Two Tees


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Two Tees, Different Course Rating, Same Slope—Really?

Two different sets of tees CAN have the SAME Slope Rating!

Let’s say the forward tee rating for men is 69.4 and the back tee rating for men is 71.1, yet the Slope Rating for both is 113. How is this possible?

Two important points to remember:

During the physical evaluation of a golf course, both the scratch and bogey golfer are taken into consideration, and; Slope Rating is giving you enough strokes to “play down” to the Course Rating. The most important word in understanding Slope Rating is “relative”. Meaning: the number is only relative to its corresponding Course Rating.

Normally, the higher the Course Rating, the higher the Slope Rating. However, when Slope Rating remains constant from the middle to the back tees, it is usually the result of the location of the obstacles relative to the bogey golfer’s shot patterns from the back tees.

This occurs most often on courses with many long par-4s. Remember we stated that slope rating is giving the player enough strokes to ‘play down to the rating’?

At times, a golfer playing from the back tees cannot hit the ball far enough to reach difficult obstacles (bunkers, water hazards, trees, heavy rough, OB, etc). Since that player probably won’t get into too much trouble, he needs fewer handicap strokes to equal the Course Rating.

The significance of Slope Rating 113

A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a USGA Slope Rating of 113. You might have noticed the mathematical constant of 113 as part of the formula for calculating a USGA Handicap Index.  But what does it mean?

The 113 number is meaningful for a couple of reasons:

1) The significance of the number 113 indicates that, statistically speaking, for every stroke a handicap increases, scores go up by 1.13 shots. This was the median number derived at the time Slope was introduced by the USGA in 1982.

2) A Handicap Index represents all eligible scores in a player’s scoring record adjusted as if they were played on a course with a Slope Rating of 113. The actual average Slope Rating is probably higher than 113 – especially now, 30 years after the birth of Slope.

Within the USGA Course Rating System, the lowest Slope Rating a set of tees can have is 55, and the highest is 155. Currently, the highest Slope Ratings on courses within the SNGA are found at the

 
 
 
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