It is fun to invent your own holes and targets!
This page is intended to provide some ideas but is not in any way a list of official or required targets. You do not need to use any of these ideas to have fun with Small Disc Golf, but you might find these to be useful starting points when designing your own golf holes.
All golf holes require a tee and a target. Everything else is up to you.
A tee can be as simple as a dot on the playing surface. When it is a dot players have less choice about where they position the disc for throwing. It should be noted that after teeing off, all subsequent lies are essentially equivalent to a dot on the playing surface.
But a larger tee allows players more choice in where they release the disc, which encourages a wider diversity of throws. More choices also allow individual player experiences to influence their game. Fewer choices makes for a less interesting game.
Whatever is used for a tee it should be secured so it doesn’t move between player’s turns.
If the tee is a line either the player must release the disc above the line, or alternatively players might be limited to throw from anywhere behind the line. If the tee is not a line, but some kind of shape, the players must release the disc from above some part of the tee.
Ideas for tees:
- A sheet of paper, possibly cut to a smaller size and/or a non-rectangular shape.
- A pen or pencil or chop-stick defines a line. It can be in any orientation.
- A golf disc (either SDG or normal sized or a marker disc).
- A natural feature of the course, such as the edge of the carpet, or a threshold, or a specific tile on the floor, etc.
A Small Disc Golf “hole” doesn’t require a fairway. If you are playing in a very limited space (such as a single room) there simply may not be room for a fairway.
Fairways are the “easy” way to the pin. That doesn’t mean they are completely free of obstacles, but they are generally defined by the fact that they have fewer obstacles. For example, if you could walk to the pin you would probably be doing so in the fairway of a hole even if you had to walk around a table on the way.
Here are some ideas for indoor fairways:
- The open middle of a room
- The area over a wide obstacle like a table or sofa
Obstacles & Mandatories
Obstacles and Mandatories are a fun way to add novel challenges to the game. Obstacles must merely be passed – any way you pass by them is sufficient. Mandatories are also obstacles but they restrict the possible ways in which a disc can pass. For example, a Mandatory might require going under or over or left or right or even through an obstacle. There can be more than one rule in a Mandatory, such as going left of one obstacle and right of another.
The most important part of any Mandatory is that it is unambiguous and clear to all players. If a Mandatory rule says the disc must fly left of an object, does that mean the disc must also be below the top of the object? Or can it fly on the left of the object but also higher above the ground than the height of the object? In general if a Mandatory doesn’t prevent a flightpath then that flight path is allowed.
Obstacles generally do not need any special rules or conditions to be understood. They are functional and their presence is sufficient to define them. But, you can choose obstacles when you design a hole by placing the tee and pin so the obstacle is in the way. Thus, anything that could interfere with a throw can be an obstacle.
Here are some ideas for Mandatories:
- Under a table and between its legs
- Left or Right of a lamp and below its shade
Here are some ideas for Obstacles:
- Big pieces of furniture
- Cardboard Boxes
- A bicycle or stroller
- Chairs placed at strategic places
You can also have fun by choosing different kinds of targets. Of course you can always place a Topple Target wherever you want, but there are lots of other kinds of targets you can contrive.
The main requirement of a target is that it must be able to be reset for other players after it has been achieved by one player, and it must be obvious when it has been hit. Usually it is sufficient to put a dot or small square of tape where the target is placed so it can be easily put back for the next player.
A pillow on a couch that cannot be seen from the tee is one of the worst possible targets. You cannot hear it hit the target and the disc might bounce off the pillow after it hits. If you can’t see the target you won’t know whether it was hit.
Here are some ideas for simple targets made from things you might find at home:
- A pot or small box- the disc must land inside
- A glass on a stand (for example on a narrow shampoo bottle) – the glass will make a sound when it is struck
- A specific tile on the floor (or collection of tiles) – the disc must be overlapping some part of these when it comes to a halt
- A colored feature on a rug – the disc must be overlapping some part of it when it comes to a halt
- A standard golf disc, upside down – the SDG disc must land and remain inside the inverted disc
- A bathtub, sink or shower basin – the disc must remain inside
- Through an opening like an open door or window – the disc must pass through and remain up on the other side
- A flashlight pointing straight up – the disc must knock it over
- A lighter standing up – the disc must knock it over
- A paper towel cardboard tube – the disc must knock it over
- A figurine (at least 4” tall) that stands on its feet or a small stand and can be knocked over.
- A pair of playing cards leaning on each other
- An AA battery standing on its negative end
- A dry erase marker or highlighter pen (these usually have a flat ends)
- A stack of small coins (at least 10)
- A hand-towel or handkerchief on the ground – the disc must come to a halt on it or touching it
Here are some things you should not use as targets:
- Do not use fragile things like a wine glass or a tall candle as a target
- Do not use people or pets as targets!
- Do not use shoji screens as targets!!
Moving targets are difficult to arrange so that they are fair for all players. A swinging pendulum slows down and covers less distance as it does so, making the shot easier for later players, or players who wait before throwing.