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Course ratings...... - Page 2

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwright21 View Post
 

Other than that, the only other thing that could possibly affect the CR would be the actual rater.  The entire process is just a bunch of opinions of the rater.  Some might feel trees could be a problem while another rater could feel that the trees are far enough away from the fairway, green, etc. that they shouldn't affect a shot.  If there is a new course rater for the Florida State Golf Association this could be the reason.

 

A lot of those are measurements, too. The "density" is a subjective thing (because tree trunks could be identical, but if you're in South Carolina, you might not have a branch on a pine for the bottom 30 feet, while in PA, it could be like a Christmas Tree type pine tree with branches all the way to the ground.

 

But the distance from the center of the fairway, the fairway width, the rise/drop having to meet certain thresholds (and cover 3/4 of the green, IIRC - my manual is downstairs) and all that stuff is pretty objective.

 

The subjective things are whether a green is "relatively flat" or "severely contoured" (or in the middle), and even those have guidelines.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

Not sure how true this is, but there is a course I play, that the rating was lowered. When I asked why, the course manager said it was done to keep up with newer club technology. In his opinion today's clubs make playing easier, hence the lower rating. Perhaps this is what happened at your course. 

 

That sounds like they made their own rating and it may be unofficial.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

I can think of a handful of courses that require more than a 200 yard carry from the tips on at least one hole off the top of my head.....

 

Answered already, but basically they almost assume somehow that the golfer cleared the hazard and is playing the next shot from just across… with an adjustment of course because it's obviously not occurring per the guidelines. It's a work-around to stop a course rating from ballooning.

post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwright21 View Post
 

 

Other than that, the only other thing that could possibly affect the CR would be the actual rater. 

 

The USGA mandates that rating is done by a team of a minimum of 3 experienced raters.

post #21 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

 

The USGA mandates that rating is done by a team of a minimum of 3 experienced raters.

 

And I think that they're supposed to agree on the scoring of each item within a point of each other, aren't they?

post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

And I think that they're supposed to agree on the scoring of each item within a point of each other, aren't they?

Yes but the "experienced" 3 people sometimes consist of interns and volunteers.
post #23 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwright21 View Post


Yes but the "experienced" 3 people sometimes consist of interns and volunteers.

 

I think they're almost always volunteers, aren't they?  Are there that many (any?) paid raters out there? 

 

That would be a pretty good gig if you could get it!

post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

I think they're almost always volunteers, aren't they?  Are there that many (any?) paid raters out there? 

That would be a pretty good gig if you could get it!

Yes we have 1 course rater position in GAP. I've been on a few ratings and they are awesome. Almost always get to play the course after. Don't know how it's considered a real job!!
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

And I think that they're supposed to agree on the scoring of each item within a point of each other, aren't they?

No. The raters don't determine points count when on the course. They work as team not as individuals. One (the team leader) will be recording and directing, the others taking measurements eg the depth of bunkers (under or over 3' say) and how extensive the 'protection' is (ie % of green perimeter closely bordered).

 

Points are allocated off course and final checks and calculations done by the USGA at HQ.

 

I have never heard of paid raters. Certainly on this side of the pond they are all volunteers and may get travel expenses and a coffee and sandwich.

post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

The USGA mandates that rating is done by a team of a minimum of 3 experienced raters.

 

Yes, our team is three people. Today it was four, but my kiddo didn't help much. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

No. The raters don't determine points count when on the course. They work as team not as individuals. One (the team leader) will be recording and directing, the others taking measurements eg the depth of bunkers (under or over 3' say) and how extensive the 'protection' is (ie % of green perimeter closely bordered).

 

That's not necessarily how it works all the time.

 

One of the guys from our main offices (in Pittsburgh) does a lot of the measuring. We then go out as a three-person team to assess the somewhat subjective values: how steeply contoured the greens are, carry values for fairway bunkers, whether there's mounding, how severe the trees are, and 20-30 other things. Depth of bunkers are in there.

 

We aren't literally widths of fairway, etc. He does those, chutes (if there are any), landing zone distances… and a few more little bits.

 

But we are writing down points on the course. Those points are fed into a formula, of course, so if you were saying we determine the actual "rating" on the course, then no, we don't. Just "this hole should get a 4 for trees" or "I'm putting +1 here because I cannot see at least half of the green surface from this approach shot zone."

post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

 "I'm putting +1 here because I cannot see at least half of the green surface from this approach shot zone."

The tables on pages 21 & 13 give little or no room for subjective assessments.

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

The tables on pages 21 & 13 give little or no room for subjective assessments.


I didn't say it was subjective.

 

Green target visibility gets a 0 (visible), +1 (half the green surface or more not visible), or +2 (half the flag stick not visible).

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 


I didn't say it was subjective.

 

Green target visibility gets a 0 (visible), +1 (half the green surface or more not visible), or +2 (half the flag stick not visible).

OK. I misunderstood the words you used. I took it that you were making a subjective allocation rather than taking figures from the book.

 

I have just realised that the UK uses different working documents to those originally issued by the USGA. This is to allow for more paperwork to be done off the course in case of inclement weather.

We generally tick boxes or enter actual measurements (eg FW width at LZ) to record the answers to the questions in situ, then do the scratch/bogey table look-ups off course (out of the rain).

