Playing Unrated Tees
By Kickntrue on 10/28/09
I had a great email from an oob user named Iris this morning about playing tees that are unrated and sloped. This is mostly for women but may apply to some men as well- on courses that are rated by the USGA, but not all sets of tees for each gender. For instance- the Forward tees are usually rated for the women but not always the middle or next tees.

The USGA provides a table that allows you to give yourself a rating and slope for your round in a situation like this. Basically you use the additional yardage on the course to add rating and slope. For example- if the course was 300 yards longer from the middle tees a woman could add 1.7 to the rating and 4 to the slope.

I think this is really great for 2 reasons. 1) There is a chart for men and women and I think it gives a better understanding and explanation of how rating and slope are formed. There are still missing parts to this formula that are considered when giving a course a rating and slope, like the number of holes with forced carries and how tight the fairways are, but it's a good estimation. 2) I see a lot of course data each day. A lot. Women really do get shafted by courses. Often courses only have 1 set of tees rated for women and they are often very short. I know females who could beat me straight up, so why can't they keep a proper handicap? Here is a bit from the letter- just to show you how bad it is:
The pros at these resort courses are useless. On Monday (Robber's Row at Port Royal, Hilton Head Island) the pro told me that he never HEARD of a woman who would prefer to play their BLACK (unrated) tees (5525
yards) versus the GREEN forward tees (4884). He told me they have NEVER had a woman play from the Black tee set. "Come ON," I told him.

My home course FORWARD tees are 5746 yards; I score between 85 and 93 on a regular basis so whyever would I or anyone of my MODEST ability WANT to play a course of 4800 yards -- no challenge whatever. So he tells me, okay - just use 70.5/124 for the unrated tees. Aside from his insulting attitude, he was wrong about the rating; right about the slope. The actual conversion is: 72.4/124.
Hey- I don't like throwing people under the bus, so I won't mention the pros name, but seriously, sometimes people deserve it. Way to go Iris!! Thanks for sticking up for yourself and the other women out there who want to play golf every bit as competitively as men.

USGA FAQ Section (Very Useful)
USGA Rules- Section 5
Adjustment Charts

photo source

[ comments ]
Golf_O_Matic says:
Amen! great story and thanks for the useful info.
ForeKris says:
Thanks! I enter the scores in for my regular 4some. One of the women play from tees that often aren't rated for women... this will help me a lot, and allow her to have a handicap.
mjaber says:
I'm confused. Is there a different formula for calculating a woman's handicap than a man's handicap? Is the course/slope rating setup differently for men than women?
Kickntrue says:
@mjaber- indeed. it has to do with how far the average male hits a shot vs an average female. the men hit it on average a bit further- so the adjustments can't be as harsh per yard.
mjaber says:
@Kickntrue... is the formula for calculating the handicap different? Calculating the course/slope rating? Or both?
Clint24 says:
The course we own is unrated and unsloped (?). We have been trying to schedule the guys to come out for about 2 years now. We had the women out to do the women's tees, but they messed up!
Stymie says:
My wife has this happen a lot. At our home course she plays from 6009 yards. I have been using that adjustment chart for may years when posting her scores. A lot of times the slope/rating for women may not be on the score card but if you check the web site (ratings lookup) they will have more tees rated than listed on the score card.
Mjw71772 says:
I am guessing it is just because the USGA is lazy or is a sexist organization that we have this problem.
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