The purpose of the Golf Canada Course Rating System is to measure and rate the relative difficulty of golf courses across Canada so that a player’s Handicap Factor is accurate and transportable from golf course to golf course. The Course Rating System takes into account factors that affect the playing difficulty of a golf course including yardage, effective playing length and number of obstacle factors such as topography, elevation, doglegs, prevailing wind, bunkering, etc.
After a thorough study of the Course and Slope Rating System developed by the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Canada approved and adopted the system for Canada in January 1995.
The Golf Canada Course Rating System consists of two basic elements:
Golf Canada Course Rating – the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions expressed as number of strokes (e.g. 72.5).
Golf Canada Slope Rating – the evaluation of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the difficulty of the course for scratch golfers. The lowest Slope Rating is 55 and the highest 155. A course of standard playing difficulty will have a Slope Rating of 113.
Every member golf course should have an Golf Canada Course Rating and Slope Rating for each set of tees at the course. These ratings are used in the calculation of the Golf Canada Handicap Factor and for determining a player’s Course Handicap for a given round.
Accuracy and consistency are the keys to effective course rating. Alberta Golf rates golf courses in accordance with the system and this ensures that Course Ratings are accurate and uniform from coast to coast. Only an Alberta Golf team of course raters may rate golf courses. If a club disagrees with its ratings, it may request that Alberta Golf review the ratings and provide explanations.
For a more comprehensive review of the Golf Canada Course Rating System and answers to common questions about course rating, click here.