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What Does Mando Mean In Disc Golf?

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Disc golf is a great game and a lot of fun to play. One of the great things about it is how easy it is to approach. It’s a great sport for beginners or really anyone that wants to spend some time outside. You really don’t need a lot of equipment either, just grab a disc and head to your local course. One drawback to the game or maybe a better way to phrase that is one barrier of entry to the game can be the rules. If you’ve never played before, some of them can be confusing. One such rule that can give some players trouble is the mando and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. What Does Mando Mean In Disc Golf? 

What Does Mando Mean In Disc Golf

What Does Mando Mean In Disc Golf?

Mando is short for mandatory and refers to a condition put in place by the course designer that forces players to throw a specific way around an object or objects.

Most of the time, the mandatary is a tree or pole that players must throw around to the right or left but there are other times of mando situations we’ll discuss later.

If you are playing a new course and you are unfamiliar with the layout, mandatories are usually marked on the tee sign where the hole begins and with an arrow on the mandatory maker pointing the way the disc must travel.

Why Might A Hole Have A Mando?

There are two main reasons a course designer would choose to include a mandatory on a hole. One reason is safety.

If there is a parking lot close by or a road next to a disc golf course, the designer may have included a mando to prevent discs from landing in a parking lot or road.

This also helps limit the chance of a disc hitting a car. You might see a mando on a hole that is next to a bike or walking path to prevent disc golfers from hitting people.

The second reason a mandatory would be added to a hole is to increase the difficulty level.

Forcing players to throw a disc one way might make the hole more challenging because the alternative route is far easier. Mandos are a great way to make a hole more technical and interesting.

What Happens When A Player Misses The Mando?

No, you aren’t kicked off the disc golf course and they will let you come back to play again. The disc golf community isn’t that harsh.

Actually, if a player misses a mandatory they will receive a one penalty throw. This means an extra throw will be counted toward your total.

So, if you took 3 throws to land in the basket but missed the mando, you’ll receive a 4 for the hole. If the hole as a drop zone, then the player will throw from the drop zone.

If no drop zone has been included on the hole, the player must throw from their last lie.

How Do You Establish Your Lie When’s A Mando Involved?

When a mandatory isn’t in play, you would establish your lie based on your relation to the basket. With your lie marked, you would line up with your marker and the basket.

This is sometimes referred to as the line of play. But what happens when you are behind the mandatory and the basket and the mandatory don’t line up?

Do you line up with the basket or the mando? If you haven’t passed the mando, then you establish your lie based on the mandatory.

It’s considered your target until you pass it. Once you are passed the mando, you will set your lie based on the basket.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Mandos?

There are three main types of mandatories in disc golf. The most common is the single mando. The single mando forces players to throw either left or right of an object.

The next type of mando is the double mando. This mando basically uses two objects to establish a route instead of one. For instance, you may have to throw to the left of one tree while also keeping to the right of another tree.

The final type is the height restricted double mandatory. Sometimes referred to as a triple mando, this type just adds a height restriction to a double mandatory.

Meaning players must throw in between two mandos while also keeping underneath a third.

Do I Have To Follow The Mando?

While a mandatory can make a hole more interesting and fun, it can also make a hole more challenging. If you are a casual disc golfer you might be tempted to play without it.

So, do you really have to follow the Mando? If you aren’t playing in an official tournament and you’re just playing a casual round with friends, you don’t have to follow it.

But it’s better if you do. The course designer probably put in on the course for a good reason. Plus, if you want to follow the official rules of the game, you have to play with the mando.

If you normally don’t follow a mando on your home course, next time try playing with it. It will make you a better disc golfer.

What Happens If A Player Misses The Mando And Goes Out Of Bounds?

Everyone knows that if you go out of bounds in disc golf you receive a stroke penalty. We just learned that if you miss a mando, you also receive a stroke penalty.

So you would think that two infractions would lead to two penalties but in this case that isn’t so. While it might be a rare occurrence if you go out of bounds and miss a mandatory, you just receive one penalty stroke.

When it comes to your lie, the same thing is still true for if you miss just a mandatory.

If the hole as a drop zone, then you will throw from the drop zone. If no drop zone has been included on the hole, you must throw from their last lie.

Final Thoughts

I hope we were able to clear up all your thoughts and questions about mandatories and how they work in disc golf. Don’t let a mando scare you away from the game or even one hole.

They can add a high technical aspect to a hole but they can also be a lot of fun. Get out there and next time you face a whole with a mando give it a try.

Once you sink that putt, you’ll be glad you did. If you have more questions about how mandatories work in disc golf check out the official disc golf rules here.

Flickr Image Creative Commons Credit – City of Boulder

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