The USGACourse RatingSystemDEVELOPED BY THEUNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATIONEffective January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017Copyright 2016United States Golf AssociationAll Rights ReservedPrinted in the United States of America

THE 10 BASIC RULES FOR COURSE RATING TEAMS1. T he rating team must be composed of a minimum of three trained and experienced raters, withone rater designated as the team leader. The team leader must have attended a course ratingseminar conducted by the USGA.2. D o not serve as a team member when your home course is being rated.3. D o not play the course while rating it. Shots may be hit from various positions when rating toassist in evaluations.4. View each hole from the teeing ground, the landing zones of scratch and bogey golfers, and thegreen.5. Rate the obstacles in accordance with the guidelines established in “The USGA Course RatingSystem Guide,” not based on how you would play the hole.6. D o not discuss obstacle values while evaluating a hole. Values should be discussed with the teamleader after each team member has completed rating the hole. The Green Target rating may beagreed upon before rating the other obstacles.7. D o not record obstacle values on Form 1 until the hole has been evaluated from all positions.8. Attempt to agree within one unit on the rating of each obstacle. The team leader has theresponsibility of ensuring that the team members reach an agreement. The leader’s decision is final.9. Take about four hours to rate an average 18-hole golf course.10. Do not divulge the course rating results to a club. Ratings are subject to review by a CourseRating Review Committee before the ratings are official.USGA COURSE RATING MANUALThe following terms are trademarks and service marks of the United States Golf Association: “BogeyRating ,” “Course Handicap ,” “Handicap Index ,” “Slope ,” “Slope Rating ,” “Slope System ,”“Stimpmeter ,” “United States Golf Association ,” “USGA ,” “USGA Course Rating ,” “USGA CourseRating Program ,” “USGA Course Rating System ”Copyright 2016 United States Golf Association All Rights Reserved

Table of ContentsSECTIONPAGE1Introduction12The History of Course Rating23Definitions54The Scratch and Bogey Golfer10Definitions10Shot Length10Transition Zone11Accuracy Pattern12Obstacles “Do Not Exist”13Bogey Golfer Cannot Play the Hole145Rating Golf Courses16Authorized Golf Associations to Rate Courses1616Authorized Golf Associations to Re-Rate CoursesAuthorized Golf Association Course Rating Program 16Composition of a Course Rating Team17Modification of Courses176Measuring Golf Courses18General18Approved Methods18Measuring18Measurements for Course Raters217Forms22Rating Courses 3,000 Yards or Longer22Rating Short Courses22Pace Rating228Evaluation of Obstacles & Correctionsto Effective Playing Length23General23Obstacle Rating Summary Table23Ratings23Symbols Used in Rating Tables25Bogey Ratings25Adjustment Alphabetical/NumericalIdentifier Codes26Combining and Weighting Principles27Obstacle Rating Measurements27Obstacles Behind the Green329Pre-Rating Preparation3310Rating Procedure34Conditions When Rating34Multiple Tees34Composition of Rating Team34Equipment34On-Course Procedures3511Effective Playing Length Factors37Roll37Elevation38Dogleg/Forced Lay Up39Wind40Altitude4112Obstacle Factors44Topography45Fairway46Green Target47Recoverability and Rough51SECTIONPAGEBunkersOut of Bounds/Extreme RoughWater HazardsTreesDesert (Men Only)Green SurfacePsychological13USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating CalculationsEffective Playing Length CorrectionYardage RatingObstacle Stroke ValueUSGA Course Rating and Slope Rating14Post Rating ProceduresReviewAuthorized Golf Association Records15The Effect of Course Managementand Maintenance on Course RatingChange in Effective Playing LengthChanges in Obstacles16Nine-Hole USGA Course and Slope Rating17Decisions18Short Course Rating ProcedureGeneralDefinitionsForms to Use and the Rating ProcessFormulas to Use in Short Course Rating Calculation19USGA Pace RatingGeneralDefinitionsAssumptionsPace RatingCompleting USGA Pace Rating Form PR1APPENDIXAFormsForm 1Form 2Form 3Form 3WForm SCR1Form SCR2Form SCR3Form SCR3WForm PR1BRating ExamplesPar-3 Hole Over WaterDifficult 18th HoleCSample Ratings Expiration LetterDChanges Since the Previous 0111112113115117119120

