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john granger

explain course ratings

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Before I quit golf back in the 60's, I do not remember a course rating. Now they have these course ratings 100-140?. As I understand it the higher the rating the harder the course. Ok, but as a weekend golfer who is also a high handicapper, what does this mean to me? How does this affect my game if any? Or by chance is this rating system mean something only to low handicappers?

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Those are the slope ratings, not the course ratings. Read more about

ratings and handicaps and whatnot here .
Definitions The course rating is the average score the upper half of scratch golfers are expected to achieve. If your course rates a 73.1, and you put 100 scratch golfers and said "play," the top 50 should average 73.1. Slope rating represents the difficulty for bogey golfers, and can range from 55 to 155. 113 is about average. Bogey golfers face different challenges than scratch golfers, so these numbers may not always be proportional from course to course.

For the most part, as a high handicapper, stick to numbers with lower slope ratings (the 100-140 #). They're easier to play and thus probably more enjoyable. Will result in less lost balls, too.

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Before I quit golf back in the 60's, I do not remember a course rating. Now they have these course ratings 100-140?. As I understand it the higher the rating the harder the course. Ok, but as a weekend golfer who is also a high handicapper, what does this mean to me? How does this affect my game if any? Or by chance is this rating system mean something only to low handicappers?

This might not be completely right because I don't think I fully understand the concept. There are two numbers to describe course difficulty...slope and rating. So it looks something like 130/73.2. The rating is the second number, and that number just says that if you are a scratch golfer, that's the number of which you would normally shoot at that course...so obviously the higher the number the harder the course because if a scratch golfer should be expected to shoot a number over par, then a higher handicapper will have even more trouble with it. The slope is the more difficult to describe. It's called a slope because the number comes from a graph displaying a slope. The steeper the slope, the harder the course. The graph slope is steeper for more difficult courses...so if you were graphing a scratch golfer and a 25 handicappers scores for a course, the slope between the two points would determine the course slope...it's very confusing, i know...i am confusing myself as I write this. Just the higher the slope the higher a person is expected to score, and as you get into the higher handicaps the scores become exponentially higher for the harder courses.

The main use for these numbers are to compute handicaps. There is a formula you use to figure it out, someone on this forum will probably know it, but the formula takes into account the difficulty of the course to fairly compute your handicap and skill.

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