Out of Bounds

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Out of Bounds

Postby Stick » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:02 pm

I'd like to start a discussion about this topic. How do we explain to the average golfer and beginner that out of bounds is not an option? How do we get the point across that O.B. is there to protect the public and not just create an inconvenience for them? I see people throwing from the wooded O.B. on 3, 5, 14 and 17 all the time. I try to tell them their O.B in a nice way, but lets face it, there are a lot of morons on the course who just don't grasp the concept or really don't care. I've even tried to explain that the O.B. is for walkers safety but they always relpy with "I'm just practicing" or some other dumbass excuse. That is why we have O.B. right? I don't care if they penalize themselves or not. These are probably the same guys that leave their beer cans cause someone picks them up. Should we put up signs that explain why O.B. should be respected? Along with some other rules of course etiquette. For the most part I just ignore it and keep on with my game, but it seems that in the long run it could be a problem with the park. More newbees arrive everyday.
Or should I not even care?
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby doublejack » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:15 pm

What he said.

I'm a little more forceful when I see someone throwing on a hole before the players ahead have holed out — still polite, mostly, but I make sure they know it's "course rules" and not just "a good idea."

This might be a good approach for the OB, too. People seem more receptive when it's not just you telling them what to do — "hey, I don't really care so much, but it's course rules." At least with throwing on people, it is actually posted on the sign; I'm not sure about not throwing from OB.

Thanks for bringing it up, Stick.
Well done is better than well said. - Ben Franklin
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby pepe » Fri May 01, 2009 7:53 am

Have you thought about a taser? They work well I hear.

I simply tell them, politely, that they've gone out of bounds and that they should throw inside the peeler core for safety's sake. It usually works.

GGP has all kinds of OB, and much of it is weird, especially to a rec drinker (that's what I call them these days), so we can't expect those who care more about beer to think about OB. That's how it goes...
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby faes » Fri May 01, 2009 10:38 am

I don't think I see it the same way. Honestly it doesn't bother me at all when casual players throw from OB, as long as they shanked OB, and didn't play to that spot intentionally. I do see OB as our best attempt to protect non-golfer pedestrians from throws off the tee. AND, for players that want the game to be competitive, it adds a welcome element of difficulty. I think it IS possible for players to play safely, and not follow OB rules. To me, it's there to deter someone from throwing into a dangerous area, but some players simply do not have the control to execute that plan. I really believe that most players acknowledge OB exists and try to land their shot in bounds. If someone is not playing for score - just having a casual walk in the park and throwing at targets - I think it's unreasonable to expect them to pick up the disc, get back in bounds, and throw again if their OB position is clear of danger. I'm all about getting on someone if they are putting others at risk. But from what I've seen, most throws from out of an OB area are not unsafe shots. If OB was there exclusively for safety, we wouldn't have hole 3's fairway running directly down an OB path where pedestrians can emerge from Fulton at any point. I throw that shot all the time, and I know it's not totally safe. I do what I can to make sure my line is clear of hazards to make it safe as possible, and I think most casual players do that when they play shots back in bounds from OB. (side note: if the course design was exclusively about safety, we'd have a mando left of the first tree on hole three, right?)

I played for a solid year with one disc, a general disregard for OB, and counted any shot that hit metal as being holed out. Metal anywhere, even the lock at the base of the pole. I had fun every time. At the time, I was definitely bothered by anyone preaching to me about the way I played the game incorrectly, as I was not infringing on their own fun. It definitely came across as pretentiousness. There are pdga rules, and I now choose to follow them, but this course is not owned by the pdga. It's a public park where people go to have fun. If pdga rules made the game more fun to them, they'd play that way. Most casual players are not at a point where they are seeking that level of competition. I think there's a right way to encourage players to play safely, and inform them of course design if they clearly do not understand the game. But there is a way to do this without passing judgment or becoming the rules police that discourages new players from developing their game at their own pace. If you are well intentioned and genuinely friendly when you approach someone, it will show. If you approach someone because you are pissed off and judgmental about them playing from OB, that will show too.

Are there really course rules? Or are they more like guidelines? Anyone can throw a disc in the park just about anywhere they want, right? Couldn't we go play catch with a lid in the pedestrian-filled plaza between the De Young and Academy of Sciences? I think you can encourage someone to play safely, without infringing on their fun. Let people have fun - that's how the sport grows, and that's what sucked me in. I think we should lead by example, not by lecturing. Safety above all, of course. But I think this sport grows more from people getting hooked and evolving into competitive players because they are having fun, and less from trying to forcefully impose the professional, respected image that many of us want.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby Stick » Fri May 01, 2009 11:33 am

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to be a rules police. I wanted to see how members of the club feel about the issue and the forum has been stale for a couple of days. That and I'm just bored.
I just don't think people realize why there is an O.B.. They think it's there for the hardcore player. Maybe it is like Jeff said, to make the game more challenging. The only times I have said something were on days when the park was really crowded. To tell the truth I haven't been here long and not sure why most of the O.B.'s were created. I was just thinking that if there was someway to explain to everyone why there is O.B. it would help in the long run. I know that not everyone out there even cares. I have seen a few regular walkers make an issue of it when they see it.(one guy with a jack russel in particular) If we did have a sign and something happened later, not having a clue wouldn't be an excuse. Kind of like adding an extension on a tee pad to prevent injuries but people tee from it because they assume it was added just to make the tee longer. If they step of the end and break an ankle, what then?
I learned disc golf and ultimate at the same time, from people who were avid players. So when they were playing casual they expected all of us to respect the rules even though we weren't keeping score. They explained why and I accepted it as part of the game. I had the benefit of experienced golfers.
I understand that there are a lot of new and casual gofers out there. But as a club trying to promote the sport I feel that it is up to us to educate the public on basic rules and in some cases why they are in place. In a kind and respectful manner that is.
I guess I should ask, What kind of liability does the club have with saftey issues? It is a public park but the club pushed hard to install a course.
And I have been reprimanded by the police for playing catch in a crowded area and once for playing catch in a practically empty Dallas airport baggage claim area.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby faes » Fri May 01, 2009 12:22 pm

