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Course Rating Survey - February 2018

We have now rated all of the golf courses in South Africa using the USGA Course Rating System, including Slope.

We are conducting a short survey on the proposed adoption of the USGA course rating system (including Slope) so that we can advise the SAGA committee of your feedback.


Extensive international research shows that most courses play relatively harder for the higher-handicapped golfer than the scratch golfer. Consequently the USGA has developed a course rating system (called the Slope rating system) that rates each tee to reflect this difference.

The Slope system is used to adjust the golfers’ handicaps for the course and tee they elect to play, which gives the handicapped golfer a more equitable chance to compete. Since the course ratings are more accurate, it follows that golfers’ handicaps will be more representative as well.

The current SAGA golf course ratings are determined only by the length of the course and altitude. The USGA rating takes into account the obstacles that the golfer has to contend with, such as carries, bunkers, hazards, difficulty of the greens etc. Thus, with the USGA rating system, two courses with the same SAGA rating will likely have different course ratings.

The USGA rating system also allows golfers of all genders to play off any set of tees they select, using the corresponding Course and Slope rating for that specific tee.

The USGA rating system has been adopted by most golfing countries in the world and will therefore be the basis for the World Handicapping System, which is scheduled to be implemented in 2020. Currently, of the major golfing regions, South Africa and CONGU (Great Britain and Ireland) are the only ones who have not yet implemented the USGA slope system. CONGU are currently busy with their slope ratings.

We would like to receive your views based on the above, but should you like to get more information prior to completing the survey, you can send your questions to

Take the short survey here.

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  • Guest - Kevin

    I feel that the course rating should be changed on a daily basis by using the average scores recorded.
    I play on the coastal courses and I do believe that weather conditions influence my game far more than the length of the course.

  • Guest - James Evans

    I agree with Peter Noble, lets just do it. if it works in the majority of the Golfing World it will work here.

  • Guest - Brandfort Golf Club

    We cocur with suggestions by yourself and feel that hazards etc must be taken into concideration.

  • Guest - Chris Hanna

    I believe our course is challenging, one has to drive striaght, one has to know how to chip and putt. It is not a short coarse it is well designed, however, we could improve our soil in some of the bunkers.

  • Guest - rueon

    i think the american system is better, there is no doubt that scratch and + handicappers will rate courses differently than higher handicappers. Distance is a poor value in rating a course.

  • Guest - Peter Noble

    Do not see why it should take months to implement. JUST DO IT!!!!!

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