Minnesota Golf Association

Course Rating

The MGA is licensed by the USGA to rate courses using the USGA Course Rating System™. The MGA course rating teams have attended USGA calibration seminars and training sessions to qualify for their positions. The USGA Course and Slope Ratings play a vital role in the USGA Handicap Index® calculation, including the Course Handicap calculation.

To calculate your Course Handicap from a particular set of tees at a specific course, follow this calculation:

(Handicap Index × Slope Rating) ÷ 113

Round the result to the nearest whole number (ie. 12.65 rounds to 13)

Watch an MGA Course Rating Team in action.

 

Course Rating Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. Who rates golf courses in Minnesota?
  2. How often are golf courses rated?
  3. Do the course rating teams allocate handicap strokes for each hole?
  4. How much will it cost to have my course rated?
  5. Is the Slope Rating of the course the leading factor in determining course difficulty?
  6. How do I purchase yardage plates, yardage inserts or white collars for my golf course?

Who rates golf courses in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Golf Association has two course rating teams. One team is assigned to the Northern half of the state, and one team rates courses in the Southern portion of the state. The teams consist of three to four individuals (including a team Captain). Team members have attended USGA calibration seminars and training sessions to qualify for their positions.

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How often are golf courses rated?
Due to the rapid growth changes a golf course makes in the first few years after being constructed, newly constructed courses are rated approximately three times in their first seven years of operation. After the maturity of the course stabilizes, the course is rated approximately once every five years. If significant changes are made to the course that may affect the assigned ratings (i.e. addition or removal of several bunkers, water hazards, trees, etc.) these changes will be reviewed by the course rating team to determine whether it is necessary to re-rate the course. The USGA requires courses to be rated every 10 years to maintain the validity of those ratings.

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Do the course rating teams allocate handicap strokes for each hole? 
No. The course rating teams assign a course and slope rating value to the golf course. The Handicap Committee is responsible for reviewing its course hole by hole to determine the order of handicap strokes. Section 17 of the Handicap System Manual provides detailed information regarding allocation of handicap strokes.

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How much will it cost to have my course rated?
The MGA is one of the few associations that offers this service free to all of its Member Clubs. Other state associations charge upwards of $500.00. Click here if you are interested in becoming an MGA Member Club.

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Is the Slope Rating of the course the leading factor in defining course difficulty?
No. The Slope Rating tells you the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the Course Rating. If the Slope was the leading factor in defining course difficulty some would think Course A (71.5/125) and Course B (69.6/125 would be of equal difficulty. This is false because we must also consider the Course Ratings when evaluating the difficulty of courses. In this case, Course A is about 2 strokes more difficult than Course B at every handicap level.

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