What is a "Mando" in Disc Golf?

Nothing beats playing a round of disc golf with your buddies! If you're anything like us, you're likely familiar with your traditional obstacles out on the course - trees, water hazards, etc. However, there may be an obstacle that you've never seen before - a "mando" or mandatory.

What is a Mando in Disc Golf?

A Mando is an obstacle placed on the course that dictates where a player must play the hole. For example, if you see a "Mando" sign that has an arrow point in a certain direction, you must throw your disc or frisbee to the left or right of that sign. If you fail to do so, you will be penalized and be required to throw from your previous throw with a 1-stroke penalty. Bummer!

What's the purpose of a Mando?

Having a Mandatory out on the course might seem irritating but, they've placed for good reasons.

  • They could be placed for safety purposes. For example, if a course plays close to a highway or public park, the course director might place one to avoid a stray disc from accidentally hitting a car or person.
  • To make the course more difficult during tournament play.
  • To avoid natural objectives such as water, swamps, thorns, etc.

    PDGA official rules

    804.02(A) Mandatory Lines

    1. A mandatory line is a line on the playing surface marked by the Director to indicate when a disc has missed a mandatory.
    2. If no line has been marked for a single mandatory, it is defined as a straight line extending indefinitely from the center of the mandatory object on the incorrect side, perpendicular to the line connecting the mandatory object to the previous mandatory object, or if there is no previous mandatory, the tee.
    3. If no lines have been marked for a double mandatory, then there are two lines, one for each mandatory object. Each line is defined as described above for single mandatories.
    4. A double mandatory may also be height-restricted, in which case there is a third line connecting the two mandatories, with the incorrect side being either above or below the line.

    804.02(B) A throw has missed a mandatory if, from the direction of the tee previous lie, it completely crosses a mandatory line and comes to rest without coming back across the line (a throw or sequence of throws that crosses the line in both directions is considered not to have crossed the line).

    804.02(C) A player who makes a throw that misses a mandatory receives one penalty throw. The lie for the next throw is the drop zone for that mandatory or, if no drop zone has been designated, the previous lie.

    804.02(D) The nearest mandatory whose mandatory line is crossed by the line between the lie and the target is considered to be the target for all rules related to marking the lie, stance, obstacles, and relief, with one exception: 806.01 Putting Area.