Course Slope and Rating Explained

The quick answer is that it's a single number indicating the difficulty of a golf course to an scratch player, a "par golfer". The figure is used when calculating handicaps.

The Course Rating is a number, close to par for the course, and is expressed with a single decimal digit. For example: If par for a course is 72, it's Course Rating might be 71.4.

Rating values go up with difficulty.

Actually, for any given golf course, you can expect to see three (or even more) values for the Course Rating. Each value corresponds to a different tee.

For example: On this same course, the Course Rating for golfers who play from the men's blue tees might be 72.8. From the men's white tees, the Course Rating might be 71.0. The ladies' red tees may be rated at 73.3.

A course slope rating of 113 is considered to be of “standard playing difficulty”, although the average slope rating is about 125.

It indicates the standard difficulty of a golf course for the “bogey golfer" relative to the scratch player. Every set of tees will have a slope rating and those numbers will vary between 55 and 155. The higher the slope rating, the greater the difference expected between the scores of those scratch and bogey golfers.

What is a “bogey golfer”?

This is the term used when carrying out a course rating. It represents the ability of a golfer (20 handicap for men, 24 for women) on a course of average difficulty.