Updated: Dec 29, 2020
It's a disc golf marker!
What is a disc golf marker?
It marks your disc!
When you're new to the sport and begin playing some rounds with more seasoned players, you'll quickly notice that they have these "miniature" disc or discs in their bag or in a special slot on the outside of their bag.
You may think that they're just nifty little trinkets to personalize their bag, but they actually serve a VERY important purpose:
They serve as a marker for where your disc lands!
In a casual round of disc golf among friends, whether or not you use a mini probably isn't that big of a deal, as long as everyone is on the same page prior to the start of the round.
Similar to calling your own fouls in a pick up game of basketball.
However, in tournament and league play, minis are extremely important tools to stay within the official rules of the sport.
As per the PDGA rules in Section 802.06 (you can read the full rule on the PDGA official site HERE):
"The position of a thrown disc on the in-bounds playing surface marks the lie."
Sounds easy enough right? Just let your disc lay and throw your next throw with a different disc.
But, what if you would like to use the same disc again?
What if you don't want your disc to get in the way of another player?
What if you don't wish to unnecessarily expose your disc to the elements?
All valid questions, and all that can be answered with the use of a mini disc. Because of questions such as these, the PDGA rule continues:
"Alternatively, the player may mark the lie by placing a mini marker disc on the playing surface, touching the front of the thrown disc on the line of play. A mini marker disc is a small disc, not used in play, that complies with PDGA Technical Standards for mini marker discs."
How do you use a mini disc?
Just as the rule states, to use the mini marker disc, simply place it so it is touching the front of the disc you just threw, on the line of play between your disc and the basket.
Then you're free to pick up your disc and continue playing the hole.
(You can CLICK HERE to read the full marking the lie rule)
To simplify, here is how you would do it during an actual round:
1. Throw you shot, hopefully you ace, but if you don't watch where your disc lands.
2.Let all other players in your group take their shot.
3. Approach your settled disc, mini disc in hand ready to go
4. Place mini disc down in front of your disc so it is touching the edge closest to the basket
5. Pick up your thrown disc and place back in your bag
6. Take your next shot by not crossing your mini on a run up approach or by placing your foot firmly behind the mini for putting/jump putting, being sure to not cross the throwing line when within 10 meters of the basket!
As noted, when on the fairway, you are permitted to run up to your mini marker, as it serves as the throwing line, but you are not permitted to cross the mini marker until after the disc is released as normal tee off rules apply.
When you are within 10 meters of the basket, all parts of you body must be behind the throwing line and under control until the disc reaches the basket.
Simple enough, but wait...
Mini Marker Disc Technical Standards?
The PDGA does identify mini disc specifications in THIS DOCUMENT as follows:
"discs must have a circular shape, with a diameter ranging from 7 cm to 15 cm and a height not exceeding 3 cm. Mini marker discs can be made from a variety of materials (e.g. plastic, metal, wood)."
Don't worry though, most mini discs that you purchase from a reputable disc golf shop or dealer will have mini discs that are compliant with these standards and approved for use.
Find The Perfect Mini Disc!
What's fun about minis is that they can be fully personalized for each player.
You could use any old generic mini disc and play a round just fine, but what fun is that?
Choosing your favorite color, a replica of your favorite disc, a replica of your putter, or even a mini with a sweet stamp on it of something cool that you like, such as Star Wars, a fictional character, or a professional sports team.
Additionally, mini discs are often used as giveaways or freebies in player packs and can make for fun keepsakes from tournament and events you've played in as they usually have a stamp that is relevant to the event.
You can even order your own with your own personalized custom stamp!
They can be used as decor on your home disc rack and I'd even go as far to say they could be used as drink coasters in your mancave or den when turned upside down!
As noted, you will be able to find minis made out of plastic, wood, metal, and just about anything else, the sky truly is the limit on the various options out there.
Most of which are very inexpensive and cheap addition to your bag.
So grab yourself a mini, grab some for your disc golf friends, and go play some disc golf!
Interested in picking up a mini for yourself or ordering a more custom one to replace your current mini disc? Then be sure to check out the numerous options at Infinite Discs by clicking on the link below!
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