The yardages books we will make are exactly half the width of an 8.5″ X 11″ piece of paper. The top half of the page will be used to show a complete overview of the hole, from tee to green. It will also contain basic information such as a compass, par, handicap, hole length from each tee, and important yardages that would be of interest for your tee shot.

The bottom page will be used to show an enlarged version of the green complex and, if needed, an enlarged version of the tee shot landing area. The landing area component is used if the player would be interested in very detailed approach shot yardages that include sprinkler heads and distances from bunkers.


Tee shot yardages are always measured from the back of the farthest tee. Approach shot yardages are measured to the front of the green.


Making your own yardage guide is a time consuming, but rewarding, process. As you are getting started expect to spend at least a half hour per hole for the tracing and annotation process. You’ll improve on that time as you work your way through the book.


In order to create our yardage books two free software packages will be used. Google Earth will be used to capture our course imagery and measure distances. Inkscape is a free vector drawing program that will allow us to convert the Google Earth images into black & white outlines. The reason we convert the images into outlines is so that we can draw yardages anywhere on the page and leave annotations in pencil, if need be. The books that use full images for the hole preview are at a disadvantage because all the yardages must be drawn off to the side. Plus, how can you draw breaks, and ridges on the green when it’s filled in with the image? Simple is good!

Special Inkscape for Mac Notes

As of this post (February 2014) by default cut & paste in Inkscape for the Mac does not work as expected (you can read more about it here). To fix the problem you’ll need to change some of the settings within XQuartz.

  1. Start XQuartz
  2. Open the preferences dialog  from the following menu: X11 -> preferences
  3. Click on the “pasteboard” tab
  4. Uncheck the “Update Pasteboard when CLIPBOARD changes” option
  5.  Close the dialog box and exit XQuartz

You should now be able to cut & paste vertex information as in the native version of Inkscape (for Windows).


If you need assistance with any step during the process please leave a comment (or read the previous comments) for the particular tutorial that you’re having a problem with.


Q: Will you make a yardage book for me?

A: No! These tutorials were created to share my knowledge of how I make my personal yardage books. Running 3 Up Golf keeps me far too busy to be cranking out yardage guides for others – sorry!

Q: I can’t get Inkscape to run on <insert your OS/computer here>.

A: One of the unfortunate side of effects of using free software is that sometimes it isn’t 100% compatible with every computer/operating system out there. Please try to perform a Google search for your particular problem since you probably aren’t the first person to hit it.

Q: But I’ll pay you to make this yardage book for my European Tour player (seriously, I got this question once from a caddy).

A: Honestly, I’m flattered but I’m otherwise occupied!

Q: I have a suggestion on how to improve the guide/yardage books. How do I contact you.

A: Simply leave a comment in the section below – I get notified when they all come in!