slope rating in golf

Wants to know about slope rating? If you are, then you are in the correct place. Golf basics like slope rating are always crucial because slope rating can be said as a difficulty indicator.

Today, we will discuss the details of golf’s slope rating. What is slope rating, its significance, why it’s important to know about slope rating, what is related to slope rating, slope rating calculation and what is its standard? So, read the whole article so as not to miss any notes.

What is Slope Rating in Golf?

Slope rating represents the playing difficulties for all players compared to scratch players on a golf course.

Let me explain it.

Slope rating indicates if the course is harder to play or easier to play, and it is a relative thought. So, there are two things to consider when discussing slope rating: bogey rating and course rating. Now, what are these ratings? Before I jump into them, let me finish talking about slope one.

So, slope rating is designed to tell average golfers how easy or hard the golf course is. The minimum slope rating you can have is 55, and the maximum you can find is 155. And it would always be a whole number.

Not every golf course plays the same. Some might be difficult to play, or some might be easier. A score of 85 in a challenging course might perform better than an 83 in an easy one. It’s not only the course that differs. Each player will perform differently, even on the same course. So, slope rating says how challenging the course is for any player compared to scratch.

Now, let’s talk about bogey rating and slope rating.

Course Rating

What is a course rating?

Course rating reflects playing difficulties under normal conditions for a scratch player. It is also counted by the number of shoots a scratch player should do on that golf course. Suppose a golf course has a course rating of 72, so a scratch player will require to shoot 72 times on that course.

The course rating shows that trained course accessories expect a scratch golfer to get around a golf course. And for their calculation, they assume a scratch golfer is someone who can hit it 250 off the tee with the driver and 230 with a fairway wood in normal conditions. Those figures are 210 and 170 for a lady.

So the course rating sometimes is more than the part of the course. Sometimes less than the part of the course. And that will depend on factors such as topography, fairway width, the difficulty of holes, amount of the out of bounds, and water hazards. This factor makes one course harder, and course accessors take them to count to calculate the rating.

Scratch Golfer

There comes another term, scratch player. Now, who is a scratch player? A scratch player is someone who has a 0 rating in the handicap index. This means that no obstacles( trees, water hazards, fairway width, penalty area, recovery abilities, green size) or the effective playing length, including elevation, roll, wind, and altitude, will affect his game. He will shoot right around par on that course.

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What is Handicap Index?

Handicap Index is a player’s difficulties while playing on a golf course. It says how much higher a player shoots than the course rating he plays regularly.

Let me explain with an example. Let’s just say a golf course has a course rating of 72. In that course, If a player plays regularly and has a 15 handicap, they constantly shoot 15 strokes higher than the course rating.

Bogey Rating

The bogey rating is the final piece of the jigsaw that allows us to get the slope rating. And this is effectively the same as the course rating but for 20 handicapped male golfers or 24 handicapped lady golfers. Usually, a bogey golfer gives a bogey per hole or takes one strike extra than par per hole.

Slope Rating Calculation

So now you know all the details regarding slope rating. You must be thinking about why all these things are necessary to understand. The slope rating calculating formula would be –

Slope rating = (Bogey Rating – Course Rating) × 5.581 (male) and 4.24 (female)

As I said earlier, the slope rating is always between 55-155, where 55 is the easiest course and 155 is the hardest course one may find. And 113 is the standard slope rating that says anything below makes the course easy to play, and anything above that makes the course a hard one.


Slope rating is used to know how hard that course is for a golfer. This means this is not an indication for golfers but the course. But, this slope rating affects an average or bogey golfer more than a scratch golfer. Because of the obstacles, a course like bunkers, trees, or water hazards troubles a bogey golfer more than a scratch golfer. Do you know why?

Usually, scratch golfers don’t get themselves into that much trouble. Even if they are in trouble, they navigate how to get out of that and cover it in the next shots. But for an average golfer, these things are too much concern.

If you are a newbie in golf or playing for a short time and still practicing on grips, swings, strikes, and all the basic things, you better practice on a standard course rather than choosing a harder one the first time. This will also affect your handicap. As you become better by practicing and your handicap index shows a handicap less than 6/7/8, you can go for a more challenging course. That’s my suggestion.

Slope rating is an important indicator of when you are interested in golfing. Make sure you didn’t miss any of the notes related to it. And you can also understand it better when you know other related terms. So, learn better, and play better.

Mushfiq is obsessed with Golf. From his passion for Golf to becoming a lead writer in the golf category, his journey was quite awesome. Mushfiq covers all the Golf events and net worth information of players in Surprise Sports.


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