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Hey guys and gals....maybe you can help me out. Im going to be playing some new courses over the next few weeks and was wondering if any of you know the best softare or app I can use to look at a course and map out my strategy on how I want to play it before I get there. Something that shows good imagery and the ability to show distances from tee boxes to layup areas, bunkers etc. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

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The "Swing by Swing" app is great for this. I believe, even with the free version, you can preview any course using the Course Explorer feature. This allows you to view all holes and then use the touch screen to see distances, landing zones, hazards etc. It's a really nice feature. FYI...the App itself is free to download, but a premium membership available for a yearly fee that gives you more detailed stats etc. The GPS and course explorer feature are free I believe.

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For years, I've used Golfshot GPS on my iPhone for yardages and scorekeeping on course, but I'll also use it before a visit to a new course to get a feel for what to expect. Even when you're at home, you can "play" a round and you'll be able to see distances from whichever tee box you choose.

PS. There are two versions on the App Store-- the one titled "Golfshot: Golf GPS+Scorecard, etc." allows you to more effectively preview the course from home. The one titled "Golfshot Classic" isn't as good in that capacity.

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[quote name='goodoldgus' timestamp='1429717493' post='11416091']
The "Swing by Swing" app is great for this. I believe, even with the free version, you can preview any course using the Course Explorer feature. This allows you to view all holes and then use the touch screen to see distances, landing zones, hazards etc. It's a really nice feature. FYI...the App itself is free to download, but a premium membership available for a yearly fee that gives you more detailed stats etc. The GPS and course explorer feature are free I believe.
[/quote]

Sounds like what I am looking for. Will loo into this for sure. Thanks.

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[quote name='milesmyoung' timestamp='1429717620' post='11416117']
For years, I've used Golfshot GPS on my iPhone for yardages and scorekeeping on course, but I'll also use it before a visit to a new course to get a feel for what to expect. Even when you're at home, you can "play" a round and you'll be able to see distances from whichever tee box you choose.

PS. There are two versions on the App Store-- the one titled "Golfshot: Golf GPS+Scorecard, etc." allows you to more effectively preview the course from home. The one titled "Golfshot Classic" isn't as good in that capacity.
[/quote]

I like the sounds of this as well. Will check it out as well. Thanks.

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I played a State Am qualifier at a course I had never played before last year. I used google maps, along with their distance measurement feature and came up with a decent yardage book. It's nothing special, but was done using tools that everyone has access too.

 

- Google Earth for images and yardages

- Snipping Tool to cut out and crop images

- Paint to apply text

- Microsoft Word to put book together.

 

Here is a picture from the word document. On the full hole picture, the numbers on bottom are the yardage from the tee and the number on top is the yardage to the center of the green. Then the green picture works basically the same, with the center of the green being my reference at 0/0. For example, the front of the green is 18 yards shorter than playing to center.

 

Capture_zpsw9onh9w2.png

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[quote name='BenHoganFan' timestamp='1429717146' post='11416015']
Thanks for the reply. The only concern I have with using Google earth is that considering its a new course I've never been to, I dont know how I could determine which hole is which. You know what I mean?
[/quote]

Beside the obvious of pulling up the course website to see hole layout, most likely you can figure out which is 1 and 10 by the tee boxes closest to the clubhouse, and even measure those holes if they are enough difference in length. That should get you going in figuring out holes.

BTW, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I won a michigan publinx net tourney a few years ago going in blind to the course. I hit a number of shots off the tee in which I had no idea about hazards (pre google earth, pre range finders, etc). No way I would hit those same shots knowing what I know now, but it made for an easier tee shot when you don't think there's any trouble ahead! lol

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[quote name='larrybud' timestamp='1429720140' post='11416625']
[quote name='BenHoganFan' timestamp='1429717146' post='11416015']
Thanks for the reply. The only concern I have with using Google earth is that considering its a new course I've never been to, I dont know how I could determine which hole is which. You know what I mean?
[/quote]

Beside the obvious of pulling up the course website to see hole layout, most likely you can figure out which is 1 and 10 by the tee boxes closest to the clubhouse, and even measure those holes if they are enough difference in length. That should get you going in figuring out holes.

BTW, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I won a michigan publinx net tourney a few years ago going in blind to the course. I hit a number of shots off the tee in which I had no idea about hazards (pre google earth, pre range finders, etc). No way I would hit those same shots knowing what I know now, but it made for an easier tee shot when you don't think there's any trouble ahead! lol
[/quote]

Awesome. Congrats on the win. I guess sometimes that is the best route to go.

