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David in FL

Course ratings......

60 posts in this topic

I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rating process and would like to pick the brains of those who are.  One question in particular, and then maybe just a general discussion thread.....

One of my local courses was just re-rated and the rating dropped quite a bit.  From 71.6/124 to 71.1/121.  Is that usual?  I can see a slight variance from rater to rater, but a half stroke on the CR strikes me as a lot.  I've played it from the day it opened, so I can assure you that there hasn't been any changes in yardages, layout, hazards, etc...

One item.  The course has a lot of sand, and for some unknown reason, has a local rule that designates ALL sand areas as through-the-green.  Even what you would normally call greenside bunkers.  They're all maintained, and rakes are provided, but nonetheless, are not played as hazards.......though I'd bet not one golfer in 100 knows that.   Could that local rule affect the CR?

Thanks.

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David,

I've been on a few course ratings as part of my internship with Golf Association of Philly.  The sand shouldn't make too much of a difference.  The only thing I can think of is if your course has modified the bunkers to make them deeper.  If they are more than 5 feet elevation they will get a higher score than if they are 4 feet or less.

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.

Now that I think about it.  I wonder if they have added any new sets of tees? The main factor in the formula for CR is distance.  Everything else factors in but only changes it a little bit.  Distance is by far the most important factor.

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I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rating process and would like to pick the brains of those who are.  One question in particular, and then maybe just a general discussion thread.....

One of my local courses was just re-rated and the rating dropped quite a bit.  From 71.6/124 to 71.1/121.  Is that usual?  I can see a slight variance from rater to rater, but a half stroke on the CR strikes me as a lot.  I've played it from the day it opened, so I can assure you that there hasn't been any changes in yardages, layout, hazards, etc...

One item.  The course has a lot of sand, and for some unknown reason, has a local rule that designates ALL sand areas as through-the-green.  Even what you would normally call greenside bunkers.  They're all maintained, and rakes are provided, but nonetheless, are not played as hazards.......though I'd bet not one golfer in 100 knows that.   Could that local rule affect the CR?

Thanks.


AFAIK, the course ratings are done ignoring any non-conforming local Rules (such as the one above regarding bunkers).

If you really want to do research, visit     http://www.popeofslope.com/index.html

Also, in the area where I am (Pacific Northwest), the state and provincial associations hold annual meetings of the course raters to ensure there is consistency in rating amongst the group.

Perhaps an explanation for the change in rating could be obtained from the association that did the rating?  They must recognize it's a significant change and have an appropriate explanation.

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David,

I've been on a few course ratings as part of my internship with Golf Association of Philly.  The sand shouldn't make too much of a difference.  The only thing I can think of is if your course has modified the bunkers to make them deeper.  If they are more than 5 feet elevation they will get a higher score than if they are 4 feet or less.

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.

Now that I think about it.  I wonder if they have added any new sets of tees? The main factor in the formula for CR is distance.  Everything else factors in but only changes it a little bit.  Distance is by far the most important factor.

Nope.  Tees and bunkers have remained consistent.  I've probably played a couple of hundred rounds there over the years.

If the local rule doesn't matter, and I really didn't think that it would, then all I can think is that the variance was due to the rater.  But a half point strikes me as a lot.

AFAIK, the course ratings are done ignoring any non-conforming local Rules (such as the one above regarding bunkers).

If you really want to do research, visit     http://www.popeofslope.com/index.html

Also, in the area where I am (Pacific Northwest), the state and provincial associations hold annual meetings of the course raters to ensure there is consistency in rating amongst the group.

Perhaps an explanation for the change in rating could be obtained from the association that did the rating?  They must recognize it's a significant change and have an appropriate explanation.

I haven't even asked the course yet if they know, but if they can't give me some insight, I think I'll contact the FSGA.  Good idea, thanks.

One nice thing, since I play out there a lot, it's added about a couple of 10ths to my index. ;-)

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Is it possible that the course was re-measured and the actual yardage was corrected?  Other than that, I agree that a .5 change on the course rating is a lot if the total yardage and features remained unchanged.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rating process and would like to pick the brains of those who are.  One question in particular, and then maybe just a general discussion thread.....

Just a bit of information from the USGA

Quote:
Courses must be re-rated at least every 10 years, or if it is a new golf course, within 5 years. A course must also be re-rated if significant changes have been made to the course. To schedule a course rating, the club representative needs to contact its authorized golf association.

The Slope is just the difference between the Bogey Rating and the USGA Course Rating multiplied by a constant. So if the rating changed then the Slope would change as well since they are linked together.

It would be hard to figure out were the rating difference changed from. Given the rating system is based on the judgement of a person who comes to rate the course. The 0.5 strokes could be more or less just the opinion of that person.

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The Slope is just the difference between the Bogey Rating and the USGA Course Rating multiplied by a constant. So if the rating changed then the Slope would change as well since they are linked together.

Thats not true.  The slope rating is the difference between the Bogey Golfer's rating and the Scratch Golfer's rating.  A lot of this has to deal with distance and if there are forced lay ups, forced carries, etc.  I believe bogey golfers can hit a maximum of 180 on their 2nd shots and scratch golfers can hit 200. Not positive. But a course can have a very high slope rating and a low course rating if the distances work out like that.  I just learned this recently!

