Golf Australia

New GA Handicap System: Slope

6. Slope [yet to be implemented]

What does Slope do?
Slope adjusts a player’s handicap to the course they are playing by using that course’s Slope Rating.

What is the aim of Slope?
The aim of Slope is to increase the portability of handicaps and to create a more level playing field
for golfers.

What does the Slope Rating provide that the Scratch Rating doesn’t? Scratch Ratings are based solely on the challenge a golf course poses to an elite player, whereas the Slope Rating has factored into it the challenge posed to the elite player AS WELL as the challenge posed to the non-elite player.

How does this make things more equitable?
We all know that on a difficult course a high-marker’s score tends to deteriorate to a greater extent than the score of an elite player. Just how much more is what Slope measures. For example, if Course A is harder than Course B, a high-marker may play off 28 on Course A and 24 on Course B. The elite player finds it easier to adjust, so they may play off 4 on Course A and 3 on Course B. This is more equitable than our current system where the difference between the elite player’s handicap and the high-marker’s handicap is always the same.

Does that mean we no longer need Scratch Ratings?
We still need Scratch Ratings. The Slope Rating and the Scratch Rating work in concert with each other. The Slope Rating is telling us how many more shots a player will need at a course in order to play to the Scratch Rating.

What are the features of Slope?

• Under Slope, every set of tees on every golf course will have both a Scratch Rating and a Slope Rating. The maximum Slope Rating is 155 (difficult) and the minimum is 55 (not so difficult). The neutral Slope Rating is 113.

• The Scratch Rating is the number of strokes a Scratch marker (ie a player with a handicap of 0) is expected to have. The Slope Rating indicates how much harder or easier the course will play for a player who is not a Scratch Marker.

• GOLF Link will calculate a central handicap for every player. This will be called the GA Handicap. Golfers will be able to directly compare their GA Handicaps with one another, no matter where they play their golf.

• Whilst the GA Handicap is the handicap that will be displayed in a player’s GOLF Link record on www.golflink.com.au, it is not designed for use in handicap competition play.

• The handicap that is designed for use in competition play is the ••Daily Handicap. The Daily Handicap is the ‘Sloped’ version of the GA Handicap (ie the Daily Handicap takes into account the Slope of the course being played, whereas the GA Handicap does not).

The formula for calculation of a Daily Handicap is as follows:
Daily Handicap = GA Handicap x (Slope Rating ÷ Neutral Slope Rating (ie 113))

• If that sounds difficult to work out, don’t worry because GOLF ••Link will calculate it for you. GA will also provide each club with easy-to-use Daily Handicap look-up posters.

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