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I played a State Am qualifier at a course I had never played before last year. I used google maps, along with their distance measurement feature and came up with a decent yardage book. It's nothing special, but was done using tools that everyone has access too.

 

- Google Earth for images and yardages

- Snipping Tool to cut out and crop images

- Paint to apply text

- Microsoft Word to put book together.

 

Here is a picture from the word document. On the full hole picture, the numbers on bottom are the yardage from the tee and the number on top is the yardage to the center of the green. Then the green picture works basically the same, with the center of the green being my reference at 0/0. For example, the front of the green is 18 yards shorter than playing to center.

 

Capture_zpsw9onh9w2.png

 

Very cool. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share this. Good stuff.

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[quote name='goodoldgus' timestamp='1429717493' post='11416091']
The "Swing by Swing" app is great for this. I believe, even with the free version, you can preview any course using the Course Explorer feature. This allows you to view all holes and then use the touch screen to see distances, landing zones, hazards etc. It's a really nice feature. FYI...the App itself is free to download, but a premium membership available for a yearly fee that gives you more detailed stats etc. The GPS and course explorer feature are free I believe.
[/quote]

I'd like to nominate SkyDroid golf app. Odds are, the course is already listed and available for download. Then you can edit the course and put in "markers" to identify yardages to anything and everything you want. Download the finished result to your phone.

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I would start with the courses website to see if they give nice detailed yardage book pictures of course with yardages and such. the other suggestions are also great, some course even have App for your phone with details of the course.

I do this also with courses i have never been to before. I will also use suggestions the others have posted.

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[quote name='BenHoganFan' timestamp='1429723378' post='11417097']
Very cool. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share this. Good stuff.
[/quote]

Not a problem at all. If you do something similar and get the opportunity to play a practice round, take the book and make notes. During my practice round I wrote my club selection for each hole as well as if I wanted to change anything for the tournament. Also made notes of good angles to approach the green from, as well as good/bad places to miss. I also drew arrows to represent the major undulations on the greens. I didn't note all of the small slopes because frankly I didn't think it would help me and would take too much time for the minimal value it brings. No matter what I have to read the green and make the putt. Nothing I write in a book can help me with that. However, I did represent major slopes that I could use to funnel toward certain hole locations or false fronts that I needed to avoid... Basically any type of information that I thought would be of value, I wrote down.

At the end of the day I felt like my book helped quite a bit. The course turned out to be very "hilly" so there were a lot of blind shots, both from the tee and approach. Therefore my rangefinder (which was legal for this tournament) wasn't as valuable as it normally is. I used my carry yardages from the book a lot to know distances to carry bunkers and other hazards, and definitely took advantage of the notes I mentioned above. I didn't play well but still managed to snag the last qualifying position...

I will say this though. Don't let the detail of your yardage book override your common sense. I let this happen to me once, and it resulted in a triple bogey (shot +6 on the day but was +5 on two holes). There was a back pin location up on a shelf that wouldn't allow anything short to get close to the flag. I had made note of the shelf on my yardage book and had a perfect yardage to the middle of the green. However, I knew landing in the middle of the green would catch that slope, causing the ball to roll back about 25 feet leaving me with a 40 foot uphill putt. Instead I decided to club up and take a little off because I was greedy and wanted to get close. With firm greens, that turned out to be a big mistake. The ball landed on the last foot or two of the green and bounced off the back, which runs down a hill to the rough. Got cute with the chip knowing that it would be hard to stop on top of that shelf, so I hit a high flop shot which came up just short of the green and ran back down the hill again right to my feet. Next I just hit a normal pitch which landed a few feet short of the flag, ran past the hole, was barely rolling when it caught the ridge and ended up running all the way out to 40 or 50 feet. Three putted from there for a 7... My point is that while having the detail of the yardage book is helpful, don't let it sway you into bad decisions by trying to hit exact yardages.

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[quote name='Maddog10' timestamp='1429737068' post='11419063']
[quote name='BenHoganFan' timestamp='1429723378' post='11417097']
Very cool. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share this. Good stuff.
[/quote]

Not a problem at all. If you do something similar and get the opportunity to play a practice round, take the book and make notes. During my practice round I wrote my club selection for each hole as well as if I wanted to change anything for the tournament. Also made notes of good angles to approach the green from, as well as good/bad places to miss. I also drew arrows to represent the major undulations on the greens. I didn't note all of the small slopes because frankly I didn't think it would help me and would take too much time for the minimal value it brings. No matter what I have to read the green and make the putt. Nothing I write in a book can help me with that. However, I did represent major slopes that I could use to funnel toward certainly hole locations or false fronts that I needed to avoid... Basically any type of information that I thought would be of value, I wrote down.

