Distance Markers on the Course

By Le Ann Finger posted Jun 08, 2015 12:25


Distance Markers on the CourseLast week we talked about the various types of Distance-Measuring Devices for use on the golf course.  What happens if you don’t have a DMD and there isn’t a GPS on your cart?  How do you know the distances?  What do the measurements mean?

Distance markers are a series of disks placed in the fairways of golf courses.  You will usually find these on par 4s and par 5s.  Many courses offer markers from set distances on every hole - usually a marker at 100, 150 and 200 yards.  When this practice first started, courses used a red marker for 100 yards, a white marker for 150 yards and a blue marker to indicate 200 yards. The distance is measured from the spot of the marker to the center of the green.  Keep this in mind when the pin placement is closer to the front (subtract yardage and take less club) or if the pin is closer to the back of the green (add yardage and take more club.)

Some courses use a different marker for 150 yards – sometimes a black and white striped pole or post in the fairway, sometimes a bush or rock in the rough.  If you play a course with continuous cart paths, you may also notice markings for 100 yards, 150 yards and 200 yards on the cart path.

Distance Markers on the CourseMany courses now mark sprinkler heads with the distance to the center of the green as well.  This is especially useful if the facility offers a yardage book as the various distances are shown in the yardage book from designated sprinkler heads.  A yardage book will typically include distances from the tee area to various landmarks or hazards to help a golfer with club selection. 

It’s important for you to know what club you hit 100 yards and what club you use for 150 yard shots.  When you know how far you hit each club on a consistent basis, you will be able to use the distance markers effectively.  Remember to look at elements on the course like elevated greens or downhill holes and wind speed when selecting your clubs to hit.  The distance markers are all designed to help a golfer on the course as well as to help play move along. 

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