Techniques To Learn Club Yardage: A Five-Round Process

    To learn your club yardages accurately, we are going to suggest you go through a five-round process of gathering data. There will be a little bit of legwork involved in putting this information together, but your efforts will be rewarded with a valuable list of club yardages. Before we get started, let’s get a couple of quick points out of the way –

  • Try to play in decent weather. Your yardages can be dramatically affected by extreme weather. For example, if you play on a hot day, or a very cold day, your yardages will go up or down quite a bit. Of course, a windy day is going to present its own challenges in terms of data collection. If at all possible, do your best to play these rounds on ‘neutral’ weather days with moderate temperatures and little wind.
  • Avoid busy times. You might play a little slower than usual when collecting your yardage data, as you will be making notes and counting off distances accurately. To avoid slowing up other groups, try to play these rounds during non-peak times at your local course.
  • In order to go through this process successfully, you are going to need a couple things. First, you will want to have a small notebook that you can place in your golf bag for use during the round. Also, you will need a place to record and organize all of your distances once the rounds are over. We would recommend doing this on a computer spreadsheet, but you can use paper and pencil if you are feeling old-fashioned.

    The process, while on the course, is simple. You are going to write down the club you used for each shot, the actual yardage of the shot, and any notable variables that need to be mentioned. So, for example, let’s say you hit a tee shot on the first hole with your driver. When you get out to the ball in the fairway, you take a moment to accurately determine the yardage, and it comes out at 232 yards. So, you write down ‘driver – 232’ in your notebook, and move on. This process continues throughout the day, until you have finished your round.

    When back home, you can transfer this information into your spreadsheet. To design the spreadsheet, create a row for each of the clubs in your bag (other than the putter, of course). Then, simply list the yardages you measured across the spreadsheet for each shot, within the row that matches up with the club in question. You are going to have many more data points for some of your clubs – like your driver – than you will for others, such as the long irons. That’s okay – just plug in everything you record while out on the course.

    At the end of five rounds, you are going to use these numbers to calculate some averages. Add up the total number of yards you managed to cover with each club, and divide that total by the number of shots you hit. This average will be an accurate representation of what you are capable of doing with each club in your bag. This number is going to include your best shots and your worst, making it more meaningful than if you were to simply think about your best-case scenario shots when making a club selection. You can quit this process after five rounds, or you can keep going in order to make the data even more accurate by creating a larger sample size.

    The key to learning your club yardages is to be honest with yourself and record the actual yardages of the shots – not the yardages that you would like to see. Moving forward, you can work toward adding distance to your game if necessary, but sugar-coating your numbers at this point is not going to do you any good.