SECTION 1 — INTRODUCTIONThe purpose of “The USGA Course Rating System” is to offer a “textbook” on the USGA Course RatingSystem.The USGA Course Rating System, including Slope Rating, was implemented by the USGA onJanuary 1, 1987, as a refinement of the existing USGA Handicap System. This system assists inaddressing the problem of portability of handicaps by adjusting a player’s Handicap Indexaccording to the relative difficulty of the golf course being played.Prior to the introduction of Slope Rating to the USGA Course Rating System, golf courses were ratedonly for the scratch golfer, with no consideration given to average or higher handicapped players.Under the USGA Course Rating System, including Slope Rating, courses are rated according to thedifficulty for the scratch and the bogey golfer. The USGA Course Rating System takes into accountthe factors that affect the playing difficulty of a course.The USGA Course Rating System is designed to ensure that the rating of a course is in proper relationto the ratings of other courses. If this is not achieved, players at courses rated too low will be overhandicapped, and vice versa.Accuracy and consistency are the keys to effective course rating. A course must first be accuratelymeasured, and the measured yardage must be corrected for factors that affect the playing length,which are roll, changes in elevation, forced lay ups, doglegs, wind, and altitude. Obstacles thataffect playing difficulty must then be evaluated in accordance with established standards. Thesestandards reduce subjectivity in course rating.A USGA Course Rating is based on the performance of the scratch golfer as defined and describedin Section 4. A USGA Course Rating is based on yardage, effective playing length corrections, and 10obstacle factors to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer.The USGA Course Rating System provides procedures for determining a Bogey Rating based on theperformance of the bogey golfer as defined in Section 4. This rating is used in connection with a USGACourse Rating to provide a Slope Rating.Through the collection of extensive empirical data from golfers and golf holes, the factors that affectthe difficulty of a golf hole have been evaluated and assigned numerical values that yield an accurateUSGA Course Rating and Slope Rating when applied to the entire course.“The USGA Course Rating System” describes the procedures for: Installing the USGA Course Rating System in a region; Measuring golf courses; Evaluating obstacles and conditions that affect playing length; Computing a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating based on these measurements and evaluations; USGA Short Course Rating – Rating courses too short to qualify for a USGA Course Rating; and Pace Rating – Determining the appropriate time needed to play a rated course.In this manual, items and yardages specifically for women are shown in [square brackets].COURSE RATING MANUAL 1

SECTION 2 — THE HISTORY OF COURSE RATINGCourse rating, like golf, has its origin in the British Isles. The first measure of course difficulty was par.The word par is derived from stocks; i.e., “a stock may be above or below its normal or par figure.”British golf writer A.H. Doleman in 1870 asked Davie Strath and Jamie Anderson, two professionals,what score would be required to win The Belt at the then 12-hole course at Prestwick. Their responsewas that perfect play should produce a score of 49. Mr. Doleman called this par for Prestwick andwhen Young Tom Morris scored two strokes over par for three rounds (36 holes) to win The Belt, theterm stuck.Another measure for scoring difficulty of a golf course was “bogey,” which was the expected score ofthe fictitious Colonel Bogey. Around 1890, Mr. Hugh Rotherham of the Coventry Golf Club proposedthe concept of a blind opponent in match play. He was called Colonel Bogey by Dr. Thomas Browneof Great Yarmouth. Colonel Bogey was a low handicap player who usually made 4 on long par-3 holesand 5 on long par-4 holes but otherwise played nearly flawless golf. Bogey scores ranged from 76 to80 on most courses.The first course rating system was developed by the Ladies Golf Union (LGU) under the leadershipof Miss Issette Pearson in about 1900. Robert Browning in “A History of Golf” says of the LGU, “Theirbiggest achievement was the gradual establishment of a national system of handicapping . No doubtit was uphill work at the start (1893) but within eight or ten years the LGU had done what the men hadsignally failed to do — had established a system of handicapping that was reasonably reliable from clubto club.”The first USGA Course Rating System was established in 1911. It was proposed by Leighton Calkins whoalso proposed the first USGA Handicap Committee. Calkins was an officer of the Metropolitan GolfAssociation and served on the USGA Executive Committee in 1907 and 1908. Calkins’ proposal was thatpar ratings be based on the play of U.S. Amateur champion, Jerome Travers. Rating courses accordingto the “expected” score of the national amateur champion became accepted, and course rating wasborn in America. Calkins was angered, however, by the USGA’s decision to allow clubs to determinetheir own ratings, calling such a system a “farce” and “useless.” Calkins later won his point, and aUSGA Course Rating was issued by regional golf associations as it is today.By 1914, the USGA rating concept began to dominate articles in British golf magazines. By 1925, a GolfUnions’ Joint Advisory Committee of the British Isles was formed to assign Standard Scratch Scores togolf courses in Great Britain and Ireland. Today, their men’s authority is called the Council of NationalGolf Unions (CONGU).In the 1920’s, the Massachusetts Golf Association suggested refinements in course ratingmethods, and William Langford of Chicago developed a fractional par concept which further refinedcourse ratings. In the 1930’s, Thomas G. McMahon, who was President of the Chicago District GolfAssociation in 1942 and 1943 and President of the Southern California Golf Association in the early1960’s, refined Langford’s technique and introduced “differentials” between scores and courseratings.The USGA Handicap Committee adopted the Massachusetts Golf Association’s recommendations forcourse ratings for men in 1947. This method called for rating on a hole-by-hole basis where each holewas rated in tenths of a stroke. “The USGA Handicap System” contained descriptions of golf holes thattypified holes of a specific rating. The hole ratings were totaled and rounded off to the nearest wholenumber; i.e., “The rating of the entire course is the total of the separate hole ratings, with the finalfigure being the nearest whole number, such as 69 or 72, and never in fractions, such as 69.4 or 71.8.”2 COURSE RATING MANUAL

