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Course Rating

Course Rating

IGA Course Rating Rating Committee


  • Bruce Martini
  • John Haskell
  • Kitty Roberts
  • Larry Kirk
  • Jim Swartley


The Idaho Golf Association provides course measuring and rating services to member and non-member clubs on a periodic basis. The goal of the IGA is to rate each member course every ten years. New clubs (those that have been in existence for less than ten years) or clubs that have undergone a renovation will be rated on a more frequent basis.

Upon completion of the rating visit, the data is typed 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.



Course Rating Workshops


Interested in learning about the process of a course rating? There’s a lot more to a rating then what might think. The seminar is $25 which includes a course rating manual and lunch. There is a course rating workshop in each district.






If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a course rating,contact  iga@theiga.org or 208-342-4442 x 105.




What’s Involved When Rating a Course?

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:

Bogey Golfer – A male bogey golfer is a player who has a Course Handicap of approximately 20 on a course of standard difficulty. He can hit tee shots an average of 200 yards and reach a 370-yard hole in two shots at sea level. A female bogey golfer is a player who has a Course Handicap of approximately 24 on a course of standard difficulty. She can hit tee shots an average of 150 yards and reach a 280-yard hole in two shots. Players who have a Handicap Index between the parameters above but are unusually long or short off the tee are not considered to be a bogey golfer for course rating purposes. Scratch Golfer – An amateur player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. A male scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots at sea level. A female scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two shots at sea level.


USGA Slope Rating = (Bogey Course Rating-USGA Course Rating) x 5.381 for men or 4.24 for women.

Effective Playing Length and Obstacle Stroke Value

The effective playing length for each golfer is derived by adding the measured yardage of the course to any adjustments made for elevation, roll, forced lay-ups, wind, and altitude. Adjustments are made to the measured yardage if there is any elevation change from tee to green (elevation), if there is a prevailing wind and is it a factor (wind), if the fairway landing areas are hard or soft or if the tee shots land into an upslope or on a downslope (roll), if an obstacle or combination of obstacles prevent a golfer from playing a full length shot (forced lay-up), and if the course is located more than 2000 feet above sea level (altitude). The obstacle stroke value is a numerical evaluation of all obstacles (topography, fairway, green target, recovery and rough, bunkers, out of bounds, water, trees, green surface, and psychology) on the golf course. It is also highly probable that the Obstacle stroke value of the two golfers will be different. Generally, the nearer the obstacles are to the landing zones the higher the rating values.


Topography – A factor of how mounds and slopes affect the stance or lie in the fairway landing zone and whether the shot to the green is uphill or downhill.

Fairway – A measurement of the probability of hitting the fairway.

Green Target – A measurement of the probability of hitting the green from the fairway landing zones. The relationship between the length of shot played and size of the green determines these values. (i.e., long shots to small greens will generate higher values than short shots to large greens)

Recovery and Rough – A measurement of the probability of missing the tee shot landing zone or green, and the difficulty of recovering if either is missed.

Bunkers – A measurement of the effect bunkers have on play based upon their proximity to target areas and the difficulty of recovery.

Out of Bounds – A measurement of how much the out of bounds will come into play based upon the proximity of the boundary to the fairway landing zone or green

Water Hazards – A measurement of how much the water will come into play based upon its proximity to the fairway landing zone or green.

Trees – A measurement of how trees effect the play of the two players based upon the size and density of the trees, their distance from the center of the fairway or green, the difficulty of recovering from the trees, and the length of the hole.

Green Surface – A measurement of the difficulty of a green from a putting standpoint. Speed of the green and surface contouring are the main factors.

Psychology – A measurement of the cumulative effect of the other nine obstacles.

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.


  • PGA Rocky Mountain Section
  • GHIN
  • USGA
  • First Tee
  • PNGA