At the end of the day I felt like my book helped quite a bit. The course turned out to be very "hilly" so there were a lot of blind shots, both from the tee and approach. Therefore my rangefinder (which was legal for this tournament) wasn't as valuable as it normally is. I used my carry yardages from the book a lot to know distances to carry bunkers and other hazards, and definitely took advantage of the notes I mentioned above. I didn't play well but still managed to snag the last qualifying position...

I will say this though. Don't let the detail of your yardage book override your common sense. I let this happen to me once, and it resulted in a triple bogey (shot +6 on the day but was +5 on two holes). There was a back pin location up on a shelf that wouldn't allow anything short to get close to the flag. I had made note of the shelf on my yardage book and had a perfect yardage to the middle of the green. However, I knew landing in the middle of the green would catch that slope, causing the ball to roll back about 25 feet leaving me with a 40 foot uphill putt. Instead I decided to club up and take a little off because I was greedy and wanted to get close. With firm greens, that turned out to be a big mistake. The ball landed on the last foot or two of the green and bounced off the back, which runs down a hill to the rough. Got cute with the chip knowing that it would be hard to stop on top of that shelf, so I hit a high flop shot which came up just short of the green and ran back down the hill again right to my feet. Next I just hit a normal pitch which landed a few feet short of the flag, ran past the hole, was barely rolling when it caught the ridge and ended up running all the way out to 40 or 50 feet. Three putted from there for a 7... My point is that while having the detail of the yardage book is helpful, don't let it sway you into bad decisions by trying to hit exact yardages.
[/quote]

Great info. Thanks for sharing. Very good points that I will use myself.

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[quote name='Willian70' timestamp='1429723756' post='11417159']
Here is a link to a detailed way to make one of those yardage books using google earth. http://3upgolf.com/blogs/create-your-own-golf-yardage-book
[/quote]

I just noticed in your signature that you are in Cincinnati. Funny because that is where I will be playing these courses. Stonelick hills, Elks Run, Aston Oaks and the Belterra Course. I hear those are some great tracks.

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[quote name='BenHoganFan' timestamp='1429753289' post='11421237']
[quote name='Willian70' timestamp='1429723756' post='11417159']
Here is a link to a detailed way to make one of those yardage books using google earth. http://3upgolf.com/blogs/create-your-own-golf-yardage-book
[/quote]

I just noticed in your signature that you are in Cincinnati. Funny because that is where I will be playing these courses. Stonelick hills, Elks Run, Aston Oaks and the Belterra Course. I hear those are some great tracks.
[/quote]

Elks Run is my favorite course and Stonelick Hills is by far top 3 nicest courses in Cincinnati. (IMHO) Never played the others. I know Stonelick has a real nice yardage book already made for like 4 bucks. You could call the course and see if they will send you one, and the pro at Elks Run is named Danny (not sure of last name). Great guy. He might have a yardage book for that course as well.

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[quote name='jthoennes04' timestamp='1429753424' post='11421265']
I have used the 3up tutorial to make two yardage books. While they have turned out quite well the process is rather laborious.

Did using the images directly from Google Earth as described above result in a clear picture? Did you have to have them printed with a high quality printer?
[/quote]

Yea, the images turned out very clear. I did use a high quality printer from work though, and also didn't explode the images much. I forgot the dimensions I chose for printing, but it was small enough to fit in the back pocket of my shorts when finished. I had to trim off the excess paper, and then folded it and stapled along the "spine" I guess you would say so that it worked like a real book. It wasn't the fanciest book in the world, but as far as practicality it worked great.

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  • 1 month later...

I use my Garmin G6 GPS, which shows everything except for slope. I use it mainly for carry distances to and over traps, hazards, etc. Also good for seeing subtle doglegs. I also use a laser. A pretty good combo for playing an unfamiliar course, but there's no substitute for a couple of practice rounds, where you really learn where not to miss it. Just played a practice round for next month's State Am. and made lots of notes. There are a few greens where long is dead and being aggressive off the tee is no advantage at all - things like that are imperative to know going in.

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