THE HISTORY OF COURSE RATINGSection 2During this same period, the Chicago District Golf Association endorsed the “fractional par ratingmethod.” The Chicago rating method depended on (1) yardage, (2) course difficulty, and (3)experience. “Course difficulty” was based on a course’s overall character rather than the sum ofa hole-by-hole evaluation. “Experience” meant the observation of the play of expert golfers andcomparison of their performance with the existing rating.Both course rating procedures were eventually approved by the USGA. Both remained in effect untilApril 1960 when a new single approach was introduced. It involved a “preliminary yardage rating”for each hole which was “modified, if necessary, in the light of significant course conditions, calledRating Factors.” The Chicago District Golf Association continued to use the fractional par method.In 1963, the USGA introduced another course rating system. It was essentially the proceduredeveloped by the Massachusetts Golf Association modified by principles of the fractional par ratingmethod used by the Chicago District Golf Association with one official yardage rating chart calculatedby the USGA.Another significant change was announced January 1, 1967. Effective that date, course ratings wereexpressed in decimals and not rounded off to the nearest whole number.In 1971, William Wehnes of the Southern California Golf Association developed the first “obstaclerating” procedure using plus and minus adjustments by nines, for a number of course obstacles. For atime, this technique was used by both the Northern and Southern California Golf Associations.In 1977, Lt. Commander Dean Knuth of the Naval Post-Graduate School proposed an improved courserating system that involved numerical rating of 10 characteristics for each hole. These ratings alongwith the weighting factors for each characteristic provided an adjustment to the distance rating forthe course. The method used some elements of decision theory and was intended to be a systematic,quantitative approach to course rating. It was the basis for the present USGA Course Rating System.Knuth eventually became the USGA’s Senior Director of Handicapping.In May 1978, Dr. Richard Stroud, a consulting member of the Handicap Procedure Committee, wrotea letter to Gordon Ewen, Chairman of the Committee, proposing the concepts of the Slope System.In discussing a 1971 proposal by Dr. Clyne Soley and Trygve Bogevold for a slope-like approach tohandicapping, Stroud wrote, “It should be emphasized that the proposed scheme for selectingcourse-difficulty parameters is based on length alone. There is a significant chance some moresophisticated methods will prove necessary; i.e., the Knuth method for refining course ratings anda similar procedure for predicting slope.” This proved to be the case, and course rating became atwo-number procedure in 1981.In 1979, the USGA formed the Handicap Research Team (HRT). Charter members of the Team wereTrygve Bogevold, Dean Knuth, Dr. Lou Riccio, Dr. Fran Scheid, Lynn Smith, Dr. Clyne Soley, Dr. RichardStroud, and Frank Thomas. The HRT researched and refined many aspects of the handicap procedureincluding course rating. The concepts of expert and bogey ratings emerged. The present USGA CourseRating System, which includes Bogey Rating and Slope Rating, was developed and tested by Knuth.In 1982, the Colorado Golf Association rated all of its courses using the new procedure, under theleadership of HRT member Dr. Byron Williamson. In 1983, Colorado tested the Slope System withpositive results. Five other states joined Colorado in the test during 1984, and others followed insubsequent years.COURSE RATING MANUAL 3

