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We are benefitted by knowing how difficult our golf courses are on a consistent local, regional, national and international scale. The operative word is ‘Consistent’! It is good to know how we played in Scotland, Canada or in the neighbouring county and community compared with on a similar pitch?

If you look at your score card to the left side of the ‘Set Of Tees’ you will be playing … back/longer more difficult and front/shorter a bit easier … you will see two numbers.

They might look like ’72.4 / 136’. The ‘136’ is referred to as ‘The Slope’ or the difficulty of these 18 holes when compared to the global perspective. This ‘Slope’ ranges from 55 to 155 in even whole numbers. 120 is about the average. Until we know this ‘General Broad Rating’, we do not really know how difficult the course is compared to other courses.

The ‘72.4’ is the ‘Rating’. It tells us how each one of the course teeing grounds compare to each other based on a Par of 70.0 rating. This also relates to other local courses. They can have a higher or lower ‘Rating’.

You often see a PGA televised course playing at 70, 71 or 72. This is purely a matter of this ‘Rating’ classification. The Head Pro and Greenskeepers have some ‘Rating Latitude’ as well. They can, for various reasons, increase or decrease the ‘Rating’ for an event. You will be advised upon signing in if there are any special circumstances in play such as ‘Cart Path Only’ or the likes of ‘Pick, Clean & Place’!

It is very important that golfers ‘Have Fun’. If you are a beginner, understand the rules and circumstances, but, most of all, ‘Have Fun’ even if you do not keep score. You will when you are ready! Your golfing buddies will help!

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