Course Rating FAQs

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.

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 under normal playing conditions. 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.

How often are courses rated?

The USGA requires a course rating update at least every 10 years.


For more information, please contact Bryan Nelson, at


The Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) is the governing body of golf in Georgia and serves as an Allied Golf Association to the United States Golf Association (USGA). Membership in the GSGA is open to all golfers, facilities and golf clubs throughout the state. Golfers that join the GSGA have access to invaluable resources that allow them to advance their knowledge of the game and numerous opportunities to play in both competitive and fun, casual events. By becoming a member of the GSGA, you will be joining a community that includes more than 350 clubs and 80,000 golfers who all have one thing in common: a passion for the game of golf.