Section 2THE HISTORY OF COURSE RATINGIn 1987, the USGA Course Rating Subcommittee was formed with Joe Luyckx, of the Golf Associationof Michigan, as chairman. It included members of the men’s and women’s Handicap ProcedureCommittees. The primary functions of the Subcommittee were to refine “The USGA Course RatingSystem” and “Guides” and to render decisions on course rating problem situations (similarto decisions on “The Rules of Golf,” rendered by the USGA Rules of Golf Committee). WarrenSimmons, from the Colorado Golf Association, succeeded Luyckx as chairman in 1992. In 1998, theSubcommittee was changed to a USGA Committee with members appointed by the USGA ExecutiveCommittee to include golf association staff and volunteers interested in the policies of the USGACourse Rating System.Since 1989, the USGA has organized and conducted national course rating calibration seminars forcourse raters from all over the U.S., and from countries licensed to use the System. In 1997, theUSGA conducted two national calibration seminars, one on the East Coast and one on the WestCoast. The format was changed to include teams from authorized golf associations throughout theworld. At this time, the USGA Handicap Department continues to have multiple seminars and inviteteams from authorized golf associations.In 1993, the USGA, in cooperation with Golf Digest Magazine, developed a program thatcalculates pace of play timing guidelines for golf courses. Input to the program focuses on courserating factors, hole lengths, cart polices, and other variables that would affect the “time par” foreach hole at a particular golf course. Today, authorized golf associations can provide courses with“pace ratings” as well as a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating.In 2002, the USGA established guidelines in an effort to provide golf courses that are shorter than3,000 yards with a USGA Short Course Rating. This rating procedure is very similar in nature to aregular course rating procedure, with the exceptions as outlined in Section 18. The USGA Short CourseHandicap Procedure for this section is outlined within “The USGA Handicap System,” Appendix A.Today every authorized golf association in the United States that rates golf courses, including theterritories of Puerto Rico and Guam, is licensed to use the USGA Course Rating System. As of 2016,the countries licensed to utilize the USGA Course Rating System are: Australia, Austria, Bahamas,Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands,Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic,England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia,Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,Panama, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia,Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey,United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Wales.4 COURSE RATING MANUAL

SECTION 3 — DEFINITIONSBOGEY GOLFERDefined and described in Section 4.BOGEY RATINGA Bogey Rating is equal to the average of the better half of a bogey golfer’s scores under normalplaying conditions.BOGEY YARDAGE RATINGA Bogey Yardage Rating is the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for the bogey golferbased only on yardage.CARRY SAFELYIn order to carry an obstacle safely, a shot must be able to clear the obstacle by at least 10 yards.When recording a carry distance over an obstacle, the 10 yards should be added to the length ofcarry. If a golfer cannot carry an obstacle by 10 yards, it may result in a forced lay up or an alternativeline of play.CHUTEA chute occurs when trees are positioned such that they can intervene on the flight path of a shot,and the ball must be hit through a narrow opening. Chutes are rated based on the width of theopening between the extending branches of the trees and how far that opening is from the teeingground, or for subsequent shots for additional landing zones. Other factors to consider in ratingchutes are the density of the foliage (can a ball easily pass through the tree branches?), the areawhere a ball might drop if it strikes the trees, and how well the golfer can recover from that area.CLOSELY BORDERINGAn obstacle or condition is considered closely bordering a landing zone or green if it is within 10 yardsin any direction of the outside perimeter of a landing zone or edge of the green.COURSE RATINGSee USGA Course Rating.DESERTDesert is extreme rough that contains vegetation (brush, cacti, bushes, trees, etc.) with thorns,stickers, spines, spurs, needles, spikes and the like, that are dangerous and injurious to walk through,let alone play from. Desert plants normally thrive on abundant sunshine and intense heat, and survivewith very little moisture. Desert does not normally include dry, gravel-colored ground with innocuousbushes and plants, nor does it include waste areas and sand dunes where desert plants are notpresent. Desert ratings in the United States are primarily limited to the arid Southwest (west Texas,New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and southern California), and are for men only (women rate desertunder Out of Bounds/Extreme Rough).EFFECTIVE PLAYING LENGTHEffective playing length of a course is the measured length corrected for roll, changes in elevation,forced lay ups and doglegs, wind, and altitude above sea level.COURSE RATING MANUAL 5

