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How to make a yardage book?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
So I pulled out a stack of old Golf Digests/Golf Magazine's and found the December '09 issue of Golf Magazine with Jim Furyk on the cover. Since Furyk is one of my favorite players I decided to take it with me for something to read while getting the oil changed on my car. In the interview/tips article with him he mentions :
Important! Build a Pro Yardage Book.
"If you haven't judged the different elevations or the firmness/softness of the greens on your home course in a yardage book, then you're making a big mistake. This is critical information if you want to score your best, and all it takes is an afternoon, a pad and a pencil. Nail all the variables with your favorite foursome. The more data you can gather, the better."
I recently purchased a 5 pack of small notebooks (kind of coincidental lol) for writing down the stuff that my instructor and I had been working on, and stuff about rounds that I've played. So this got me thinking about possibly using the extra one/s to maybe do what he's suggesting, only I have no idea how to do it, nor do I have a Laser Rangefinder/Standalone GPS unit (I have GolfShot for my iPhone...but it's a bit sktizo on signal lol) Does anyone have any idea on how to actually do this?
post #2 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

I usually try and go to google earth and use the ruler function to measure the important points on the course. I would also try and use google maps to make a layout of each hole. Play the course, and make notes.
post #3 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

you could pace off yardages, but this would be 100x easier if you had a laser. I assume you play the course you want to make a yardage book for often. so maybe you could go out there kinda late one day and just think about the prime spots to be in order to set yourself up to have a nice approach into the green to make birdie. you should figure out how far that area is from the tee and then from that spot to the front, middle, and back of the green. At the same time you should take note on if the green has multi tiers or not and where to be so you can make sure you are below the hole no matter which part of the green the hole is cut and get the yardage to that spot on the green. you should also take note on how far it would be to clear certain obstructions or hazards. mark it all down as you go. this is a rough explanation but im sure you get the idea.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Originally Posted by out_in_30 View Post
you could pace off yardages, but this would be 100x easier if you had a laser. I assume you play the course you want to make a yardage book for often. so maybe you could go out there kinda late one day and just think about the prime spots to be in order to set yourself up to have a nice approach into the green to make birdie. you should figure out how far that area is from the tee and then from that spot to the front, middle, and back of the green. At the same time you should take note on if the green has multi tiers or not and where to be so you can make sure you are below the hole no matter which part of the green the hole is cut and get the yardage to that spot on the green. you should also take note on how far it would be to clear certain obstructions or hazards. mark it all down as you go. this is a rough explanation but im sure you get the idea.
That's pretty much what I've been thinking. My phone gives me a few hazards and their distance/carry distance and whatnot, I just feel it would be easier if I had a laser lol. Who knows, I might get a Leupold GX-I through work since I've got 50% off with them...its just that 200 is still pretty steep. (says the guy who wants a $250 nike method) :P I've been thinking about pacing stuff off, but that also makes you have to remember how long your stride is and make sure you take relatively the same length stride each time lol. It was insane watching Fanny (Stensons caddie) walking around on the 18th hole at whistling straits for nearly 45 minutes just writing stuff down, walk to another spot, write something down, laser a spot...etc etc.
post #5 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

What I did is just focus on the problem holes first and work your way back

for example, I have a monthly at my local golf course. So I play like once a day. I would take 2 holes per 9 and focus on the yardages, hazards, ob, green speeds, elevation, ect. and those 2 holes would usually be the 1st / 2nd hardest holes on each 9. (hardest holes for ME to play, not lowest handicap holes)

But now I've played that course so many times I don't really need to bust the book out. I can remember where to hit the ball to, my usual yardage, and where to hit the balls into the green.
post #6 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

the ruler function on google earth is incredibly accurate and perfect for creating your own yardage book. i know the basic yardages and ins-and-outs of my home course, but with google earth i was able to create a yardage book that includes distance to carry hazards, distance to certain layups, exact distances on par 3s, and most importantly the depth of the green. i had a clear enough image where i could see the markers on the fairway and i tested all those to be spot on....very reassuring.
post #7 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Another vote for Google Earth and the ruler tool! You can also capture screenshots on Google Earth and email tem to yourself. It's possible your yardage book could be composed of color photographs from each hole.

