How Do Pro Golfers Know Yardage?

This post was most recently updated on January 20th, 2022

How Do Pro Golfers Know Yardage

Published By Lawrence Smelser Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by Editorial Staff

Professional golfers have different rules than the average club swinger on the course. With the invention of golf rangefinders, amateur golfers have a pocket-sized yardage finder and personal caddie at their disposal.

Professionals do not have this luxury. So how do pro golfers find their yardages?

Professional Golfer Yardage Book

Under the USGA rules, golfers in professional tournaments are not permitted to use artificial instruments to measure yardage

This includes anything digital or mechanical. Without the help of tools that the average golfer has become accustomed to, pros need some way to measure courses they may not know like the back of their hand.

To know the course’s exact distances and dimensions, professionals rely on a tour caddie yardage book. Golf yardage books are detailed guides that pros and their caddies use to navigate the course during play.

They are measured every year and updated within half an inch, so players know exactly how far it is from tee to green and everything in between.

What Yardage Book Do Pros Use

The book that all pros use is Mark Long’s Yardage Book. He is a former caddie of 25 years and spends his days mapping out the tours golf courses and creating books to help caddies and professionals find their way around tour courses.

This could also be known as the PGA yardage book since it is the one that all professionals use.

Mark Long’s books are incredibly precise and detailed, which they need to be considering the difference of a couple of yards could change the way a professional player approaches a shot.

What exactly is in a pro golfers’ yardage book? They will see everything that is necessary to decide on a shot.

Elevation changes on a hole, distance from sprinklers to the edge of the fairway, the size of the green, distances to sand traps, the rough’s width, and everything else that a player would find helpful.

Can Pro Golfers Use Range Finders

Under the rules of the USGA, pros are not allowed to use top golf rangefinders. The wording states that artificial instruments are not to be used in gameplay.

They can use them during practice play to get more acquainted with the course, but not once the competition is underway.

You can learn about golf rangefinder in our Leupold Golf Rangefinder review while we also cover how to use a golf rangefinder

Yardage books are not considered artificial and are therefore allowed to be used in competitive play.


If you have any other questions or comments regarding professional use of yardage books, please leave them in the section below.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.

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