WA Golf Course Rating Service

Washington Golf provides course measuring and rating services to member and non-member clubs on a periodic basis. The goal of WA Golf is to rate each member course every 6-7 years. New clubs (those that have been in existence for less than 10 years) or clubs that have undergone a renovation will be rated on a more frequent basis. Non-member clubs must be rated every ten years. This service is provided free of charge to member clubs and for a fee of $1,500 per nine holes plus expenses for non-member clubs. Please send us an email if you would like us to rate your course.

Course Rating Procedure

When a golf course is rated, the rating team will evaluate the overall difficulty of the golf course for two players, the bogey golfer and the scratch golfer. A course rating for each golfer is determined during the rating process. The course rating for the scratch golfer will become the USGA Course Rating™ for the golf course. While the bogey course rating is not normally known by the member club, it is an important factor in determining the USGA Slope Rating™ for the club.

During their visit the rating team will evaluate the ten obstacles and effective length corrections on every hole. They do not play the course during this portion of the visit. The team has the option of playing the golf course either before or after the actual rating process in order to gain further insight into the overall difficulty of the golf course. Upon completion of the rating visit, the data is inputted into a software program to come to a set of preliminary ratings. The preliminary ratings are then forwarded to the Course Rating Review Committee for their review. The Course Rating Review Committee is made up of the most experienced volunteers on the Course Rating Committee and selected staff. Upon their approval, the ratings are released to the club.

Basic Definitions

In order to help you better understand the course rating process, listed below are some of the basic definitions used in the course rating process

When the Slope Rating for your course changes, the change may also affect your Home Course Handicap. The Slope Rating change may also have a small effect on the computation of your USGA Handicap Index. It may also change the handicap a visitor will use when playing your course.

Another point that cannot be stressed too strongly is the fact that WE RATE FOR ALL GOLFERS PLAYING UNALTERED USGA RULES OF GOLF AT ALL TIMES, ON ALL COURSES. We do not consider “PREFERRED LIES” or “WINTER RULES” or any local club rules, which are contrary to the Rules of Golf.

We are constantly reviewing and updating our Course Rating lists to see how past ratings compare to current ratings and how courses compare as to yardage, rating obstacle stroke values, USGA Course Rating and USGA Slope Rating. We also review all major tournament results that we are provided and compare both gross and net scores with our ratings. When we note anything amiss, we immediately put that course on the schedule for re-rating.

We hope this explanation answers any questions you may have had regarding the difference between course and Slope rating. If you have any further questions, please contact the WA Golf office at 206-526-8605.