Section 3DEFINITIONSEXTREME ROUGHExtreme rough is cool season rough grass in excess of 6 inches in length {4 inches warm season}[5 inches {3 inches} for women], underbrush in trees, or other conditions such as sand dunes (notbunkers), iceplant, palmettos, tree roots, rocks, lava, desert, heather, gorse, etc., which make it likelythe ball will be lost or advanced only with great difficulty. Extreme rough should be rated under Out ofBounds/Extreme Rough, and may additionally be rated under Recoverability and Rough or Bunkers.GRASSESFor rating purposes, grasses used for rough are divided into two categories: C ool season rough grasses include perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and poa annua(but not bentgrasses for rating purposes only); and W arm season grasses include all types of bermuda, zoysia, St. Augustine and kikuyu, seashorepaspalum, buffalo, plus bentgrasses.Warm season grasses do not need to be as deep as cool season grasses to cause the same recoveryproblems. Cool season grasses are assumed throughout this manual; equivalent warm seasongrasses are shown in {braces}.The following chart compares the height of cool season grasses to the equivalent height of warmseason grasses (shaded area).76COOL5SEASON4GRASS3HEIGHT2(in inches)106 COURSE RATING MANUAL123456WARM SEASON GRASS HEIGHT (in inches)

DEFINITIONSSection 3LANDING ZONEThe landing zone is a fairway-wide area extending from where a shot hits the ground to where itcomes to rest (i.e., it is generally a rectangle with dimensions equal to the width of the fairway by thelength of the evaluated roll).2020180 [130]200 [150]230 [190]250 [210]LAY UPLay ups are divided into two categories: A forced lay up occurs when a severe obstacle, or a combination of severe obstacles, such aswater, dense trees, deep bunkers, extreme rough, or severe topography crosses the fairway orreduces the fairway width in the normal landing zone of the scratch or bogey golfer to less than15 yards [13 yards]. As a result, the golfer will hit less than a full shot (i.e., he [she] will lay up). Lay up by choice occurs when a significant obstacle or a combination of obstacles near thenormal landing zone results in a scratch or bogey golfer choosing to hit less than a full shot. Afairway landing zone that is less than 15 [13] yards wide but without severe obstacles may be areason for a lay up by choice. The lay up by choice would also be employed, primarily by scratchgolfers, in their course management decisions. In order to qualify, the normal landing zone mustbe present an unpleasant situation (e.g., downhill stance/lie to an elevated green).LINE OF PLAYLine of play, as defined in “The Rules of Golf,” is the direction that a player wishes his ball to takeafter a stroke, plus a reasonable distance on either side of the intended direction. The line of play isnormally down the center of the fairway. However, when there are severe obstacles on one side ofa hole (e.g., a lake along the right edge of the fairway), the line of play is located off center, fartherfrom severe obstacles (unless there are severe obstacles on both sides). When a golfer is able to cutacross a dogleg, the line of play also shifts away from the center, toward the inside of the dogleg.MOUNDSA mound has up to four playable sides that impact stance or lie. Mounds in the fairway are ratedunder Topography. Mounds in the rough or around the green are rated under Recoverability andCOURSE RATING MANUAL 7

