Do All Golf Courses have Yardage Books?

Do all golf courses have yardage books? Well, the answer to this question is no. All golf courses used to have yardage books. Whenever golfers traveled to courses, they would pick up one from the pro shop before setting out to play. 

However, with the advent of rangefinders, hand-held GPS units and digital yardage screens, many middle- and high-end courses have stopped keeping yardage books altogether. Even in some golf courses, the shopkeepers may laugh at you if you ask them for a yardage book.

In addition, if a golf course does not have the yardage book for its course, it is also because they have not been able to get their information to it, or simply because the person responsible for the course does not want it.

The use of the Yard Books is vital in helping golfers understand the challenges a course presents and how to play each hole. Have you ever felt lost on the golf course, not knowing whether to play well, or be more aggressive on the green?

It is essential to provide golfers with the knowledge they need to be successful and have an incredible player experience on the golf course. A golf course with a high-quality yardage book on hand (or as a bonus) gives an immediate impression that it is serious about the sport.

Let’s discuss some interesting facts about golf yardage books!

What is a Yardage Book?

All yardage books are a manual used by golfers when playing a golf round for the following purposes:

  • to help the golfer to plan his course,
  • to provide an illustration or graph showing the difficulties and obstacles ahead,
  • to know meters or yards from the tee to the bunkers,
  • to know if there is water on one side or the other of the street,
  • to the distance to an out of bounds, etc.
  • Thus, yardage books offer a little more information than the average scorecard.

It helps golfers develop a playing strategy for each hole and determine optimal ball placement using the distances, and hazards listed on the yardage book according to their skill level.

golf yardage

The “official distance” of a hole can be seen on the scorecard. But many do not know in detail how these figures were calculated.  Measurement of a hole must be made by drawing a horizontal straight line from the fixed tee mark along the intended line of play to the center of the green, which means that one must correct the line of sight for measurements at horizontal distances. 

In the case of downhill or uphill hole, said horizontal line must be leveled at a point in the air above the center of the green. Whether it is a par 3, 4, or 5, the horizontal line strokes will be very decisive in later steps.

Every page of a yardage book usually has three key areas:

  • The general map of the holes.
  • The map of the Green.
  • Notes on the falls of the Green.

The player gets an overall idea of the hole overview, the general shape, look and feel of the fairway, the boundaries, and the holes’ location. It enables the golfer to decide where to put the ball from each tee and plan a certain shot accordingly. 

A good Yardage Book will include distances for various fairway points, enabling golfers to make different shots based on their distances to the drivers or their handicap.

Why is a Yardage Book Needed?

When you consider a yardage book, always put yourself in the players’ shoes, whether men, women, children, or seniors. Distances should be reflected thinking of all of them, even professionals. 

professional golf course yardage books

There are holes where a distance from behind of 260 meters must be included because professionals can reach it. In the same sense, you have to contemplate a bad start and that the ball stays in no man’s land, that is, without close references.

Therefore, the golfer needs to plan the next recovery shot to achieve the best possible result after the initial failure. Many golfers try to keep the references fixed (bunkers, sprinklers, trees, etc.), although sometimes they disappear due to inclement weather.

Thus, a good yardage book is valued for the details used to maintain the balance in terms of the distance covered, not forgetting the strategic ones, resulting in good value.  

Professional players often include numbers and annotations in their books that could be confusing for amateur  players. However, the base of the book must be well constructed for those who want to compete with more demanding annotations. It is important to consider that in addition to the “official distance” of a hole, there are other distances.

Stakes on the sides of the fairway, usually in the rough, do not indicate the exact distance from where the Green begins, instead they are used as a visual reference of the mark that’s in the center of the fairway (plate, paint mark, etc.). 

They are referenced to the beginning of the green because the green has different peculiarities. In most fields, it can be observed that there are stakes on the sides of the fairway indicating distances. It is where the doubts begin for the amateur player.

If you’re a pro player and have been playing this game for years, you must be familiar with the importance of a yardage book. To make things more fair,  each player should have the yardage book of any golf course, and that the golf course also benefits from this as it can have an essential and quality tool for all its clients. 

You can order your golf course yardage book online at an affordable price.

Do All Golf Courses Have Yardage Books Conclusion

We hope the information above has answered the question; do all golf courses have yardage books? Yardage books have been a great source of information for golfers on the course about the distance from the green, the hazards in between, and optimal golf ball placement. 

However, with the advent of new innovative tools, golf courses are getting away from them altogether. And, there’s nothing wrong with it. New tools are more accurate and have improved the game a lot.

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