A few days ago, I got to playing with Google Maps to see how far away different objects in the Fairgrounds field, where I hit golf balls, it being only one block from my house, are from each other. The Internet is such a wonderful thing.
I found a feature that I didn’t know about before which measures straight-line distances. Pull up your map of, let’s say the second hole that requires you to carry the tee shot over a ditch or lay up. How far do you have to carry the tee shot in order to carry the ditch?
GM will tell you, and if I am not the last man on Earth to have found this feature, you’re in for a treat.
With the image of the hole, nice and big, in front of you, right-click on the tee box. A box will pop up with all sorts of features. Left-click on “Measure Distance”.
Right-click on the spot you want to measure the distance to. Another box will pop up. Left-click on “Distance to here”. A graduated line will appear, giving you the distance between the two spots.
This image shows you why I don’t try to hit over the ditch. 633 feet (211 yards) is more than I want to try for. Not to mention, it’s uphill. I can do it, if I really nail it, but how often you really nail it? Besides, this a par 5 and I almost always get par by laying up to the ditch. But now I know.
If you want to get deep into your strategy, you might find holes that you can play better by playing to a specific spot off the tee and finding out what club you would hit to get there.
I’ll let you figure out how to use this tool in places other than off the tee.
The whole point is to perhaps learn how to get your way around the courses you play by hitting manageable shots that play to your strengths.