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  1. #1

    New Course Rating

    My course is now due its USGA course rating. The measured course is only just over 6,000 yards, Par 70, SSS 69, and is in danger of being re-rated under 6,000 yards to SSS 68.
    As at many old established courses the longest distance markers are very close to the back of the tees, just one to two yards. Unfortunately over the years some greens have been extended to the front too, which obviously makes these holes shorter.
    England Golf says: On assessment of an existing SSS, the calculation shall provide for each hole being measured from four yards from the back of the tee.
    The USGA recommends using percentages and mid-points to determine marker placement and stresses that at no time should a permanent marker be less than two yards from the front of a teeing area or less than four yards from the back of a teeing area.
    My club appears to think after taking advice from a visiting Course Rating Official that there is some discretion on this, does any one know if this is possible?

  2. #2
    Challenge Tour Pro mikejohnchapman's Avatar
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    Re: New Course Rating

    In the overall scale of things I don't think length matters too much with regards to the calculated rating.

    Each tee is assessed seperately but if two tees are close together - eg within 15 yards of each other - then the measurements for the hole are the same. The slope rating is far more dependent on landing zone difficulty, severe rough, hazards and green size, speed and topology rather than just length. The guidelines used for slope rating are from USGA not England Golf.

    Whilst not releasing the slope ratings yet I believe EG are telling clubs what their SSS would be using the new rating system (even though these will disappear when the slopes come in).

    If your course has been rated ask the County for the revised SSS assuming the rating has been processed via EG. The opens I have seen so far haven't changed much (if at all).
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  3. #3
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Dec.7(b) Distance points and
    Measured Course
    On some golf courses the placing of
    Distance Points at the back of the tees has made it difficult to
    conform to the definition of a teeing ground in the
    Rules of Golf and also to satisfy the requirements of
    Clause 12 of the
    UHS.
    In order to clarify the situation and ensure that
    Qualifying Competitions are played over courses of
    correct length the following provisions now apply:
    (a)
    Distance Points on all new courses and on any new holes or holes that have had their length
    altered on existing courses must be placed not less than four yards from the back of each tee;
    (b) on a reassessment of an existing
    Standard Scratch Score the calculation must provide for
    each hole being measured from a point not less than four yards forward of the back of each
    tee;
    (c) any competition played over a course which fails to provide teeing grounds as defined by the
    Rules of Golf
    or to satisfy Clause 12 of the UHS shall be a Non Qualifying Competition;
    (d) in exceptional circumstances a
    Union or Area Authority may sanction in writing the use of a
    Teeing Ground that does not satisfy these requirements.
    Note :
    There is no requirement to change or reposition Distance Points on Existing Courses except
    under sub-clause (a) above.
    It should also be noted that the requirements for a
    Measured Course include provision for tee
    markers to be placed in front as well as behind the
    Distance Point – see definition of a Competition
    Tee
    .


    One of the things to remember that having the fixed distance markers at the very back of the tees is something which is not recommended because it restricts how much of the tee that can actually be used to place the tee markers for the day. The tee markers for the day must be within 10 yards of the fixed distance marker.

  4. #4
    Money List Winner MadAdey's Avatar
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Length does not have as much of an impact on rating as difficulty of hole does, as Mike said above. I've played on 6500+ courses with a low slope and rating. Likewise I've played short tight tough courses with a high slope and rating. It's about time the UK got away from the SSS rating as I don't see the point in it. With the US system your handicap is calculated more accurately against the course you played on and then when playing other places it gets adjusted to the course you are playing.

    Off the back tees at my place it's rated @ 73.8/139 against it's par of 71. I shot 78 the other day and it gave me a difference against par of 3.4. So even though on the card I was +7, for handicap purposes I was only +3.4.
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  5. #5
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Quote Originally Posted by MadAdey View Post
    Length does not have as much of an impact on rating as difficulty of hole does, as Mike said above. I've played on 6500+ courses with a low slope and rating. Likewise I've played short tight tough courses with a high slope and rating. It's about time the UK got away from the SSS rating as I don't see the point in it. With the US system your handicap is calculated more accurately against the course you played on and then when playing other places it gets adjusted to the course you are playing.

