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A Complete Guide to Yardage Book Design

Do you want to learn more about yardage book design?

Golf, at first, is so confusing to try all the more the best way to figure out the best way to approach a hole. A yardage book is essential for helping me learn about course layout and what clubs are needed.

When you give golfers the knowledge they need to be successful, it not only improves their experience on your course but also makes your golf business look professional. One way of doing this is by selling high-quality yardage books (or giving them away as a perk). This will make an immediate impression that your company cares about the sport.


What Is A Yardage Book?

A yardage book is a handbook that golfers use when playing the game. It contains information about distances, hazards, and green complexes for every hole on the course.

A yardage book develops strategies before each hole and determines optimal ball placement based on their skill level. Click To Tweet


How to Create a Yardage Book Design

The best yardage books are attractive and easy to understand. Many design principles go into creating the perfect one, so we put together this guide full of tips for making your yardage book design.

Here is a guide on creating a yardage book that is useful for your customers. To do this, we need to consider some best practices before starting on the project.

yardage book design

1. Start with a real plan

If you want to be successful, don’t try to do everything yourself. It is not enough to tell a designer what needs to be done; it takes more than that.

Before you start making your yardage book, make sure it is cohesive and appealing. If the overall look of the final product isn’t clear in your mind yet, go back to step one!

Talk to your team members and get their input on the new company direction. They may have insights from past experiences that will help you avoid mistakes.

2. Yardage book size, fonts, covers, etc.

Usually, yardage books are the size of a 3.5 by 5.5-inch field notes pad, but they can get as big as an 8.5 by 11-inch note pad with advertisements placed in them.

It is essential to pick a font that will be readable and consistent with the branding of your course. You should also use two different fonts to distinguish between sections in the yardage book.

The cover of the yardage book should match its look and feel with that of the golf course, whether it be weather resistant or leather. You can find many covers for your yardage books on Amazon or through custom manufacturers.

3. Develop a clear legend, icons, and colors

Yardage book design is similar to the map for golf courses. The only difference is that everything on this course communicates some feature or aspect of the hole.

It would help if you were very careful about the symbols you use. They should always represent what they are and remain consistent across your yardage book.

You’ll need diagrams and images to represent the features of a golf course, such as:

  • Tee boxes
  • Tree lines
  • Fall lines
  • Rough
  • Bunkers
  • Green and hole placement
  • Water hazards
  • Boundaries
  • Drop zones
  • False fronts
  • Lateral hazards
  • Trees, rocks, and shrubs
  • Yardages
  • Cart paths
  • Carry distances

When mapping out your course, it’s essential to use a set of different icons. We recommend using colors for other areas usually found on the golf course. For example, in your yardage book, you could make dark green represent rough terrain, brown for sand traps, and blue for water hazards.

4. Use a clear layout in your yardage book design

Usually, a yardage book has one page, a front cover, and a back cover for every hole. Sometimes, some pages have notes about the course, the facility’s restaurants, pro shop, or advertisements. 

Course operators are finding new ways to generate revenue with yardage books. They can place ads in the book, which creates money for them and helps golfers find products they might want. However, these advertisements mustn’t take away from content or clutter up pages.

A yardage book usually has three key areas on each page:

  • Hole overview map
  • Green map
  • Notes about the hole

yardage book design

The hole overview gives the player an idea of the shape and feel of fairways, boundaries, and pin location.

It will tell a golfer where to put the ball from the tee box. Also, a good yardage book will indicate carry distances for various points on the fairway so players can plan shots based on their driving distances.

Meanwhile, the green map should have a grid with yardage and fall lines. You may consider representing hole locations with a flag. This will allow players to understand where they should expect their shots to break.

A notes section for each hole is a great way to convey yardages, difficulty, slope, and rating. Players can also input their comments.

5. Use technology to aid the yardage book design process

Don’t use PowerPoint or Word if you want your yardage book to look professional. Design programs like Photoshop and Sketch are flexible design tools that professional designers regularly use for projects.

Photoshop is high-quality software that you can download for free at their website. Gimp and Canva are also great alternatives.

Once you have a design tool and know your way around it, start by creating yardage designed to be simple. We’ve created templates for easy use with icons already included.

6. Design each hole

Once you have set up your yardage book template in the design suite, it is time to start putting together your blank yardage book.

You can’t play golf without a map of the course. A drone camera is unnecessary, but it could help you find your way around and show an aerial view. Use Google Maps or download the Google Earth desktop app to get accurate layouts.

You can find high-quality satellite imagery of your golf course on Google Maps. Once you have found a clear image, please take it to the design editor and cut out the page with an overlay for when someone is playing from that hole.

Google Earth is an excellent tool for determining yardage. To measure distances, click the ruler icon in the left-hand menu and map your yards to critical points on fairways and greens. Once you know how far away things are from each other, take a screenshot or mark it down so that there’s no question about what needs to be done.

7. Outline accurate carry distances and yardages

A yardage book is a critical resource for golfers, but most courses overlook this. They only put in the distances from tee box to hole and give you no help with information about fairways or greens.

The distance measurements on golf courses tell you how far away the ball needs to be from a particular spot. For example, someone with shorter or longer driving distances can use these numbers when deciding where they should place their balls.

Yes, there is rangefinder technology that can do the same job. However, it’s hard to beat pen and paper when a yardage book contains details about an individual golfer, such as what clubs they use or where their handicap lies. Rangefinders take time to calculate distances which means you could be waiting around for them while your competition gets on with playing.

8. Design the green diagram

Each hole page should have a diagram that will give golfers an idea of where the ball will break, how far each putt will be, and what they need to do during their approach.

Consult your pro about the features of each green and get their opinion on how to play it. Ask them for feedback based on what they see in the diagram.


Finalizing Your Yardage Book Design

Once you have finished designing each hole with icons, boundaries, and hazard markers, you are almost finished!

To finalize the design of your yardage book, consider adding a small legend at the beginning to explain what each icon means and include front page branding for courses. Click To Tweet

After reading this article, you should be ready to create your yardage book. Once you have your yardage book completed, head to the print shop, ensure that when saving your file for printing, it is at least 300 DPI and with CMYB colors.