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David L Yskes

Rating vs Slope for difficulty???

7 posts in this topic

Which do you go by more??

I ask this because a while ago i was looking at a article that had the top 50 toughest courses in america...

So i started looking at some of the Championship courses that the PGA guys play on..  And compared it to my home course..

My home course

Slope  141

Rating 73.7  / par 71

Yardage 6900 ( from the tips )

Oak Hills

Slope -  147

Rating - 76.7 / par 70

yardage - 7145

Muirfield

Slope - 145

Rating- 73 / par 71

yardage- 7245

Bethpage Black

Slope - 152

Rating - 78.1 / par 71

yardage -  7468

Torrey Pines South

Slope - 143

Rating - 78.1

yardage - 7607

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Ehh,

You go by both. Course Rating is difficulty compared to a scratch-player. A scratch player gets 2 strokes on a par 72 when CR = 74.

High slope = you get more shots extra compared to your handicap. So when slope is high, a 10 capper gets (as an example) 11 strokes, but a 20 capper gets 24 strokes. The higher the slope the more extra shots compared to your handicap.

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The better the player the more they rely on rating. The worse the player the more the slope starts to matter (still in conjunction with rating: a 69.8/141 course is probably still "easier" than a 72.1/137 course).

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Are you asking how to determine which course is toughest overall?

If so, while there's no single number that will tell us that one course is harder than another, MacDutch is right, you really have to look at a combination of the course rating and slope to evaluate overall difficulty.  The easiest way to do that is to compare the handicap differential you would achieve for any given score for the two courses.

As an example......

If you were to shoot a 90 at your home course, it would result in a handicap differential of 13.0 ( (90-73.7) x 113) / 141.  If you were to shoot the same 90 at Oak Hill, the handicap differential would be 10.2.  Since the same score results in a lower differential, Oak Hill is the harder course overall .....

It's worth noting though that since your course handicap is based only on the slope of the course, it's possible that a player will actually have a higher course handicap at a course that's somewhat less difficult overall than another because the slope at the less difficult course is higher, as in Erik's example.

BTW....in terms of difficulty.  If you were to play bogey golf from the tips at Bethpage Black, averaging 89, you would end up with a handicap index of 8.1.  Beware the guy that tells you he's a bogey golfer but doesn't tell you where it is that he plays bogey golf.....

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Originally Posted by iacas

The better the player the more they rely on rating. The worse the player the more the slope starts to matter (still in conjunction with rating: a 69.8/141 course is probably still "easier" than a 72.1/137 course).

Here is a chance for me to learn something maybe.  For some reason I have always thought that the course rating was mostly influenced by the length of the course from the various tees, whereas the slope is a function of the difficulty additions like narrowness of fairways, sand trap placement & design, tricky greens, type of rough, elevation changes, likely hood of a level lie in the fairway and etc.  The slope, at least in my mind would be a more subjective measure of difficulty than the rating.  Am I correct or way off base on how these two measurements are developed?

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Originally Posted by ghalfaire

Here is a chance for me to learn something maybe.  For some reason I have always thought that the course rating was mostly influenced by the length of the course from the various tees, whereas the slope is a function of the difficulty additions like narrowness of fairways, sand trap placement & design, tricky greens, type of rough, elevation changes, likely hood of a level lie in the fairway and etc.  The slope, at least in my mind would be a more subjective measure of difficulty than the rating.  Am I correct or way off base on how these two measurements are developed?

As I said, slope is a better measure of the difficulty of a course for a bogey golfer (with some allowance for rating).

Length is one of the influences, but a scratch golfer is still going to have more difficulty on a tight, narrow, tree-lined, course with undulating, fast greens and plenty of OB and water hazards than they are from the same length course that's flat and wide open with large, flat greens.

Course ratings take all of those things into account. Length might be one of the biggest factors, but it's nowhere near the only factor.

Consider the blue tees at Downing (7100 yards, 73.1/129) with the black tees at Whispering Woods (6750 yards, 74.0, 144). Full "shot" difference, 15 point difference in rating, 350 yards shorter.

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