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Walking Off Yardages (Back in the Day)


Esox

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It's funny how well we could score back in the days when one judged distance to the pin pacing off distances to out ball from known yardage markers. Those of us who were better at estimating the radius of any said markers distance were better at clubbing ourselves. Not knocking GPS devices and range finders, it just astounds me how well we did without that stuff. Not that I want to give any of the new stuff up! My estimating eye had also gotten lazy. I found myself pulling the wrong club a couple times last week before a look at the watch told me I was being stupid. Once from only 80 yards, I was thinking more like 60.........

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TBH, I think I need the distance measuring devices (laser or GPS, not the markers) inside 100 a lot more than I need them outside.  If I know where, say, 200 and 150 yards to the green are, or 150 and 100, I can probably pick a reasonable club for the shot -- there is enough of an overlap of where my 6-iron and 7-iron can finish up, for example.  If anything, it might force me to think about more than "okay, this distance to pin ... it's a red flag, so add 5 yards... pick X iron."  Which I should be doing anyway. 

-- Michael | My swing! 

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  • iacas changed the title to Walking Off Yardages (Back in the Day)
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I used to practice my paces. And we knew which yardage markers were a bit off.

But it was slower, and less accurate. So I too don't want to go back. Not that we would.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
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Before I got a GPS, I had my pace down pretty good. I was able to do like 49-50 paces over 50 yards. I had a pretty good 1 yard long step. 

Yea, it is just a waste of time now when you can just use GPS or Rangefinders. I rather not go back to having to pace of shots. 

Matt Dougherty, P.E.
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I remember those days. I was playing a new course and was at least 250 yards a out on a par 5. I saw a sprinkler head near me and walked over to take a look. Instead of yardage it had the following engraved on it: “just hit the damn ball”.😆

 

Edited by Carl3
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Started the game long after GPS was available.  Can remember the first cart with onboard GPS, way kewl!  My gate is a “short yard”, so I like the GPS on my watch.  I still will check the course yardage markers against the watch for accuracy purposes.  Also I like to shoot it with the rangefinder, I need to check mine to see if it can adjust for slope.  All that to say, I did not play when all you could do was step it off for the distance based on your stride length.  

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Ping G400 3h and 4h R flex
Taylormade SLDR 5i thru PW graphite shaft R flex
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26 minutes ago, WillieT said:

I still will check the course yardage markers against the watch for accuracy purposes.

Don’t wanna play behind you!🤣

26 minutes ago, WillieT said:

 I still will check the course yardage markers against the watch for accuracy purposes.  Also I like to shoot it with the rangefinder,

Don’t wanna play behind you!😂

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I used to love walking from the clubhouse with my metal spikes and pulling out my spiral bound laminated pocket yardage book from my home course (and other local courses). I could hit my tee shot knowing the distance to the hazards then find the closest marker, tree, or bunker and know front, middle, and back. Check the pin sheet or flag color and hope it’s right and throw one in there. That’s how we used to do it. 
 

Then I was liberated with the rangefinder. I have maintained that it was the single best golf purchase I have ever made. Seriously, it nailed down distance control and when combined with a map, gps layout, or local knowledge it has been a game changer. I still miss the book, in fact it’s at my old home course in a display. And the sound of the spikes, that was the sound of time to play golf.  Just be careful on the steep sidewalks or you would be skating! 

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58 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

And the sound of the spikes, that was the sound of time to play golf.  Just be careful on the steep sidewalks or you would be skating! 

And the sound of a wooden driver head smacking a balata ball.  It's not that long ago in history...

2 hours ago, WillieT said:

I still will check the course yardage markers against the watch for accuracy purposes.  

Don't forget to check the U.S. Naval Laboratory atomic clock against the time on your watch, for accuracy purposes. 😀

Edited by Double Mocha Man
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You guys are too funny - @Vinsk and @Double Mocha Man ….I’m not one of those, I love ready golf and love to not hold folks up.  What I should have said that I do a quick check but do not spend an inordinate amount of time checking distances. It makes me wonder though,  back in the day, how long did folks have to wait while the group in front stepped it off.     

Edited by WillieT

Ping G400 SFT 10deg  R flex
Ping G410 3w R flex
Ping G400 3h and 4h R flex
Taylormade SLDR 5i thru PW graphite shaft R flex
Cleveland CBX wedges - 50, 54, 58 or 52, 58 (depending on my mood)
Odyssey Versa or White Steel #5
Srixon Q Star

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2 hours ago, WillieT said:

It makes me wonder though,  back in the day, how long did folks have to wait while the group in front stepped it off.     

I have a friend down in LA who also happens to be the slowest golfer in the universe. He used to pace off everything under 80 yards.  The folks behind us had to damn well wait until he was finished pacing it off. Luckily I was smart enough to move ahead of him for when people would start hitting shots into him. I got to witness several confrontations. I don't play with him anymore.

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I still do a bit of pacing when I forget to charge my GPS and it quits.  To my chagrin, I have found that courses have begun to ease off of the maintenance of yardage markers, especially sprinkler head markings.  It used to be second nature but now I have to remember to start counting when I reach one of the 200/150/100 markers.

Brian Kuehn

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21 hours ago, WillieT said:

I still will check the course yardage markers against the watch for accuracy purposes.

Why? Course markers can be wrong.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

Why? Course markers can be wrong.

I think it goes back to before I had the gps and rangefinder.  Sometimes we used the markers to “guesstimate” and then verify with the GPS and/or rangefinder, all depends on how busy the course is. 

Ping G400 SFT 10deg  R flex
Ping G410 3w R flex
Ping G400 3h and 4h R flex
Taylormade SLDR 5i thru PW graphite shaft R flex
Cleveland CBX wedges - 50, 54, 58 or 52, 58 (depending on my mood)
Odyssey Versa or White Steel #5
Srixon Q Star

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2 hours ago, WillieT said:

I think it goes back to before I had the gps and rangefinder.  Sometimes we used the markers to “guesstimate” and then verify with the GPS and/or rangefinder, all depends on how busy the course is. 

His point is that the physical markers are far less likely to be "accurate" than GPS, which is less likely to be accurate than a laser.

It's not a habit worth continuing. It's a habit worth actively breaking.

I just make a guess before I get my yardage with a laser, and see how close I am to it.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

I just make a guess before I get my yardage with a laser, and see how close I am to it.

That's what I do as well, pulling the laser from its pouch as I make my last couple of steps and the push cart glides to a rest.

2 seconds later I have a measurement, and after another 5 seconds or less to think about what I want to do, I have a club in my hand. Get in position, a mini-practice swing (say 5 to 8 o'clock) to find the bottom, a waggle, and the ball is in the air well under 15 seconds after I get to the ball. I have never been accused of holding people up...

Philippe

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

His point is that the physical markers are far less likely to be "accurate" than GPS, which is less likely to be accurate than a laser.

It's not a habit worth continuing. It's a habit worth actively breaking.

I just make a guess before I get my yardage with a laser, and see how close I am to it.

Agree with the points made and I will take the advice to break the habit.  The laser was in full use in the best ball tourney last weekend, as it made it quick work to validate the pin distances off the players playing ahead of us when they were on the green.  

Ping G400 SFT 10deg  R flex
Ping G410 3w R flex
Ping G400 3h and 4h R flex
Taylormade SLDR 5i thru PW graphite shaft R flex
Cleveland CBX wedges - 50, 54, 58 or 52, 58 (depending on my mood)
Odyssey Versa or White Steel #5
Srixon Q Star

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