Stick - It wasn't my intention to target you as the rules police. I don't think of you that way - I too just wanted to share my ideas with a stale message board, and tried to present my wider view on the issue. You sparked my interest in the subject, so mission accomplished, right?

My first response actually stems from seeing a lot of experienced players getting vocally angry with beginners for various etiquette issues around the course. That bothers me. It also bothers me when players yell at pedestrians who may or may not understand the flow of the course and how they might be impacting the game. Negative, angry actions are, in my opinion, always a distant last resort. Most people respond a lot better to a friendly comment - but it has to be genuine to work. I think that was my main point. I just don't want competitive golfers passing judgement on other park users because they happen see the park, the course, and the game differently than many of us. I don't think most park users are attempting to be offensive, or unsafe, or a nuissance. I just want to encourage positive, reasonable interactions whenever possible.

Also - I think you just made a great point about leading by example. You were introduced to the sport by experienced players and learned to appreciate the rules through them. They led by example. I think we, now as experienced players, can do a lot to promote the same standard with beginners. This is why the Sunday weekly handicap system is great in that it encourages beginners to play an organized event with experienced players. This is why it makes sense to occasionally jump in and play a random round with a group of beginners to share what you know. In contrast, I feel like lecturing the adjacent groups on the course never really sinks in, and just turns people off of the game.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby Stick » Fri May 01, 2009 12:43 pm

I didn't think you were calling me the rules police. I really don't want to be one. I did reread how I wrote my first post and it may come across as harsh to some people.
This type of discussion is what I was trying to accomplish. A serious discussion about issues on our course. I am also trying to open the clubs eyes as to how we may be treating others,golfers or not. Also for the members of the club to understand our liability issues if we have any.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby Orion » Fri May 01, 2009 2:21 pm

Where was this passion at the annual meeting? As a member/builder/ambassador to the GGDGC and the one who put in the peeler core I have to jump in on this one. The plain simple fact if that this is a public course in Golden Gate Park that gets all walks of life passing through our little spot in the park. If you try to tell everyone your see going outside of rules/guidelines you are in fact the DG police. There is always going to be that guy out there that pulls out the rule book and calls you for a foot fault, nobody like that guy. My main goal with defining the OB was for weekly players and tournaments. After stringing out those lines on several occasions I thought there had to be a better way to define the OB, working with the peeler core made it easy to do and blended in as well. I still want to stencil a white OB on each of the sections of peeler core to clearly define what they are there for so people in the know can stay in the know. Let's try not to worry so much about those who are out just to have fun in the park. When they buy the Revolution bag and CE Valkyrie on eBay for a $100 they will play with in the rules of the game.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby pepe » Fri May 01, 2009 3:25 pm

most folks are receptive when you let them know politely what OB is. One day I had someone who shanked off 14 and landed on the left side of the 17 tee. He tried to play from that lie when we were on the tee, so I told him nicely about hole 14's OB. Well he threw a fit, and we let him play through. I guess for some folks you come across as patronizing despite your best efforts. And hey, since he had a 40 oz on him, I'm sure the alcohol wasn't helping all that much.

GGP can be a total zoo as we all know. Not much you can do about zoos except for try to keep the animals in their cages...
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby Billym » Mon May 04, 2009 9:52 am

I don't think most rec players have any idea what is in and what is OB.
If the OB designation is to protect the landscape then we may want to post a sign in that area. In Truckee that have posted "sagebrush relief" so folks don't kill the plants. I suggested to Les that we post a "low impact" suggestion for the hillside on #12. Something that says "please be gentle on the plantlife..." kind of thing.
OBs for safety should be managed with mandos and netting (like on 11 preventing the throw at 12 tee).
Otherwise I think we should expect rec players to ignore OB's. I usually show them the markings and explain that these make the course more challenging like it was designed.
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Re: Out of Bounds

Postby k3vIn » Sat May 09, 2009 11:28 pm

wow guys, great discussion. glad i took a look in. i think that you all make good points. i think the only real issue i have on the course is players (rec drinkers to use pepe's vernacular) who, after being politely notified of the rules of safe play continue to throw on a hole where folks are still holing out.

otherwise, and relative to this string, i feel that a good (and valid) argument to make to new course/park users that part of the reason for OB is the 'sensitive area' awareness. when i first started playing and had no ability to effectively control my disc (some might argue that is still the case, but that's beside the point) i was made aware by some of the local players (might have been you peter) that the area OB between holes 15 & 17, and behind 14c was actually primarily an erosion/environmental sensitivity issue. it stuck with me, and i remember keeping aware of the safety issues (watching for peds), and still playing from OB on holes 3 & 5 for some time after that, but never on 15/17 if i shanked the hell out of it, as that seemed like an important distinction.

might be another way to appeal to the newbies sensibilities...

-k
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