The slope system and your handicap

The Slope System won’t be introduced into Australian golf until 2013, but it is somewhat of an unknown system for most Australian golfers.


It is more than likely, that even those Australian golfers who have heard of the slope system, many aren’t sure of it’s intricacies.

Over the next year or so, you’re going to hear a lot more about the slope system and its introduction to Australian golf, but to get a nice overview you could do a lot worse than to read the article by Richard Fellner in the latest issue of Inside Golf.

To put it simply, Slope is merely an adjustment factor to make your handicap ‘portable’ from one course to another. It adds or subtracts strokes to your handicap, based upon the Course Rating at each course.

A Slippery Slope: How will the Slope System affect your handicap? is a great introduction to the new system that has been used for many years in most other golfing countries. Read it and impress fellow golfers with your knowledge of the slope system.

5 thoughts on “The slope system and your handicap

  • January 16, 2012 at 14:24

    Don’t get nervous, Aussie golfers, we don’t understand slope very well here in the US either. Slope is supposed to reflect the relative difficulty or ease of golf courses. You’ll find many rated low because of an easy layout without factoring in greens that almost guarantee three putts on every hole. There are horses for courses so they say.

  • January 17, 2012 at 03:33

    yeah no worries australian golfers, the slope system is there to indicate which courses are tough and not so tough. Plus it helps in making the overall handicap a little more accurate, and even things out while playing in events at other clubs. The highest sloped golf course I’ve played on in Canada is Lionhead Golf Club Legends outside Toronto… sloped 155. An average golf course would come in around 120 to 125. while the shorter, friendlier courses will be 105 to 110.

  • January 22, 2012 at 06:16

    Wasn’t the old ACR for the course the same idea? Par 72 ACR 70 indicates an easier course? The system still doesn’t take into account DCR, weather conditions etc.

  • January 25, 2012 at 06:18

    Mike, I hear what you are saying. On the surface it does seem like there is very little difference, but there is.

    Slope is determined differently to ACR. It’s not purely based on the length of the golf course and by using it as a guide for handicapping at different courses, it takes into account how difficult a course is for high handicappers compared to low ones. i.e. higher handicappers will be compensated more on tough courses than low handicappers.

    While it is true it doesn’t take into account current weather conditions, for competition play this is not really relevant as most will play in similar conditions.

    It is a static number too and allows golfers to know what they are shooting at before the round begins.

    I’ll expand on all this in future blog posts.


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