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Distance Markers and Pace of Play

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
One thing that would help me play golf at a faster, but still enjoyable pace would be distance markers that are easy to find and consistent across daily fee courses. I don't belong to a private club (did when I played often) and enjoy playing the variety of courses available across the Deep South.

Yesterday, I played a course that had markers at 200, 150, and 100 - painted circles in the center of the fairway. Unfortunately, my crew does not customarily play down the center of the fairway, so finding the markers involved a bit of hiking around. On some holes we could not find a marker, so perhaps not every hole was marked?

The par 3 holes had distances on the scorecard, but the tee boxes were quite long and unstructured, so distance to the center of the green was a pure guess. A bit of wasted time while we haplessly discussed the challenge.

We have been playing together for many years, so we know pretty much how far each one of us hits a particular club. (E.g, "that looks like a 6 iron for you") We score mostly in the low to mid 80s at 6,000 yards, which is our preferred length.

My mood really brightens up when I see that a course places easily seen stakes in the middle of a fairway. Generally, though, you never really know what you are going to get. What is really "fun" is a course that teases you by marking some sprinkler heads, but not most of them. So you look, never certain of what you will find. One of the guys has a range finder, but that is only useful on courses that place reflectors on the flagsticks.

Anyways, it would be nice if the USGA established a consistent, easy to use system of marking distances to the center of the green for use at public play courses.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by easyjay39402 View Post

One thing that would help me play golf at a faster, but still enjoyable pace would be distance markers that are easy to find and consistent across daily fee courses. I don't belong to a private club (did when I played often) and enjoy playing the variety of courses available across the Deep South.

Yesterday, I played a course that had markers at 200, 150, and 100 - painted circles in the center of the fairway. Unfortunately, my crew does not customarily play down the center of the fairway, so finding the markers involved a bit of hiking around. On some holes we could not find a marker, so perhaps not every hole was marked?

The par 3 holes had distances on the scorecard, but the tee boxes were quite long and unstructured, so distance to the center of the green was a pure guess. A bit of wasted time while we haplessly discussed the challenge.

We have been playing together for many years, so we know pretty much how far each one of us hits a particular club. (E.g, "that looks like a 6 iron for you") We score mostly in the low to mid 80s at 6,000 yards, which is our preferred length.

My mood really brightens up when I see that a course places easily seen stakes in the middle of a fairway. Generally, though, you never really know what you are going to get. What is really "fun" is a course that teases you by marking some sprinkler heads, but not most of them. So you look, never certain of what you will find. One of the guys has a range finder, but that is only useful on courses that place reflectors on the flagsticks.

Anyways, it would be nice if the USGA established a consistent, easy to use system of marking distances to the center of the green for use at public play courses.

It sounds like a laser rangefinder could be your new best friend. They're pretty affordable and it sounds like you could really use one if you're relying on course markers for distance. The cheaper alternative is GPS (watches, or hand-held devices). You can also download a GPS app, free, on your smartphone.

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

It sounds like a laser rangefinder could be your new best friend. They're pretty affordable and it sounds like you could really use one if you're relying on course markers for distance. The cheaper alternative is GPS (watches, or hand-held devices). You can also download a GPS app, free, on your smartphone.

Yep.

And a modern rangefinder will work on any flag, or object, not just those with reflectors.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


Yep.

And a modern rangefinder will work on any flag, or object, not just those with reflectors.

I was worried that I wouldn't have any luck with this, because the few times I tried out a friends, I couldn't hold the thing steady at all.  I was afraid that I would never be able to read a flag without reflectors.

 

Turns out, with a little practice, it's really really easy.  In fact, even with the flags that do have reflectors, I'm not getting a "locked" reading half the time, but its OK, because I don't need it.

post #5 of 10

I understand the issue.  Before I purchased a GPS a year ago, I was also at the mercy of course yardage markers.  I have always liked the idea of small upright markers in the fairway at 200/150/100. Makes for good targets, especially on layups on par 5's.  Also, par 3 holes should typically have one or more accurate yardage indicators when there are long or multiple tees.  Not everyone has a GPS or rangefinder and adequate and visible yardage markers are very helpful.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I actually have a Bushnell pinseeker, but am not able to hold it steady enough to get a read on the distance, so I gave up on it.

Still, I think courses would fare better with their golfing customers by providing consistent, simple, findable distance markers than by expecting that they own range finders. Some courses have GPS built into the golf cart, which is an elegant solution.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by easyjay39402 View Post

I actually have a Bushnell pinseeker, but am not able to hold it steady enough to get a read on the distance, so I gave up on it.

Still, I think courses would fare better with their golfing customers by providing consistent, simple, findable distance markers than by expecting that they own range finders. Some courses have GPS built into the golf cart, which is an elegant solution.

Does it have a "scan" mode?  I can't hold mine steady enough to shoot a single distance on something like a flag either.  But when I am able to hold the button down and get repeated readings, it's easy to go through a sample of 4 or 5 of them  (ie ... 182, 145, 144, 183, 182) and tell that the flag is 145 away and the hill behind the green is 182.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by easyjay39402 View Post

I actually have a Bushnell pinseeker, but am not able to hold it steady enough to get a read on the distance, so I gave up on it.

Still, I think courses would fare better with their golfing customers by providing consistent, simple, findable distance markers than by expecting that they own range finders. Some courses have GPS built into the golf cart, which is an elegant solution.

Most courses here in NE Ohio either have painted strips on their cart paths, or they use 4x4s and/or PVC pipe which is painted according to their yardage legend. I still find these to be less than useful sometimes though because depending on where the green is in relation to your ball, you can easily be +/- 20 yards. That could be the difference of 2-3 clubs depending on what type of shot you need to play. It would definitely be useful to those who do not want to use GPS or laser, but I still hear people complain and say "Who the hell measured these markers?" when they're short/long on courses that incorporate these markers.

post #9 of 10

Getting instant yardage doesn't speed play. We play several courses with gps carts that give distance to every obstacle, front, center and back of green. When it gets slow the number one reason is people chasing balls. Knowing you are 212 out or whatever does little when the golfer is hunting through scrub trying to find a ball. It might help them catch up if they can string enough good shots together but the ball chasers rarely mishit it once or twice. In fact it's the real bad shot that leads to another and more that kills the time. Not the number on the card but the time trying to get out of all the jams they get into.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

Getting instant yardage doesn't speed play. We play several courses with gps carts that give distance to every obstacle, front, center and back of green. When it gets slow the number one reason is people chasing balls. Knowing you are 212 out or whatever does little when the golfer is hunting through scrub trying to find a ball. It might help them catch up if they can string enough good shots together but the ball chasers rarely mishit it once or twice. In fact it's the real bad shot that leads to another and more that kills the time. Not the number on the card but the time trying to get out of all the jams they get into.


Totally agree, when we spend time looking for balls, it when is seems like the rounds are the longest.  But to the original question of yardage makers, one of the public courses in my area uses a small colored marker in the middle of the fairway, makes it very easy to see and determine yardage.  The marker is on a spring also, so if it gets run over by a cart it just springs back up, I have found that is as good as any yardage marker that I've seen (outside a GPS or Rangefinder).

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