A colleague has developed an excel application for automatically doing the points allocations. We will be trialling it shortly.

post #30 of 46

I find the rating process to be fascinating. Are there any on-line resources where you can gain a better understanding of the process. Could this be self taught?

 

I'm going to take a look at that Pope of Slope link.

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

I have just realised that the UK uses different working documents to those originally issued by the USGA. This is to allow for more paperwork to be done off the course in case of inclement weather.

We generally tick boxes or enter actual measurements (eg FW width at LZ) to record the answers to the questions in situ, then do the scratch/bogey table look-ups off course (out of the rain).

 

Well, I think those are the types of things that are done for us before-hand as well. Just a few of the things that you'd literally just measure, like fairway width in an LZ in your example. Elevation changes, for example, though just for the entire hole - we still write out individual approach shot elevation changes.

 

Are you on the rating committee for the R&A or something? What's the status of all of that? I know some countries are adopting rating/slope style stuff, while others are still (maybe I'm wrong) sticking with SSS?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

I find the rating process to be fascinating. Are there any on-line resources where you can gain a better understanding of the process. Could this be self taught?

 

I'm going to take a look at that Pope of Slope link.


I'm going to take a photo of my ratings sheet next time if I'm allowed. That's September 5th.

post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

I find the rating process to be fascinating. Are there any on-line resources where you can gain a better understanding of the process. Could this be self taught?

I'm going to take a look at that Pope of Slope link.


I'd like to know more about it as well. They re-rated my home course, with three nines, and somehow the 9 hole course that people feel is easiest was rated harder than what people consider the most difficult nine holes and people are trying to understand why,
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

I find the rating process to be fascinating. Are there any on-line resources where you can gain a better understanding of the process. Could this be self taught?

 

I'm going to take a look at that Pope of Slope link.

 

The courses are a mixture of indoor lectures and much on course watching, listening, absorbing and practice.

The Course Rating Manual runs to 121 pages and the separate Men's and Women's Guides to 36 pages each.

I can't see it being done by self teaching.

 

These may be of interest

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/articles/articles/A-Head-For-Ratings/

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/articles/articles/A-Rating-More-On-Course/

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/ratings_primer/Course-Rating-Primer/

post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

Are you on the rating committee for the R&A or something? What's the status of all of that? I know some countries are adopting rating/slope style stuff, while others are still (maybe I'm wrong) sticking with SSS?

 


 

I am on the England Golf rating panel and a qualified Team Leader and in addition, an England Golf Handicap Advisor.

The R&A have no interest in rating or handicap systems. I guess there are too many 'home grown' systems in the various countries the R&A cover.

 

All the member countries of the European Golf Association and Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the defunct English Women's Golf Association have been using the USGA rating system for years. The English Golf Union (men) had, prior to the merger, rated using their own system producing the SSS (effectively the Course Rating for scratch). They are now using the USGA system. A few prestige courses have also been USGA rated for years, primarily to please US tourists who are able to post scores.

I understand a few relatively minor changes were made to the 2012 version to cater for British Isles weather and course types to 'help persuade' the English men to change. I don't know what they were.

 

The EGA use slope as part of their handicap system, which is essentially the 'slopeless' CONGU system (ie competition based).

Once all 2000 English men's courses (*# of tees) have been re-rated to include bogey, it is almost certain slope will be built into CONGU handicapping.

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post
 

 

The courses are a mixture of indoor lectures and much on course watching, listening, absorbing and practice.

The Course Rating Manual runs to 121 pages and the separate Men's and Women's Guides to 36 pages each.

I can't see it being done by self teaching.

 

These may be of interest

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/articles/articles/A-Head-For-Ratings/

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/articles/articles/A-Rating-More-On-Course/

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/ratings_primer/Course-Rating-Primer/

 

Good info, thanks.

 

I know that the FSGA is always looking for volunteers to join their rating crews. 

 

I'd love to do it, but right now just don't have the time, and the spare time I do have to devote to golf related activities is spent playing.  It'd be a great retirement gig, but I also know that they put a bit of emphasis on raters being able to play at a reasonable level in order to ensure proper perspective, and who knows if I'll be able to attain/maintain that level of competency long into retirement. 

post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

I'd love to do it, but right now just don't have the time, and the spare time I do have to devote to golf related activities is spent playing.  It'd be a great retirement gig, but I also know that they put a bit of emphasis on raters being able to play at a reasonable level in order to ensure proper perspective, and who knows if I'll be able to attain/maintain that level of competency long into retirement. 

 

I don't know how important that is, particularly if one or two of the raters on the team is or once was a competent golfer.

 

If you had to be a 2 handicap or better to rate, they'd never have raters. :)

 

One of the guys on our squad rarely breaks 85 from 6000 yards, and the other probably hasn't broken 90 from 6000 yards in quite some time. And then there's me, of course, so they give my opinion a little more leeway on how "escapable" a stand of trees are relative to the length of the shot, etc. (which we balance against the guidelines in the books, of course).

 

Yes, it's a volunteer thing, but I'd investigate doing it sooner rather than later, David. It's customary to give the raters a free round after they've rated a course, and it's just one way I feel I can give back to the game.

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