando. Additionally, judicious decision-making is crucial in playing mandos. Players need to analyze the course, consider the position and requirements of the mando, and select the best route to navigate the mando. In many instances it is more beneficial to “lay up” to a spot where navigating through the mando will be easy rather than try and hit the mando plane from a distance when there is a high probability of missing.

Mando Rules and Game Dynamics

Mandos significantly influence the dynamics of a disc golf game. They add a layer of complexity and challenge, requiring strategic planning and careful execution. Mandos not only test a player’s throwing skills but also their ability to strategize and make effective decisions on the course. They influence the specific shot choices players make, encouraging them to think critically about their plays and approach each throw with precision and forethought.

Mastering the art of playing mandos can significantly improve your overall disc golf skills and performance on the course. As you learn to navigate these obstacles successfully, you develop a range of skills, including accuracy, control, strategic planning, and decision-making. These skills are not only crucial for playing mandos but also enhance your overall gameplay, helping you perform better in all aspects of disc golf.

Importance of Mandos in Tournament Design

Mandos play a significant role in designing disc golf tournaments. They introduce additional obstacles on the course, adding complexity and increasing the competitive nature of the event. By requiring players to navigate these obstacles successfully, mandos test a range of skills and abilities, making the tournament more challenging and exciting. They ensure that winning a tournament requires not only physical skill but also strategic thinking and effective decision-making. For tournament play, Mando’s also help with the flow of play by forcing shots away from other fairways when the disc golf course will be very crowded.

Furthermore, mandos are strategically placed to discourage players from taking unsafe or high-risk routes on the course. They guide players towards safer routes, minimizing the risk of injury or damage to people or property.

Conclusion: Embrace the Challenge of Disc Golf Mandos

Disc golf mandos significantly enhance the gameplay, course design, and competitive nature of tournaments. They introduce an element of strategy and skill, making the game more exciting and challenging. Mandos test a player’s ability to think strategically, throw a variety of different shots, make effective decisions, and execute precise throws, making them a crucial aspect of disc golf. By understanding and mastering the mando rules, you can navigate the course more effectively, avoid penalties, and improve your performance in the game.



About Joshua Christensen

I am an ultimate frisbee player turned disc golfer. I have been playing disc golf for a few years now and have fallen in love with the sport and love to do what I can to further its growth!