Section 3DEFINITIONSRough and are distinctly different from a Rise/Drop adjustment. When considering mounds, therating team must evaluate downhill, sidehill, and uphill lies on the various sides of the mounds, roughheight, and how the mounds will impact scoring. Hollows are essentially inverted mounds and shouldbe rated using the same procedure.NARRATORA narrator is a representative of the club who is knowledgeable about the golf course, such as thegolf professional, superintendent, club champion, or Handicap Chairperson, who accompanies ratersto assist them in the rating process.NEARAn obstacle or condition is considered near a landing zone or green if it is within 20 yards in anydirection of the outside perimeter of the landing zone or edge of the green.OBSTACLE FACTORSObstacle factors are features of a course that affect its playing difficulty.OBSTACLE SQUEEZEObstacle squeeze occurs when the same obstacle is present on both sides of a landing zone and aplayer cannot play away from either side. Obstacle squeeze can occur only in fairway landing zones(and not around the green). Rating values in tables assume the existence of some obstacle squeeze.Upward adjustment of those table values is warranted when obstacle squeeze consists of waterhazards, out of bounds/extreme rough, trees, or desert that are situated on both sides of a landingzone within 20 yards of the center of that landing zone or bunkers within 15 yards. Trees along bothsides of the line of play can also generate obstacle squeeze (see definitions of Chute and Line of Play).OBSTACLE STROKE VALUEObstacle stroke value is determined for scratch and bogey golfers by totaling the ratings for eachobstacle factor, multiplying these totals by relative weighting factors, adding the resulting figures, andapplying that sum to a stroke conversion formula. The Scratch and Bogey Obstacle Stroke Values areadded to the Scratch and Bogey Yardage Ratings, respectively, to obtain the USGA Course Rating andBogey Rating.PUNITIVEAn obstacle or situation that is unusually difficult, often requiring a demanding recovery shot or likelyto cost the player a stroke.RATING TEAMA rating team is a group of at least three trained and experienced raters. Team members must havebeen trained in course rating procedures, certified and appointed by an authorized golf association torate courses in accordance with USGA procedures.SCRATCH GOLFERDefined and described in Section 4.SIGNIFICANTObstacles are considered to be “significant” if they have been rated at or above average (i.e., rated 48 COURSE RATING MANUAL

DEFINITIONSSection 3or greater). Obstacles come “significantly into play” if they lie within the Accuracy Table dimensionsof the shot being hit to their location (see Section 4).SLOPE RATINGIn “The USGA Handicap System,” Slope Rating is defined as the USGA’s mark that indicates themeasurement of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared tothe USGA Course Rating (i.e., compared to the difficulty of a course for scratch golfers). Slope Ratingis computed from the difference between the Bogey Rating and the USGA Course Rating (see Section13 for formula). The lowest Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard relativeplaying difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113.STIMPMETERA Stimpmeter is a device that measures the speed of greens. The Stimpmeter is a three-foot long,slotted bar used to roll a golf ball onto the green at a constant, reproducible initial velocity. The USGAGreen Section makes these instruments available to golf course superintendents, club officials, andauthorized golf associations.TIERA tier is a plateau. To be tiered, a green must have a minimum of two definite plateaus of surfacearea, separated by a two-foot or greater elevation difference. The elevation change area must includeat least 50 percent of either the width or depth of the green. Two plateaus with one “ramp” equatesto two tiers. Three plateaus with two “ramps” equates to three tiers. A ball will not normally remainat rest on a ramp between two tiers.TEAM LEADERAn experienced member of each rating team must be designated by the Chairperson of the authorizedgolf association’s Course Rating Review Committee as the team leader. The team leader must haveattended a course rating seminar conducted by the USGA.TRANSITION ZONEDefined and described in Section 4.TWEENERA “tweener” is a value that falls between two table values. For example, if the table provides ratingvalues of 4 and 6, but not 5, the rater may assign a rating of 5 if the obstacle is more significant thana 4, but less significant than a 6.USGA COURSE RATINGIn “The USGA Handicap System,” USGA Course Rating is defined as the USGA’s mark that indicates theevaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weatherconditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and otherobstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring difficulty of the scratch golfer. A USGA CourseRating is equal to the average of the better half of a scratch golfer’s scores under normal conditions.YARDAGE RATINGYardage Rating is the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course based only on yardage. It iscomputed by applying the effective playing length to the USGA Yardage Rating formula (see Section 13for formula).COURSE RATING MANUAL 9

SECTION 4 — THE SCRATCH AND BOGEY GOLFER1. DEFINITIONSa. Scratch Golfer — MenA “scratch golfer” is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golfcourses. A male scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and canreach a 470-yard hole in two shots at sea level.b. Scratch Golfer — WomenA “scratch golfer” is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golfcourses. A female scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards andcan reach a 400-yard hole in two shots at sea lev

Authorized Golf Association Records 73 15 The Effect of Course Management and Maintenance on Course Rating 74 Change in Effective Playing Length 74 Changes in Obstacles 74 16 Nine-Hole USGA Course and Slope Rating 76 17 Decisions 77 18 Short Course Rating Procedure 98 General 98 98 98 99 US