Sussex County Golf Ltd

East Sussex National Seaford Golf Club Bognor Golf Club Cooden Beach Golf Club Cowdray Park Golf Club Dale Hill Dyke Golf Club Hill Barn Golf Club Horsham Golf Club Mid Sussex Golf Club Piltdown Golf Club Rustington Golf Club Sedlescome Golf Club Singing Hills West Hove Golf Club Willingdon Golf Club Worthing Golf Club

Course Rating

All Course Rating in Sussex is conducted by a qualified team of volunteers, on behalf of Sussex County Golf and Sussex County Ladies Golf Association. Our Course Rating Lead is Nigel Phillips.

If clubs have any questions, please contact

What is Course Rating and Slope Rating?

The Course Rating is the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a golf course for the scratch player (0 handicap.) 

The Slope Rating is described by the USGA as demonstrating the “measurement of the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers, compared to scratch golfers”. The higher a course’s Slope Rating, the higher the expected difference of scoring between a scratch golfer and a bogey golfer. The Slope Rating is not purely an indication of a course’s difficulty, it is an indication of the difference in difficulty for scratch and bogey players – which for men is a 20 handicapper and for women a 24 handicapper. Therefore, you cannot directly compare one course to another using the Slope Rating itself.

To support the World Handicap System (WHS), all affiliated golf clubs are required to have their courses rated under the USGA system.  This enables clubs to provide and maintain members’ handicaps and run competitions.

How are Course Ratings conducted?

The procedure on the day is quite labour intensive and usually requires between 6 and 8 people in order to assess the course within 4-5 hours. This is followed up by submitting reports to the USGA via England Golf.  

When a golf course is rated, the length of each hole, the hazards and obstacles that confront a golfer playing those holes will need to be evaluated. Changes in elevation, existence of bunkers in anticipated landing zones, proximity of extreme rough or OB to assumed target line, location of penalty areas or other hazards, width and slope of fairways, overall impact of trees, the need to lay-up from a tee or other landing zone, size and speed of the greens, wind and much more, will all need to be measured and quantified. This is assessed for scratch men and women golfers – and respective Bogey golfers.

‘Rating Values’ are then allocated for each of the various conditions encountered from tables produced by the USGA and used globally in rating courses. The results of these measurements, and the ‘rating values’, are converted, using computer programmes, into the number of ‘strokes’ which should be required to play that particular course.

Where are Course Ratings recorded?

You can access your club’s current ratings by logging on to the National Course Rating and Slope Database. This website contains the ratings of all courses that have been rated worldwide, including all those within the Sussex. Please note that UK users need to leave the ‘Club State’ field blank when searching the above database.


When do clubs get rated?

We will continue our 2nd Phase schedule based on initial dates Sussex Clubs were Rated, as well as re-visit clubs which have either made significant changes, or request tees rated for different genders.

We are also responsible for processing temporary ratings for either winter courses or courses undergoing alterations. 

Should you want any information about your current rating, a future rating or even a temporary rating then please contact our Course Rating Manager, Nigel Phillips via email and we'll be happy to start the process. 

We have a responsibility to assess every affiliated course in Sussex Golf for Rating in a 10 year cycle. The Courses due for a full re-rating in 2024 are below:


Are you interested in becomming a Course Rater?

We are always on the lookout for new volunteers to assist with ratings. We would love to hear from you If you love spending time walking courses, have an eye for detail and have some time to give.

To find out more, please contact Nigel Phillips -

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