How to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS Rangefinder?

How to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS RangefindeGolf has become a popular sport all over the world irrespective of social background although it was traditionally regarded as a game for the upper class in the society; a lot of such beliefs have changed since then. It is a game played by all age groups. You might be a golf enthusiast, or someone who just wants to map out an existing golf course.

These easy to follow steps will guide you on how to make your own golf course map with a GPS rangefinder. You will be using this as your pocket guide when you are out there playing golf.

List of Features to Be Mapped

  • The golf course itselfHow to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS Rangefinde
  • Golf driving range
  • Golf shop: this is where golfers can purchase items such as balls and gloves
  • Fairway: a path which has short cut grass leading to the hole
  • The holes: the hole where the ball lands
  • Putting green: an area of short grass surrounding the whole
  • Rough section: this is an area comprised of tall grass which is found between the out-of-bounds and the fairway.
  • Sand banker: also referred as the sand pit
  • Tee zone: this is an area from which the golfer hits the ball.

Mapping Steps

– Diagram of the course

The first step towards creating your own golf course map is obtaining a diagram of the specific course that you want to design. You can obtain this image for free from Google maps. Another good source of obtaining this image is from your hand held GPS device and a rangefinder (See Golf Spy Review) to provide you with  various distances for hazards, views, holes as well as the layout of the golf course.

The only situation when you cannot be able to obtain Google maps is when the course map you want to design is too near a sensitive military facility. After obtaining the map, you should then extract the actual course location from the entire map to remain with a map which shows more features but covers a smaller area.

– Identify the locations of the various features

Once you have obtained a map and information of the course that you want to design, you can then proceed to place the features on your map. This can prove to be very tedious since a lot of precision and detail is required when placing the different features on the map.

You can use the coordinates on your GPS device to identify the exact places where the different features should be placed. Since you will be using this map as your pocket guide during the actual golfing, it is advisable to be accurate as possible. Therefore the coordinates on the map should correspond with the GPS points on the GPS device.

After you have finished mapping out the different features of the golf course, you should then proceed to outline the hole playing area with a boundary. This will cover the green, the fairways, the rough category and the tees. The hole playing area is normally lined with paths or trees on a real golf course.


With an easy to follow, step by step guide, you can create your own golf course map. The GPS range finder will provide you with the data required for the golf course.

How to Make GPS Maps?

How to Make GPS MapsCreating GPS maps can sometimes prove to be a tough task. However, with the right tools and some level of computer literacy and expertise, you can easily do it. Making your own personal maps is fun, entertaining, a learning experience and satisfying. The amount of detail on the map, scale and features can be customized according to your needs. Completed maps can then be published or printed later. When a printed map becomes worn out, you can always print another one. This article gives you the steps on how to make your own GPS maps.

Select A GPS Unit

If you do not have one already, you should select a GPS unit at this stage. GPS units are manufactured by different companies. They come in different styles and sizes. Some of the most common brands that manufacture GPS devices include Trimble, Magellan and Garmin. A hand held GPS device is the most preferable for mapping purposes. This is because of its portability. It can also be set to map out a route which can be downloaded into a computer and you can later import it into mapping software.

Choose a Good Laptop Or PC

Mapping software requires some certain specifications in terms of memory, processing speed and storage. The machine selected should meet the requirements listed on the software. Some software used in mapping includes Google maps and Arc GIS.

Install the SoftwareHow to Make GPS Maps

After you have selected a computer that has the right specifications required, you can then proceed to install the data and mapping software that comes with the GPS device. This will include data such as highways, roads, rivers, points of interest and marine data.

If some of these data is missing from the basic GPS software, then it can be purchased separately. If the map you are making is for biking or hiking, then topographical data is the one that can provide the required level of detail.

Connect the GPS to Your Computer

This should be made according to the style and brand of the device. Many GPS devices provide a standard USB connector on one end and a micro or mini USB on the other end. Other brands also include a microSD that can be inserted to your computer using an adapter.

It is important to make sure that the cables or the microSD are correctly inserted so that the data is transferred correctly. Disruption of data transfer or improper connection might lead to corruption of data on both ends therefore jeopardizing the whole process.


After the GPS is connected to the computer, you can then import the route that you had selected directly into the mapping software. You can then go ahead to customize the map with the objects and features that you want. There are different features that are available at the mapping software library. You can then go ahead and print the map on a inkjet or laser printer. Do make sure that the printer selected provides full color. A full color printer will display all the features as they appear on the mapping software.


It is clear from the above description that it is not hard to make your own GPS maps. You just need to have the correct software and hardware.