    Off the back tees at my place it's rated @ 73.8/139 against it's par of 71. I shot 78 the other day and it gave me a difference against par of 3.4. So even though on the card I was +7, for handicap purposes I was only +3.4.
    Don't confuse Course Rating and Slope.

    USGA Course Rating is the rated difficulty for specific tees for a 'model' scratch player (ie effectively SSS under a different name).
    In practice there is virtually no difference between the results from the EGU system and the USGA system.

    Slope is a measure of the relative difficulty of those tees for a bogey player (h'cap 20). A lower the slope means the course is relatively easier.

    Par is not a measure of difficulty in any sense.

    18 x 300 yards = 5400 par 72 SSS/CR 66-67
    18 x 400 yards = 7200 par 72 SSS/CR 75

    Incidentally, under both the old EGU and USGA systems, length is by far the most significant factor.

  6. #6
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Quote Originally Posted by mikejohnchapman View Post
    In the overall scale of things I don't think length matters too much with regards to the calculated rating.

    Each tee is assessed seperately but if two tees are close together - eg within 15 yards of each other - then the measurements for the hole are the same. The slope rating is far more dependent on landing zone difficulty, severe rough, hazards and green size, speed and topology rather than just length. The guidelines used for slope rating are from USGA not England Golf.

    Whilst not releasing the slope ratings yet I believe EG are telling clubs what their SSS would be using the new rating system (even though these will disappear when the slopes come in).

    If your course has been rated ask the County for the revised SSS assuming the rating has been processed via EG. The opens I have seen so far haven't changed much (if at all).
    Length matters very significantly. Maybe 90%.

    If tees are < 25 yards apart, the real measured length is still the figure used for rating those tees. It is simply that landing zones are deemed to be common, so only one set of obstacle factors have to be assessed.

    Once a course is rated to USGA spec, the CR given to the club becomes the course SSS from that date and must then be used for all qualifiers.

    Slope cannot come into effect until all courses are rerated (except for US or Canadian visitors who are required to record all scores made on a USGA rated course).

  7. #7
    Money List Winner MadAdey's Avatar
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Quote Originally Posted by rulefan View Post
    Don't confuse Course Rating and Slope.

    USGA Course Rating is the rated difficulty for specific tees for a 'model' scratch player (ie effectively SSS under a different name).
    In practice there is virtually no difference between the results from the EGU system and the USGA system.

    Slope is a measure of the relative difficulty of those tees for a bogey player (h'cap 20). A lower the slope means the course is relatively easier.

    Par is not a measure of difficulty in any sense.

    18 x 300 yards = 5400 par 72 SSS/CR 66-67
    18 x 400 yards = 7200 par 72 SSS/CR 75

    Incidentally, under both the old EGU and USGA systems, length is by far the most significant factor.
    Slope is actually measured using the slant between what a scratch golfer should score and what high handicapper should score. Basically showing how much more difficult a course is for a high handicapper compared to a scratch golfer. So 2 course can have similar slope, even though 1 may be harder than the other. This little no explains it a lot better.
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  8. #8
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    Re: New Course Rating

    The link is pretty useful but has many misleading statements.

    Here's a classic piece of nonsense as my examples above demonstrate.

    What is the definition of a "par golfer"?

    Someone who consistently shoots par for the course, regardless of the course. Also known as a "scratch golfer".


  9. #9
    Money List Winner MadAdey's Avatar
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    Re: New Course Rating

    Quote Originally Posted by rulefan View Post
    The link is pretty useful but has many misleading statements.

    Here's a classic piece of nonsense as my examples above demonstrate.

    What is the definition of a "par golfer"?

    Someone who consistently shoots par for the course, regardless of the course. Also known as a "scratch golfer".

    Little bit inacurate with the definition. A par golfer is smeone who shoots level in relation to the rating of the course. My place is par 71, but rates at 73.9 from the back tees. So shooting 71 would actually put him under par.

  10. #10
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    Re: New Course Rating

    More than a little bit inaccurate. Just wrong.

    USGA - A "scratch golfer" is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses.

    Shooting 71 would put him on par (71) and under the Course Rating (73.9).

    USGA - Par is not a significant factor in either the USGA Handicap System or USGA Course Rating System.



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