Flex Start Events Explained

The 2021 disc golf season is going to not only break but it will completely shatter any previous year for disc golf events. One of the main new additions will be flex starts. Flex start tournaments have become increasingly more and more popular each and every year around the disc golf world because they are cheap, easy, fun and unique for everyone involved. Being that the format is new to our community, some information is always needed to get started.

Quick Facts

  • Single-round “hot round wins”
  • Cash payouts for MPO / FPO are common but generous merch-outs are as well
  • Gift card and/or disc golf merchandise prizes for all other divisions
  • Round can be thrown anytime inside a flexible time window (ex: 9am-6pm)
  • Cards must be at least 3 players but cannot exceed 4
  • PDGA-rated when sanctioned
  • Standard PDGA rules
  • Course is not closed to non-tourney players

The Process

  • Show up to the course at the same time as your card mates
  • Throw your round
  • Report your score to the course official on-site within 30mins of finishing
  • You’re all done!


“Can I throw my round solo or with just one friend?”

For the purpose of properly officiating and governing a round, a card must have at least 3 players. The players on a card must officiate each other during tournament play and to do so within the rules, there must be someone on the card to second a call on another player one way or the other. Ex: Player A says player B went out of bounds, player B disagrees so then player C must second the decision on whether the disc is OB or not.

“What happens in the event of a tie?”

Often the players with the “hot round” / lead in their divisions will stay around the course until the rounds are done or return to the course nearing the end of the time window. If two or more players tie for first place in a division and are all available at the end of the day, they would do a sudden death playoff. If only two of the 3+ tied players are available, they would do a playoff and the other players would remain tied. If any less than two of the tied players are available, the tournament would go as a tie.

“How do COVID restrictions affect flex start events?”

With the small card size, flexible time window to spread cards out and zero gathering necessary, flex starts are actually quite friendly to covid-19 restrictions. For the 2021 season, we may have to take a little bit of the “flex” out of flex events to ensure player safety. For this season alone, we will be trying to schedule rough / approx tee times to help space out the cards.

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