A Course Rating is the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer.
A Slope Rating evaluates the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers. The lowest Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113.
Course ratings are determined, by permission of the World Handicap System, in accordance with the Course Rating SystemTM for the purpose of providing a uniform basis of which to issue a Handicap Index. Course Rating, Slope Rating®, and Handicap Index® are marks owned by the World Handicap System and may only be used in connection with the World Handicap SystemTM.