Date: February 04, 2014
Author: Golf Australia



CLICK HERE to see a Flyer on Slope.

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?

• Every set of tees on every golf course around the country has a Slope Rating which has been determined in accordance with the new course rating system. The maximum Slope Rating is 155 (most difficult) and the minimum is 55 (least difficult). The Neutral Slope Rating is 113. Every set of tees will also have a Scratch Rating.

• GOLF Link calculates a nationally-standardised handicap index for every player and this is called the GA Handicap.

• A GA Handicap is calculated by using the best 8 of a player’s most recent 20 scores (ie best 8 of 20, x 0.93). However, every score in every player’s score history will first be standardised by GOLF Link against a Slope Rating of 113. As a result, the GA Handicap will reflect a golfer’s ability on a course which has the neutral Slope Rating of 113.

• The GA Handicap is not intended for use as a playing handicap. It is to be used in conjunction with the Slope Rating of the set of tees being played to calculate a golfer’s playing handicap for the day, and this will be called the Daily Handicap.

• It is the GA Handicap that will be displayed in a player’s GOLF Link record on

• The further the player’s GA Handicap is from Scratch, the greater will be the impact of the Slope Rating on their Daily Handicap.

• 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.

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.