On the course I cut my teeth on in NJ, the course rating for the front 9 was essentially par but the course rating for the back 9 was a stroke under par - that doesn't really tell the story. The 9th hole was the easiest hole on the course and the 8th was a short par really wasn't that difficult relative to others, so what you really had was a very tough seven hole opening stretch that was much easier the rest of the way. Several times I would be +6 or +7 over par after 7 holes and then go even par or +1 the rest of the way. At least once I was even under par the last 11 holes. In some regards it was a good learning experience - never give up the round can turn around - and it some ways it was really frustrating - if your game was really off it was hard to correct until the back 9.