It has not been mentioned yet, but yardage books start with the GREEN and work back towards the various poisons for most second shots. When I was a kid I worked at the 91 PGA Championship (Daly) and after the final round I asked Stven Richardson's caddie for his yardage book, which he gave to me. The detail is incredible. This is thenyardage book used by all players. It wqs put together by a guy who works three or four weeks ahead of the Tour, and they are sold to the players at the event. Not sure how it works now, but he was a legend and the players loved him I'll try to list everything I see.

Greens-
Green depth and width
General locations of large contours, indicated w ///||\\\ showing a slope, tier and the way it sits
depth of apron and bailout/landing areas
depth and width of bunkers and the yardages needed to carry their edges

Approach shots-
Distances from anywhere and everywhere to the FRONT EDGE of green
Every sprinkler head, 150 style bushes, significant trees, bunkers or other things such as the corner of the dogleg, the edge of the lake, etc. Tour caddies receive pin location sheets before every round, so they know the hole is for example 12 yards from the front edge of the green on Friday, 5 yards on Saturday. That is why the yardages are listed to the front edge of the green.

A fairway bunker for example - yardage is listed like THIS

128 w an arrow pointing to the green
245 w an arrow pointing back to the tee

From that exact point in the bunker, it's 128 to the front edge of the green and 245 to carry it from the tee. Dozens of these all over the fairway and rough - anywhere a drive might be hit. ie 115 from the corner of the dogleg to the front edge of the green and 258 to carry that point from the tee.

Fun stuff -
The guy who used to make the books for the Tour made a good living, as his were the best. He had an acronym on each hole. JICYFU. This was found way off the fairway, where a player would be in trouble. No distance back to the tee, just to the green. That old, out of place tree way left over the creek and close to OB? It's 145 to the front of he green from there. I won't spell out the acronym for you, bu it's Just In Case You ____ Up. There are even a few with an extra letter, an R for REALLY. Way, WAY off the fairway --- JICYRFU. With yardages back to civilization. JICYRFU.... It's 153 to the front edge from next to the bridge over by the maintenance shed!!!


Cheers, Bryan
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Are you talking about this guy?
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Originally Posted by Bryan SD2 View Post
This is thenyardage book used by all players. It wqs put together by a guy who works three or four weeks ahead of the Tour, and they are sold to the players at the event. Not sure how it works now, but he was a legend and the players loved him I'll try to list everything I see.
Cheers, Bryan
If it's not too much to ask, is there any way you could possibly scan a page and upload/post it as a visual example?

Another thing I've been thinking about is how you would mark differences in elevation. A few holes either finish above where the tee box is, or the tee box is a good amount above the fairway.
post #10 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

I may try to make one of these for golfing.
That's not a bad idea at all. Haha, thanks for suggesting.
post #11 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Originally Posted by DarkPrince View Post
If it's not too much to ask, is there any way you could possibly scan a page and upload/post it as a visual example?.
I'll post something better. The yardage book I have (sorry, don't have a scanner) is black and white drawing. While it is detailed, it's rudamentary. What you have below is a replication of that yardage book, but using a Google Earth Photo of one of my favorite holes, the 18th at Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, IN. This is a par 5. The yardages on the dots withing 100 yards or so to the hole indicate distance from the dot to the front edge of the green. The points back in the fairway have TWO yardages. The one closer to the green is the distance to the front edge of the green. The yardage underneath the dot is the distance back to the tee box.

The PGA Championship Yardage book looked just like this, but was drawn in black and white. I like this better. It took me about 3 minutes to get the yardages from Google Earth. I drew a CRUDE outline of the hole on paper, then wrote the numbers on it. Another minute to crop the photo, and a few minutes to enter the numbers from my paper onto the image in my favorite photo editing software.



Putting Green Breaks are shown like this.....




The larger the ////||||||\\\\\\ The steeper the break. I don't really feel these types of drawings will help players like us very much, especially if you are doing your home course or a course you play a lot. You probably know the greens and just want yardages from various points along the hole. I think this photo would be better if it were zoomed in/blown up a bit, but just wanted to show you the idea.


Black or white drawing or Color Aerial Photo? I'm going with the color! With regards to elevation changes, those can be indicated with putting green ////||||\\\\\ just put them in the fairway and a little number next to it. Say, a 5. That means there is a five yard drop from the tee box to the fairway. IF the green is 5 yards back UP... put down the //////||||||\\\\\\\ but put the 5 on the OTHER side of the lines to indicate it's a 5 yard CLIMB this time.



post #12 of 30

Re: How to make a yardage book?

