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What is a course rating?
The USGA Course Rating® indicates the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions. It is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring difficulty for the scratch golfer. This rating is often considered the "target score" for a scratch golfer; he/she is only successful in shooting that score about 25% of the time.
What is slope?
Slope Rating™ is the measurement of the relative difficulty for players who are not scratch golfers, compared to the USGA Course Rating. Calculating Slope takes into account how yardage and obstacles come into play for less-skilled golfers. It is this measurement that allows your USGA Handicap Index to be portable; on a course with a high Slope Rating, a golfer would get more strokes than he would receive on a course with a low Slope Rating.
Who is a "Scratch Golfer"?
A "scratch golfer" is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. For rating purposes, the USGA narrowly defines this golfer by the distances he is able to hit the ball. This allows the rating process to be applied uniformly to all golf courses.
Who is a "Bogey Golfer"?
For men, a Bogey Golfer is a player who has a Course Handicap of about 20 on a course of standard difficulty. For women, a Bogey Golfer has a Course Handicap of about 24. For rating purposes, the USGA also defines these golfers by the distance they are able to hit the ball, thus maintaining consistency in the application of the USGA Course Rating System.