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Range finder or Yardage book?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
At the point in my game where I think a yardage book might help me. The question I have is, should I spend the time to make me a yardage book for my home course or wait till I have the extra money for a range finder? Can you tell me some pros and cons for both.

Yardage book I think is a little more handy cause I could add or change notes as needed. Range finder would just give me yardage and that's it.

Thanks
post #2 of 19

Sounds like you have sort of answered your own question.

 

With a yardage book you can add all sorts of notes which could definitely be of use. You can mark green contours and slope % if using aimpoint etc. That said, without a caddy pacing your yardages and knowing exactly where the flag is on the green getting an accurate yardage can be difficult.

 

I would highly recommend a laser if you do get the money together. It's quick to use, you can get a yardage to anything: flags, trees, bunkers etc. But if you have played your home course many many times then you probably have a good idea of which clubs you need to be hitting from different positions anyway so certainly wouldn't need it on every shot but it's always nice knowing you have it if you find yourself in a funky place somewhere off the fairway or if you can't quite see the last yardage marker you pasted.

 

If you can borrow a laser from someone (i know my proshop let me trial one for a round when i asked about it) then give it a shot and i almost guarantee you will like it and want one. It just works quicker and better than any yardage book for the average player IMO. 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That's kinda what I thought. I think I might go the yardage book way at first, because it would be really cheap besides my time. That and after every round I think to my self man I should of played this hole this way or that way and those are the notes I could add in there and remind myself on a regular basis to help me to. I've never used a range finder or laser to really know what they are like. Thanks for you're input.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnframe View Post

At the point in my game where I think a yardage book might help me. The question I have is, should I spend the time to make me a yardage book for my home course or wait till I have the extra money for a range finder? Can you tell me some pros and cons for both.

Yardage book I think is a little more handy cause I could add or change notes as needed. Range finder would just give me yardage and that's it.

Thanks

 

Buy a range finder to create the yardage book, maybe?

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

Buy a range finder to create the yardage book, maybe?

I know some people question the accuracy, but a GPS app for a smartphone would be cheaper (if not free). (Unless he doesn't have a smartphone ... )

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have a smartphone and have tried countless apps. But none of them seem to work for a whole round. Seems like about half way through it doesn't work right. I have since gave up on apps,and nothing worse the relying on your phone and get to the course to find out its not charged enough to make through around.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnframe View Post
 

I have a smartphone and have tried countless apps. But none of them seem to work for a whole round. Seems like about half way through it doesn't work right. I have since gave up on apps,and nothing worse the relying on your phone and get to the course to find out its not charged enough to make through around.


Just a suggestion in case you hadn't considered it. Then I can see all the more reason you'd consider a yardage book.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yea, Thanks swede that was a good suggestion. Now I just gotta figure out the best to layout, make, and get a good reading in the yardage for the yardage book.
post #9 of 19
While a laser rangefinder I feel is a good investment, you might be surprised at the things you learn making a yardage book (even if all it contains is sketches of greens with ridges and important features) of your home course. When you go out of your way to mark down trouble spots and green features, you're much more likely to remember them in the future. It's the reason I like to go out on a weekday before I play a tournament at a new course, so I can take my time and learn some of the ins and outs of a course. I like to draw the greens mostly and pace off distances to ridges on them, as well as note important features that might not be visible off the tee.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
What are your guys suggestions on the best way to mark out some important yardages? Any other tips or ideas when making one?

Thanks for all the help guys.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnframe View Post

What are your guys suggestions on the best way to mark out some important yardages? Any other tips or ideas when making one?

Thanks for all the help guys.

Ideally you would do what the pros do, which is use a laser or gps to find distances to the center of the green as well as other important features on the course from locations such as teeboxes and common landing areas of the fairway. Without those though, it's a bit harder since you can either pace off the distances all the way from the target to the starting point, or you can pace off distances from markers like a 150 marker in the fairway. This second method only works though if the 150 markers are accurate to the center of the green.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks pretzel, I think Iam gonna try a sketch yardage book at first and see how that works. Gonna take my phone and the GPS golf apps on it and get as close as I can on my yardage marks. If and when I see improvement in my score then I'll know to get in more depth on my notes and details. I am thinking the marking of the greens is really going to help me with telling me where I wanna land my ball. Thanks for all the tips guys. Got me excited to see if this will really improve me game like Iam hoping.
post #13 of 19

I can see the value of both.

 

The yardage book gives you an overview of the holes, especially the odd contours of the green, irregularly shaped greens, trees that crowd the landing area, etc. Great for boundaries that don't laser very well, such as how many yards from tee box to edge of creek, to deep swale at edge of landing area, etc. Book also useful for planning your strategy if you only play a course a few times a year.

 

The range finder tells you the yardage spot to spot.

post #14 of 19

A yardage book certainly has some value, but I wonder how often you would consult it after you'd actually fleshed it out.  I think the fleshing out would be a great exercise in and of itself in getting to really know the course.  One other thought:  I've been suing one of the Garmin S1 GPS watches for over a year now and love the thing.  It isn't a yardage book, nor as precise and versatile as a laser that can give you yardage to a bunker or some specific tree, but distance to the hole (front, back and middle) at a glance with no gizmo to fiddle with has its own value.  It will also measure yardage from point A to point B, so you could use it in developing that book...

post #15 of 19

First day with range finder and I already see how this will be a game changer. More than just on the course but in practice. I was at the range and being able to dial in yardages, choking down etc. was an eye opener. I struggle in the 120-60 yard range. Usually not sure exactly how far to certain areas of the green, GPS is vague with regard to hole placements. I got the numbers for the flags on the target greens and was able to feel what is was like to hit whatever the number was for those in between shots. Being able to shoot it and decide what club and how to play the shot should get me closer to the hole instead of just trying to hit the green. I'm not going to start firing at flags but I want my misses to be hole high. All of my best scores are days when that happens even if it's a happy accident. I want to start doing it on purpose.

post #16 of 19

Seems like a lot of work to maintain a yardage book.

.

For us hackers, I think a rough estimate of yardage, give or take a few yards, is enough.

post #17 of 19

Have you thought about a gps watch? remember a yardage book will only work for one course and it is only as accurate as you make it. A range finder or gps watch are going to be far more accurate and useful on thousands of courses. Plus a yardage book is slow as is a range finder. GPS watch is a quick glance and away you go. as far as reading the green well, if its your home course you probably know how each green slopes by now. You can find non usga approved range finders that read the green and tell you the slope. Like you said one costs money, the other time. As a fun project I'd say make the yardage book but seriously look into a rangefinder or watch (both would be much quicker) watch is even quicker then the range finder.

post #18 of 19

How about both? Use the rangefinder to create the book.

 

I use a rangefinder all the time when playing, but it would sometimes be nice to have some specific yardages written down. One example is the second shot on a par five, where the landing area is over a hill and you can't see that well where you are going. The fairway takes an 80-90 degree turn over the hill. There is nothing on or around the fairway to shoot to get the proper distance. There are however trees in the background, which can easily be shot. If I measured the distances from each side of the fairway to those trees, I can find the short and long limits of where I want to hit the ball, by shooting the trees and subtracting the distance from the trees to the fairway.

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