What Is A Mando In Disc Golf? Essential Guides For Beginners


Disc golf is not only about successfully throwing the disc into the basket. Like other sports, it has rules for players to follow. For example, you must pass the mando to hit the target with your disc. 

You may be wondering: ‘What is a mando in disc golf?’ It’s a part of your game, and some rules exist. Today, we will help you discover the term “mando.”

Let’s follow this guide to join the competition without committing to the rules! 

What Is A Mando In Disc Golf?

A mandatory, or a mando, is a designated pole, tree, or any form of obstacle marked by an arrow on a hole. Disc golf players must cross to one side of it. 

If players can’t pass the mandatory, they will receive a penalty stroke and must re-throw their discs from a specified drop area or the previous lie. 

The purpose of mandatories is to present a special task and prevent disc golf players from choosing an easier path through a hole.

There are different mandatories on the course (Link).

Why Do We Have The Mandatory?

Mandatories ask players to throw their discs in a particular path. Why is it necessary when it affects the way you play disc golf? There are several reasons for it. 


The difficulty level of your game will increase due to the mandatories. You have to shape your shorts in a specific manner to avoid obstacles. Then, your game can never be boring. 


We use the mandatories to direct disc golf players away from some course sections that can pose a risk. Those obstacles can be buildings or roads. 


We set mandos on the course to ensure that all players will take a similar path to the hole. If there is no mando, more experienced players will choose a simple, more direct path. 

Course design

Course designers use mandatories to create a specific layout or flow for the course. Thus, players have to follow the designated path. 


Disc golf is also about strategies rather than only skills. Players must decide whether to take a safe route or try a risky line to gain an advantage. 

The mandatories serve a lot of purposes (Link).

PDGA Rules About The Mandatory 

Here are some rules from the PDGA regarding mandatories:

Rule 804.02

A mando is a designated point where players must pass their discs to the right side to finish the hole. Failure to pass it will incur a penalty.

Rule 804.03

A player must face a penalty shot and go to the drop zone or prior lie assigned for that mando if they fail to pass it in the proper direction. 

Rule 804.04

The officials or disc golf players can designate the mando by a marker or any visible means, such as a ribbon or arrow. It must be visible from the tee pad.  

Rule 804.05

To give players even more of a challenge, the course designer may assign optional mandatories. Players may choose to try them or not. If you can pass those mandos, they will receive a bonus stroke.  

Rule 804.06

Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell if you have passed the mandatories. In this case, you need a spotter or tournament officials to decide. 

If they can’t reach a decision, the player must re-throw their disc from the previous lie and get one penalty. 

Rule 804.07

One of the most critical roles of the mandos is to promote safety. They should direct players away from the zones with hazards, such as buildings or roads.  

This video will show you more rules about mandatories updated in 2022:


Learn the rules before you start (Link).

When Is The Mando Used?

We often have the mandos on competitive tournaments when directors want to challenge disc golf players. 

As aforementioned, mandos will make your games challenging and fair. Hence, sometimes, you can add a mando to any hole on the course during casual games.  

Different Types Of Mandatories

There are three types of mandatories: single, double, and height-restricted. 


Single mandatories require players to pass the obstacle on its right or left side. Otherwise, they will incur a penalty. 


Double mandatories require players to pass between two obstacles, such as two poles. If they fail, they will receive a penalty. 

These types of mandatories are popular when disc golf players want to increase the difficulty level of their games. They are also helpful for improving the shots’ precision. 


Height-restricted mandatories ask players to throw their discs under a height. We often use them to prevent risks that may happen when you throw the discs too high.

There are three types of mandatories (Link).

What Happens If You Miss A Mandatory? 

There are several cases where you miss the mando, each having a particular penalty. The most common situations include the following:

  • If you miss the mando and your disc lands on the right side, you may continue the game without suffering any penalties from that position.
  • If you miss the mando and your disc rests in the wrong place, you must re-throw your disc from your previous lie and have a one-stroke penalty. 
  • If you miss the mando but your disc flies back onto the right side before landing, you can continue playing from that position without penalty. 
  • If you throw the disc around or over the mando to get an advantage, you may get a penalty or disqualification for breaking the rules.

If there is an argument about whether you have passed the mando on the right side, the tournament official or the spotter will decide. If they can’t come up with an agreement, you will re-throw from your previous lie with a one-stroke penalty. 

Please note disc golf rules and penalties regarding the mandos may differ from place to place. Hence, learn the rules of your next competition before joining it.

You will get a penalty in some cases
You will get a penalty in some cases (Link).


What Is A Mando In Disc Golf

How Disc Golf Discs Are Made

What Do You Need to Play Disc Golf

Can You Play Disc Golf With One Disc

How Many Discs Do You Need to Play Disc Golf


Mandos will be a helpful tool for tournament organizers and course designers to establish a fair and challenging course for disc golf players of skill levels.

You should comprehend the rules to prevent disputes about mandos throughout a round. Then, your game will go smoothly. 

There are many other terms and rules to learn about disc golf. Subscribe to our blog, and we will grow together. 

Thank you for reading! 


Share the Post:

Related Posts