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What is Course Rating?
The AWGA provides its Course Rating service at no additional cost to every golf course in Arizona that is affiliated with the Association through a regular member club or that maintains an Associate membership.
A Course Rating is a mathematical evaluation of the difficulty of a golf course from the perspective of a scratch golfer and then from the perspective of a bogey golfer. This evaluation process generates three important numbers, the Course Rating, the Bogey Rating, and the Slope Rating.
The Course Rating is the score that a scratch golfer is expected to shoot on that particular golf course. The Bogey Rating is the score a bogey golfer is expected to score on that same course. The Slope Rating is the comparison between those two numbers, which when applied to a player's Handicap Index, will allow an equitable competition to take place between any two players of any two skill levels.
The process of course rating determines the “effective playing length” of the course, based on its measured length, the amount of roll, the course elevation, prevailing wind conditions, and altitude. The process also determines the “obstacle stroke value” based on 10 obstacle factors, including fairway width, green size, bunkers, out of bounds and water.
The AWGA has a Course Rating Committee whose task is to perform ratings according to the USGA Course Rating System. We have dozens of members on this team who are appointed and trained to rate member courses on a regular rotation schedule.
This is not intended to be a technical explanation of the Course Rating process. If you are interested in that information, please contact our office.
Why is Course Rating Important?
A USGA Course Rating is important because without it, you cannot have a USGA Handicap. It is the basis for the handicap calculation.
Through the USGA Course Rating System, the AWGA evaluates every golf course in Arizona and mathematically establishes how those courses compare to one another for a scratch golfer by assigning a Course Rating, and how the difficulty of each applies to the scratch golfer and the bogey golfer by assigning a Slope Rating. This process enables us to evaluate each score you post on the basis of the individual golf course that you played, resulting in a USGA Handicap Index. Sounds pretty complicated, and it is.
The AWGA Course Rating Committee members devote themselves to becoming experts in rating golf courses in accordance with the USGA Course Rating System, to insure that Arizona's golf courses are rated accurately and fairly for all women to play and post their scores to their USGA Handicap scoring records.