I think I know why Bryson DeChambeau carries a compass. There is a long par 4 on the course I played yesterday that hides the fairway because of terrain. You think you are aiming down the middle and your straight-ahead drive ends up in the right rough, which keeps happening to me. I can’t bring myself to aim left enough.
I thought, if I had an azimuth from the tee box to the unseen center of the fairway, that would solve my problem. Then I could take a compass to the course and find a spot in the distance on that bearing to aim at.
How to do it? Go to this web site.
The site borrows Google Maps. Put the name of your golf course in the Search box and when it comes up, zoom in and click on Satellite.
Click on Start a Course and click on the tee box in question. Drag the mouse to the center of the fairway. A red line will appear, and a table to the left of the satellite image will show you the azimuth in degrees. In this case I got 221 degrees.
(Click images to enlarge)
So far, so good, but that is a true bearing. If you’re going to use a compass, you must correct for your local magnetic declination to get the magnetic bearing that you will read on your compass. Click on the map below and find your nearest city.
Pay attention now, because here comes the the tricky part.
If the declination is EAST, subtract it from the bearing you got on first the web page to get the magnetic bearing of the line to the center of the fairway.
If the declination is WEST, add it to the bearing you got on the first web page to get the magnetic bearing of the line to the center of the fairway.
The declination of the location in my example is 15 degrees east, so subtracting that from 221 gives me a bearing of 206 degrees to aim the tee shot.
So I’ll stand on the tee, take out the compass, align the dial to North, and see where 206 degrees points to.
This all sounds like a lot of work, but you only have to do it once for that tee box. Plus, it’s kind of fun to explain to the people in your foursome just what the heck you’re doing.
By the way, if you go to this work, you for sure better find the fairway with your tee shot instead of the right rough. Again.