How to Make a Yardage Book for Golf

A yardage book is an essential tool for golfers of all skill levels, as it provides detailed information about a golf course and helps golfers plan their shots more effectively. Creating a yardage book for a specific golf course can be a rewarding and enjoyable process. Follow these steps to create your own personalized yardage book:

Gather materials:

You’ll need the following materials to create your yardage book:

  • Graph paper or a notebook with grid lines
  • A pencil and an eraser
  • A ruler or measuring tape
  • A compass or a GPS device (optional)
  • Colored pencils or markers (optional)
  • Access to Google Earth or similar satellite imaging software (optional)

Research the golf course:

Visit the golf course’s website to gather as much information as possible, including a course map, scorecard, and any available hole-by-hole descriptions. Additionally, consider using Google Earth to get a bird’s-eye view of the course, which can help you map out the fairways, greens, and hazards.

Measure distances:

Visit the golf course and use a measuring tape, rangefinder, or GPS device to measure the distances between important landmarks, such as tee boxes, fairways, bunkers, water hazards, and greens. Make sure to measure the distances from multiple angles to provide a more accurate understanding of each hole.

Sketch the course layout:

On your graph paper or notebook, start by drawing a basic outline of each hole, including tee boxes, fairways, and greens. Use your ruler to ensure the distances you measured are accurately represented. Be sure to include any hazards, such as bunkers, water, or trees, as well as any significant elevation changes or slopes.

Add details and annotations:

Once you have the basic layout of each hole, use colored pencils or markers to highlight specific features, such as water hazards in blue or bunkers in tan. Include any relevant notes or observations, such as the location of preferred landing areas, the slope of greens, or the direction of the wind. If possible, include yardage numbers for key distances, such as the distance from the tee box to the center of the green or the distance between hazards.

Include a course map and scorecard:

Create a course map that provides an overview of the entire golf course, including the locations of each hole and important landmarks, such as the clubhouse or practice facilities. Attach a copy of the course’s scorecard to your yardage book, which will help you keep track of your scores and provide additional information about the course’s par, handicap, and yardages.

Bind your yardage book:

To keep your yardage book organized and protected, consider binding it using a folder, binder, or booklet. There are also specialized yardage book covers available for purchase, designed specifically for holding and protecting yardage books.

Test and refine your yardage book:

Use your yardage book the next time you play the course, and take note of any areas where your measurements or notes could be improved. Continuously update and refine your yardage book to ensure it remains accurate and helpful.

Steps to Create a Yardage Book

1Course research and selectionInternet, golf course directory1-2 hoursChoose a course you frequently play or plan to play soon
2Obtain course map and layoutGolf course website, Google Earth, or pro shop30-60 minutesObtain any course maps and aerial photos
3Course visit and measurementsMeasuring wheel, GPS device, or rangefinder3-5 hoursMeasure distances for each hole, hazards, and notable features
4Sketching the holesGraph paper, pencil, ruler, eraser2-3 hoursSketch each hole to scale, including hazards and yardage markers
5Finalizing the yardage bookLaminated paper or cardstock, binder or booklet1-2 hoursAssemble the book, including notes on strategy and personal preferences

Key Measurements and Distances

HoleTee to fairwayFairway to greenHazardsHole lengthPar
1200 yards150 yards3350 yards4
2280 yards120 yards2400 yards4
3180 yards170 yards3350 yards4

Course Slope and Rating

Tee BoxCourse RatingSlope RatingBogey RatingGender

Green Information

HoleGreen size (sq. ft.)Slope directionNumber of tiersNotable features
15000Back to front1Front bunker
26000Left to right2Back bunker
34500Right to left1Water hazard

Personal Notes and Strategies

HoleClub selectionWind factorShot shapeTarget linePersonal notes
1DriverCrosswindDrawLeft-centerAvoid bunker
23-woodTailwindFadeRight-centerAim for safe zone
3HybridHeadwindStraightCenterClub up for wind


By following these steps, you’ll create a valuable tool that can help you better understand the golf course, make more informed decisions during your round, and ultimately improve your overall golfing experience.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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