Bob Buttitta Star Article

Publicity About the Yardage Books



Ventura County Star Golf Article

Ventura County Star

By Bob Buttitta,
August 24, 2005



With the aid of aerial photos, DeLorey successfully completes the task of developing yardage books for Ventura County courses.


For 62-year-old Al DeLorey, retirement has meant a constant search for ways to keep himself busy.

A former electrical engineer, DeLorey doesn't know the meaning of slowing down. Nor does he want to.


Two years ago, DeLorey's never-ending quest for projects led him into golf when he decided to develop a yardage book for River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard.

When he started the project, DeLorey knew virtually nothing about the sport. He has since taken some lessons from former River Ridge pro Doug Morrison.

But lack of golf knowledge didn't prevent DeLorey from throwing himself completely into the project.


Helping his quest was the fact Ventura County is the only county in the country that has aerial photos of every spot in the county.

Since he and his wife Eileen own a home which sits right off hole No. 13 at River Ridge, DeLorey downloaded aerial shots of the course and began working on a yardage book based off the photos.

"It took me three weeks to do the first one," DeLorey said. "There was a lot of trial and error involved, because I didn't know anything about golf."


About six months later, DeLorey bought some new software which allowed him to speed up the process of developing the yardage book.

He decided his next course would be Olivas Park in Ventura. With the new software in place, DeLorey was able to finish Olivas Park's yardage book in about a week.

The process became even more streamlined a few months later when DeLorey upgraded his computer software again.

With the current software in place, DeLorey is able to produce a yardage book for a course in less than a day.

"I can do it without even going to a golf course," DeLorey said. "The reason I can do that is because with the first two courses I was able to go out on the courses and check to make sure I had measured correctly.  "Since both of them checked out, I knew my procedure was correct."


DeLorey claims on many golf courses his yardage books are more accurate than the yardage stated on a course's scorecard. His reason? When golf courses do work on tee boxes, such as leveling them or even enlarging them, the people who do the work fail to return the marker to the correct spot.  "They can be off by 10 yards or more at times," DeLorey said. "I won't say which course it was, but one of the local ones let me move 15 of their official markers which were off by more than 10 yards each."


DeLorey said at one golf course he discovered the marker on one women's tee box was off by approximately 25 yards. "I did some investigating and I found out one of the workers was always seeing the lady players knock their shots into a water hazard," DeLorey said. "So the guy decided to help the ladies out by moving the marker up closer."


DeLorey has completed yardage books for 30 golf courses throughout Ventura County.

That includes public courses and private country clubs and even Sinaloa, the par-3 golf course in Simi Valley. The only course that isn't on the Web site is Sherwood Country Club.

DeLorey did one for Sherwood earlier this year after attending the 2004 Target World Challenge. That peaked his interest about the yardage on the course, so he decided to do a book on it.


Of all the courses he has measured, the one which has the most accurate yardages listed on its scorecard is Spanish Hills. "It was right on the money," DeLorey said. "I found one marker was off by 9 yards, but other than that, everything was within a yard."


All but one DeLorey's yardage books are available to golfers at no charge by going to The Web site was developed by Eileen DeLorey as a way to keep members of their homeowner's association informed about what was going on with the association. "We put the yardage books on the site so we could try to drive up the interest on the Web site," Eileen DeLorey said.


The Web site has had nearly 10,000 hits since being established in late 2002, and a growing number of those are a result of golfers looking for the yardage books.

DeLorey has received very little feedback from golf courses or even golfers, but that's fine with him.


His reason for taking on the project had nothing to do with looking for a pat on the back from local golfers. He simply wanted something to do and it's turned into a small obsession. "It's kind of like eating potato chips, once you have one you end up eating the whole bag," DeLorey said. "It's the same for me with these books. Once I started, I could not stop."


Copyright 2005, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.