Course Rating & Your Mobile App
Do You Use the GHIN App for Posting?
With the Rules of Golf Modernization taking full effect January 1st, an influx of courses may experience updates to USGA Course and Slope Rating assignments in order to align with any revised Penalty Area course setup changes. Although these new rating values will be reflected in the standard course listings within all GHIN score posting outlets, users of the GHIN mobile app need to be mindful of the following:
When posting a score in the GHIN mobile app, to streamline the selection of a course & tee for the round a member may save one or more ‘Favorite Course’ listings (Click icon in top left corner of app).
The USGA course and slope rating values that are present when the course is saved will remain in place for the duration of the entry being listed as a Favorite, even in the case of new assignments being issued to the course. In order to pick up relevant rating changes within the Favorite section listing, members will need to remove (swipe right to left) and re-add the Favorite Course of their choosing, which will be repopulated with the up-to-date ratings.
The ‘Recent’ course search option in the GHIN app points directly to your scoring record and retrieves course and tee listings that have accompanied recent postings. Please note that if course rating assignments have been modified but the score entries present on your account were logged prior to the update, you will need to use either the standard ‘Search’ or ‘Favorite Course’ (if repopulated as described above) selection options initially to assure your score is being logged with the correct assignments. Once a new entry inclusive of revised rating values is present on your scoring record the ‘Recent’ course listing will again be an appropriate option to utilize for future postings.
Please communicate with your facility staff to identify if any changes to assigned local course and slope ratings will be occurring in 2019. If so, re-save any Favorite Course listings and/or use the standard ‘Search’ lookup option within the GHIN mobile app to assure all new postings are accompanied with up-to-date ratings, thus promoting an accurate USGA Handicap Index is assigned at future revision dates.
USGA Course Rating
The driving force behind the USGA Handicap Index formula is the Course and Slope Rating. If the ratings don’t accurately reflect the playing difficulty of the golf course, Handicap Indexes will not travel well from golf course to golf course. All golf courses must be rated according to USGA Course Rating Procedures and only by amateur golf associations licensed by the USGA. A golf facility is NOT permitted to rate its own golf course The AGA has been authorized and licensed by the USGA to rate golf courses in Arizona. Because the Course and Slope ratings are so important to your Handicap Index, this service is provided as a part of a club’s membership with the AGA.
The USGA requires all golf courses to be re-rated at a minimum of once every 10 years. Because new courses changes rapidly in the first few years, they should be rerated every five years for the first ten years of operation.
The course rating teams consist of a combination of AGA staff and volunteers. The process has become quite complex and requires individuals with an analytical nature. It generally takes a team of raters 3-4 hours to rate a course. Each hole is evaluated using the USGA Course Rating System guidelines from two different points of view. How does the hole play for a scratch player (a golfer with a Course Handicap of zero) and a bogey player (a golf with a Course Handicap of 20 for men or 24 for women). In essence they are trying to predict scoring for each of these groups of players.
Following the analysis and obstacle evaluation, the course rating team will normally play the golf course in order to clarify any doubts or questions that may come up on specific holes or shots.
Despite the extensive evaluation of obstacles, golf course length is still has the most impact on a Course and Slope Rating. Having an accurate starting point is critical. The rating system requires that a hole be rated from an average tee location, typically the center of the teeing ground, to the center of the green. This allows for day to day variances of tees placements and hole locations. For this reason, it’s the policy of the AGA to measure a golf course prior to the rating.
For the past several years, the AGA has been using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to measure golf courses. The AGA was the first association in the world to utilize this latest technology! It is still one of only a limited number of associations that have adopted this method.
The measurement of golf courses is part of the services the Course Rating Department provides to member clubs. This service includes a club’s overall yardage from every set of tees, as well as the driving range. Measurements are available for new courses and changes to existing courses.