Track Notes: Yardage books for the rest of us

September 20, 2011

Ray Campbell was playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., one day when on the fifth hole he hit a perfect drive that rolled into a fairway bunker. "I didn't know that I should have laid up on that hole," he said. "I thought, 'there must be a better way.'"

Some courses offer yardage books, but Campbell deduced that "they were not sophisticated enough.

"I'm a graphic designer. I thought, 'I can improve on this problem.' I wanted to bring local knowledge to a golfer even before he steps onto the course.."

His solution is Track Notes, "a modified yardage book for the average golfer," he wrote. It comes in two formats -- a generic one for do-it-yourselfers -- and course-specific yardage books done by himself in concert with the club professional.

"I'm trying to approach every course in the country to have this Track Notes book to show basic target lines," he said. "Nothing overly done like a pro yardage book, but one easier to understand."

Campbell prefers his idea to range finders. "I would rather have this," he said, "because it's quick. You don't have to wait 20 seconds for it to pick up the satellite signal. It's also traditional. Watching golf on TV, I always wondered what the pros were looking at."

They were consulting yardage books, of course.

"Everyone I show this book to loves it," he said. In the meantime, he has begun the process of contacting courses to assess their interest. A Los Angeles-area resident, he is in the process of mapping out Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif.

He is selling a single copy of a blank Track Notes for $2.25, a five pack for $11.95, or a 10 pack for $19.95.

-- John Strege