Course Rating FAQ’s

Q:  Where can I find the Course and Slope Ratings for a club?

A:  There are a number of places to find the Course and Slope Ratings for a club.  Official Course Rating certificates (for both men and women) should be posted at the course in an easily visible area.  Most clubs also include the Course and Slope Ratings on their scorecard and website.

The Golf Ontario website also offers a search tool where you can find all member courses in the province along with Course Rating and contact information:  Club Directory & Search

Q:  Where can I find Slope Conversion Charts/Course Handicap Tables?

A:  Course Handicap Tables for the relevant tees should be posted at the course in an easily visible area (near the handicap computer, in pro shop, near the first tee, etc.).

For access to all Course Handicap Tables in printable PDF format, please visit the Golf Ontario website at the following link: Course Handicap Conversion Charts.

Q:  What is Slope Rating?

A:  Slope Rating indicates the measurement of relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the Course Rating.  Slope Rating is computed from the difference between the Bogey Rating (playing difficulty for the bogey golfer) and Course Rating.


Q:  Does a higher Slope Rating mean that it’s a more difficult course?

A:  No, not necessarily.  Slope Rating is a measurement of relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the Course Rating.  This means that the higher the Slope Rating, the greater the difference between the scratch and bogey players.  Since Slope Rating is a relative measure, it is only accurate when considered in combination with the Course Rating.


Q:  How often is a course rated?

A:  How often a course is rated depends on if it is a new or established course.  Newly constructed courses change rapidly in the first few years and must be re-rated within 3-5 years.  Once a course has become established it must be rated every 9-10 years.


Q:  When does a course need to be re-rated?

A:  A course needs to be re-rated when it is due up for a scheduled re-rating (3-5 years for a new course, 9-10 years for an established course), or when significant changes are made to the course.

Significant changes can include changes to playing length, added or removed hazards, changes in green design/shape/contour, etc.

It is the responsibility of the golf club to notify the authorized golf association of these changes and whether they are temporary or permanent.


Q:  How is the course measured?

A:  Each golf course must be measured by an electronic measuring device (EMD), surveying instrument, or a global positioning system (GPS).  The Golf Ontario uses GPS devices that provide the most accurate measurements of the golf course.

Measurements are taken from the tee deck according to the number of tees on each deck.  For any hole with a dogleg, a straight line is measured from the tee to the pivot point (located in the middle of the fairway).  Another straight line measurement is taken from that pivot point to the center of the green or to the next pivot point if applicable.  These values are added to determine the official measurement for each hole and overall course.

Once the measurement process is completed, the club will receive an official measurement certificate.  It is recommended that this certificate be posted for golfers and that the club scorecards reflect the official measurements as they are the ones used for Course Rating purposes.

Please refer to Sections 12 and 15 of the Golf Canada Handicap Manual for full details of course measurement procedures.


Q:  I score approximately the same on my two different courses but their Course and Slope Ratings are different.  Why is that?

A:  One reason for this could be that one of the clubs has recently been rated and has not posted their most current Course and Slope Rating, or that the club has not printed out new scorecards to reflect the recent rating results.

Another reason could be coincidental in that they have similar design characteristics that work well with your individual game and that the rounds you have played have happened to be around the same scores.


Q:  Why are the Golf Ontario ratings different than those that are posted on the club scorecard?

A:  The Golf Ontario website and Online Handicap System contain the most up to date information about Course and Slope Ratings.  If the numbers differ from those on the scorecard, it is most likely that the course has recently been rated and the club has not printed off scorecards reflecting the changes.

If the Course and Slope Rating on the club score posting terminal do not match up with the correct ratings, it may be that the club needs to perform on online update.  The only update synchs data between the computer and database.  Talk to the pro shop when the last online transmission was and ask if they can perform one to synch the data.


Q:  How can I become a course rating volunteer?

A:  In order to become a course rating volunteer, you must submit an application form along with a written reference to the Golf Ontario office.  Once the application has been process, you will be contacted with information on the next stage of the process.

Course rating volunteers must also take part in training seminars that provide in depth instruction about course rating practices and procedures.

All forms and additional information can be found at the following link: How To Get Involved.