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Thats not true.  The slope rating is the difference between the Bogey Golfer's rating and the Scratch Golfer's rating.  A lot of this has to deal with distance and if there are forced lay ups, forced carries, etc.  I believe bogey golfers can hit a maximum of 180 on their 2nd shots and scratch golfers can hit 200. Not positive. But a course can have a very high slope rating and a low course rating if the distances work out like that.  I just learned this recently!

From the USGA Handicap Manual.

f. Slope Rating Formulas

A Slope Rating is obtained by using the following formulas:

(i) Men

Slope Rating: 5.381 x (Bogey Rating - USGA Course Rating)

(ii) Women

Slope Rating: 4.24 x (Bogey Rating - USGA Course Rating)

On a side note we are both correct because the USGA Course Rating is the Scratch Golfer Rating for the course. :-D

USGA Course Rating

A "USGA Course Rating" is the USGA's mark that indicates the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer under normal course and weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer. (See Section 13.)

(i) USGA Course Rating for Men and Women

USGA Course Rating: Scratch Yardage Rating + Scratch Obstacle Stroke Value

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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.

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Quote:

On a side note we are both correct because the USGA Course Rating is the Scratch Golfer Rating for the course. :-D

Haha, makes sense now that I think about it!

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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.

I don't know when these figures were last changed but the 'Shot Length' figures are currently:

Men:

Scratch:

Tee shot: 250 yards

2nd shot: 220

Bogey:

Tee shot: 200

2nd shot: 170

Ladies: 50 and 40 yards

Any obstacles now no longer in the vicinity will reduce the difficulty points (and the reverse of course).

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Is it possible that the course was re-measured and the actual yardage was corrected?  Other than that, I agree that a .5 change on the course rating is a lot if the total yardage and features remained unchanged.

It's not that unusual. Depends on the composition of the rating teams.

Tree density changing over time can be a factor also.

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I don't know when these figures were last changed but the 'Shot Length' figures are currently:

Men:

Scratch:

Tee shot: 250 yards

2nd shot: 220

Bogey:

Tee shot: 200

2nd shot: 170

Ladies: 50 and 40 yards

Any obstacles now no longer in the vicinity will reduce the difficulty points (and the reverse of course).

Given that, how is a bogey rating even determined if it takes a carry more than 200 yards to carry, say a water hazard, with no option but to replay from the tee?  The "bogey golfer" would never be able to complete the hole/course from that set of tees.

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Given that, how is a bogey rating even determined if it takes a carry more than 200 yards to carry, say a water hazard, with no option but to replay from the tee?  The "bogey golfer" would never be able to complete the hole/course from that set of tees.

I doubt there is many situations were that arises.  That hole probably gets the highest ranking possible. I don't think ability to finish the course matters. Handicap does have ESC. So if any golfer couldn't reach the green he would just put the ESC down and move on.

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I doubt there is many situations were that arises.  That hole probably gets the highest ranking possible. I don't think ability to finish the course matters. Handicap does have ESC. So if any golfer couldn't reach the green he would just put the ESC down and move on.

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.....

ESC has nothing to do with course ratings, nor with what a scratch or bogey golfer may score on the hole.  Nor is there a "highest" ranking for a CR (though there is for slope).

That's why I started this thread, to hear about the actual process from the experienced raters out there.  Interesting stuff, for a golf/rules/handicap geek like me.....

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I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rating process and would like to pick the brains of those who are.  One question in particular, and then maybe just a general discussion thread.....

One of my local courses was just re-rated and the rating dropped quite a bit.  From 71.6/124 to 71.1/121.  Is that usual?  I can see a slight variance from rater to rater, but a half stroke on the CR strikes me as a lot.  I've played it from the day it opened, so I can assure you that there hasn't been any changes in yardages, layout, hazards, etc...

One item.  The course has a lot of sand, and for some unknown reason, has a local rule that designates ALL sand areas as through-the-green.  Even what you would normally call greenside bunkers.  They're all maintained, and rakes are provided, but nonetheless, are not played as hazards.......though I'd bet not one golfer in 100 knows that.   Could that local rule affect the CR?

Thanks.


David, you could contact the area Golf Association and inquire about the rating change.

Would be interesting to hear their reply to the changes.

14-4. Golf Association Records

a. Information To Be Kept

A file of each USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating must be kept by the authorized golf association for future reference. The checklist for the file should include: the scorecard, the names of the persons rating the course, the date on which the course was rated, the information regarding weather and other conditions on the day of rating, the fairway watering system, the types of grasses, the height of the rough, the official measurements of each hole, the names of persons who measured the golf course, and the presence of permanent yardage markers.

Our club was re-rated about four years ago.

Men's regular tees (blue) was 70.7/126 changed to 70.6/127

Club Rat

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Given that, how is a bogey rating even determined if it takes a carry more than 200 yards to carry, say a water hazard, with no option but to replay from the tee?  The "bogey golfer" would never be able to complete the hole/course from that set of tees.

The carry for bogey is actually 180 yards.

There is a whole section on such situations where the 'Bogey Golfer Cannot Play the Hole'. Too complicated to reproduce here.

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Our club was re-rated about four years ago.

My manuals only cover 2012 - 2015 but it wouldn't surprise me if there had been a fair number of tweeks from 2011.

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