In 1987 USGA implemented the Slope System. This was designed to address the portability of handicaps and adjust a player’s handicap according to the difficulty of the course. The current system, which the USGA updated in 1994, includes both a course rating and slope rating. Courses are rated according to the relative difficulty for both scratch and higher handicapped golfers. The program is designed to ensure that the rating of a course is in proper relation to other courses. Trained and experienced rating teams help assure accuracy and consistency in this rating work.
Four adjustments are evaluated to arrive at playing length:
Ten obstacles that affect playing difficulty must be evaluated by established rating standards and these defined standards reduce subjectivity and increase the essential objectivity. The ten obstacles that affect playing difficulty are:
USGA policy prohibits any rating work to be done by a rater who is a member at a course being rated (reliable objectivity cannot be assured).
When changes are made in the rating of a golf course, all of its’ members are affected. If the ratings go higher, handicaps decrease slightly, or, if the ratings go lower, handicaps increase slightly. The computation of handicaps is fully explained in the USGA Handicap System Manual, a book printed by the USGA which all Golf and Handicap Committees should have.
Courses are rated every ten 10 years unless the course at your club has made a significant change in yardage or layout. An application for having your course rated can be obtained by contacting us at the link below.
If you are interested in learning more about course and slope rating, please contact us.