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The Backstory of Yardage Books

My first foray into making yardage books started out while sketching on blank pieces of paper while I was bored at my 9 to 5. As an amateur golfer, I had come to the early realization that eliminating the blowup holes would allow me to shoot lower scores, and enjoy the experience more with my family and friends.

Echo Falls Yardage Book

As I worked on my swing and began to know the general vicinity of where my ball would be going, these sketches turned into detailed drawings of the courses I played from the previous weekend.

I would spend significant time on the holes that gave me the most trouble so that I could brainstorm ways to lower the risk of writing down the dreaded "8" on my scorecard.These sketches were giving me my first glimpse into golf course design, and as I started looking at satellite images of great courses, it allowed me to peek into the minds of great architects such as Mackenzie,

Crenshaw, Fazio, Dye, Jones, and Ross.

Cypress Point Golf Architecture

As I began to sketch overhead views of these courses, I began to realize specific areas of the course where a good architect would cleverly place a bailout area, a fairway bunker, or why the green complex sloped one way versus the other. I began to visualize the perfect shot on every hole of the course, which, if I executed this shot would allow me to eliminate the large numbers and increase my chance of scoring well.

These sketches turned into rudimentary, handmade, yardage books that I would bring with me to the courses I played on a regular basis. Most courses I started playing on, didn't't provide yardage books, and I didn't

have enough skin in the game to purchase a laser rangefinder, a GPS, etc...

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