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USGA Course Rating 


USGA Course & Slope Rating assignments are integral to the accuracy of the World Handicap System, as each are relative measures of the DIFFICULTY of the course and tee set encountered by players within their round. In turn, these Ratings are utilized in (2) key areas within the World Handicap System player records.

Score Posting & Handicap Index Calculation

A player’s SCORE is compared against Rating Assignments, specific to the course & tee set in use, as well as the golfer’s gender. This comparison then produces a Handicap Differential, reflective of how well the golfer played, lower the ‘better’. Ultimately, a golfer’s Handicap Index is based upon the ‘best’ (8) Differentials from their most recent 20-score posting history, meant to project Demonstrated Ability.


Conversion to Course Handicap for upcoming round

Once a golfer’s Demonstrated Ability (Handicap Index) is determined, they will then convert to a Course Handicap: the assigned number of Handicap Strokes afforded for their upcoming round, which will vary, based upon the Difficulty of the course and tee set to be played. In particular, player’s will be entitled to more strokes on higher rated/more difficult courses and vice versa.


AGA Rating Team Composition and Evaluations

The Arizona Golf Association hosts a Volunteer Rating Team, licensed by the USGA and tasked to actively evaluate and assign these USGA Rating assignments for each golf course across our region, ongoing. This is accomplished by implantation of on-site USGA Rating evaluation carried out at least once every 10-years, and/or when physical modifications are introduced on the course. Most notedly, the main factors that our Rating Team investigates while at the on-course evaluation: Hole Lengths (Ydg.), Obstacle features (bunkers, OB, Penalty Areas, etc.), and course conditions that may impact a golfer’s ability to score.