Obviously, the fairway yardages belongs in the top half of my post, the putting green breaks at the bottom. Sorry. If you had the bottom photo in your hand when you played this hole, don't you think you could plan your tee shot well, and then club correctly on your second - and do so from ANYWHERE in the fairway or rough?

Quiz time, how far to the front edge of the green in case you ____ up and end up in the trash? Winner gets a shredded up Pro V1.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

So as a random update, I got a laser rangefinder for my birthday this year and I have walked the first hole of one of the courses so far, I left my bag on the front of the tee box standing upright as a target, and walked the hole just zapping back at my bag for carry distances, and hit the flag (-7 yards) to get the distance to the front, I didn't take a whole lot of time since it was really cold out, and I didn't want to get in trouble since the course wasn't technically open yet (practice range/green was, just not course). I also picked up a few legitimate yardage books from Stracka.com to get an idea of what the heck I'm trying to do. One thing I'm wondering is how to denote that a certain area is all long grass.

Pics:

List of targets/#'s
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b204/TAD_Dark_Prince/cd0e1f47.jpg

Used google earth/photoshop to make an outline

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b204/TAD_Dark_Prince/7aff1d19.jpg

 

 

 

Real yeardage books:

Left is Whistling Straits #18 (I've played there/was there for the tournament so I figure I might understand it more) Right is Pebble Beach #7

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b204/TAD_Dark_Prince/_MG_2358.jpg

 

 

 

The crazy looking part is the green diagrams, part of me just goes "WTF!?"

Left: Straits #18, Right Pebble #7

http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b204/TAD_Dark_Prince/?action=view&current=_MG_2359.jpg

post #14 of 30

I made a yardage guide for my senior project in high school. This was before google earth which would have made my project a lot easier. I used a landscape design program to create the hole the best that I could and I used various landmarks for yardage markers. My father and I went out at 5am on a saturday with a laser (I'm talking old school laser) he had a small umbrella (no pinseeker on this bad boy) and I would bounce it off the umbrella. If I was doing it today I'd use google earth but with gps and range finders the yardage guide is a lost art for amateurs. 

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

That's kind of the problem I'm running in to, a lot of times at certain angles I can't hit parts of the fairway either by the laser not getting a reading, or just objects in the way. I figure no one wants to just stand around acting as a target for a few hours, and looking at overhead views/from experience, there are a few holes where I can't laser because the tee shot's are blind from certain tee boxes, so I may have to use a combination of my Golfshot App GPS and laser, figure out what the average difference is between the two and just kind of guess lol.  I think if I walk the courses and take my time, it will be sunday afternoons after 6 when I'm done with work.  The place is dead around then and my friend is done with college midway through may so we'll start playing again on sundays after that, might be able to rope her into helping me lol.

 

I have 2 of the 3 courses "mapped" although some look better than others, and I can't figure out if I want to do color or black/white. I figure color for at least bunkers, maybe water, lateral hazards, Some I have trees as just outlines and others are colored...etc

 

They are just in my photobucket for now:  http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b204/TAD_Dark_Prince/Yardage%20Book/
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clubchamp View Post

I made a yardage guide for my senior project in high school. This was before google earth which would have made my project a lot easier. I used a landscape design program to create the hole the best that I could and I used various landmarks for yardage markers. My father and I went out at 5am on a saturday with a laser (I'm talking old school laser) he had a small umbrella (no pinseeker on this bad boy) and I would bounce it off the umbrella. If I was doing it today I'd use google earth but with gps and range finders the yardage guide is a lost art for amateurs. 



 

post #16 of 30

I made my own yardage books. Printed off color pic's of the holes, take my range finder with me, mark every landmark, bunker, tree, etc etc. It is now a very detailed book, and I no longer need my range finder. Having the book is good for everyone in the foursome.

post #17 of 30

I would learn to pace, you can easily find your stride, just measure out like 50 feet, and then start at one end and take even steps that you can repeat on the course. Take the number of steps you take in 50' and divide 50' by them, then you get your stride length. For me, i am pretty close to 3' per stride when i take a slightly longer step than normal.

post #18 of 30

I've never used the google earth ruler - so i dont know if that is easier (im going to check it out) but this is how i do it:

 

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

 

Find your course with address, then select "Satellite" from the upper right - zoom into the hole you want to measure

Then select "Manually (strait lines)" from the left panel

Hit start recording, then double click the starting point, then double click the ending point

Then use a website that does miles to yards convertions.

 

Its very suprising how accurate it is (double check a par 3 against the scorecard and you will see).

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