Scotland Course and Slope Ratings
Course Rating
Dealing with Sandbagging
Handicapping Guidelines
18 Questions About Your Handicap
A formula for slow play and higher scores?
Andy Garcia and his Handicap
Are You Getting Strokes on the Right Holes?
Coming Soon: a New Handicap System
Figuring your own handicap
Guidelines to Handicapping
Handicap 103
Handicaps for the unhandicapped refined
Handicapping, Slope designed for enjoyment
Here comes your slope Handicap
How To Get a USGA Handicap
How Well Should You Play?
It Just Wouldn't Compute
Picking the Right Partner
Publinks Handicaps
The Jury is Out, but ESC Remains in
USGA help the handicappers - part I
USGA help the handicappers - part II
What is the meaning of Slope?
What is Your Anti-Handicap?
Why Your Handicap Will Change This Year
History of Handicapping
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Scramble Tournaments
Tournament Point System
World Rankings
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About the Pope Of Slope

Pope Of Slope

What is the meaning of Slope?

Golf Digest, December, 1999, page 32

Use a course's Slope Rating to determine your Course Handicap--and as a yardstick to measure difficulty.

Dear Golf Digest: Will somebody please explain to me what Slope Rating means? Does the Slope Rating number you see on a scorecard matter to the average player? T.J., Hoboken, N.J.

Not having at least a basic understanding of what Slope Rating means to a golfer is like being a drinker without knowing what "proof" refers to. After that first nasty hangover, you sure wish you'd known better.

Formulated by the U.S. Golf Association, the Slope Rating System adjusts a player's Handicap Index according to the difficulty of the golf course being played. Slope, along with Course Rating, is what makes handicaps "portable."

Under the Slope System, golf courses are rated according to their relative difficulty for both the scratch golfer and the bogey golfer--a male player whose Handicap Index is 17.5 to 22.4.

The number representing the Slope Rating of a course is simply a comparative number based on a calculation. You don't need to know the math involved, because every course has a Slope and Course Rating table that turns your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap for you. Just know this: The average Slope Rating is 118.5, the maximum is 155. If a course (or the tees you intend to play) has a Slope Rating above 140, bring lots of extra balls--you're probably overmatched. The Slope Ratings on Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Courses generally fall in the 120 to 130 range (middle tees)--plenty of course for the average player.

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