In England, for the last 10 years or so, golf courses have been rated differently for men and women.
For men the rating was performed on the basis of a system developed by the now defunct England Golf Union while for women ratings were performed on the basis of the universally accepted standard system – namely the USGA Course Rating System.
Late in 2012 the newly merged England Golf, as a result of strong lobbying by a majority of county organizations, decided to stop using the former EGU rating system and, with effect from 1st January 2014, to adopt the USGA Course Rating System for both men and women.
Over the last 10 years our women have rated all the courses in the County and, under the USGA 10 year cycle rule, will now commence re-rating in approximate date sequence but jointly with the men to keep the interruption to our Clubs and their courses to a minimum.
For the men, all courses will need to be re-rated using the USGA system and this will occur progressively over the next 10 years with priority being given to new courses, courses which have significantly changed since they were last rated and courses which have not been rated for men since 2006.
Course ratings for men using the EGU system in use from 2007 through 2012 are considered still valid and will remain in use until their scheduled reassessment under the 10 year cycle requirement.
Since men’s and women’s courses are now being rated on the same basis, Cheshire have established a working party led by Jim McBride for the Men and Ruth Whitehead for the Ladies and, in future, we expect most courses to be rated by mixed teams.
Part of our challenge over the next 2 – 3 years is to retrain our existing men’s raters in the new system and to find and train additional volunteers – both men and women.
The skills required vary depending on the role to be performed, i.e. whether an individual aspires to become a Lead Rater or prefers the less technically demanding role of Assistant Rater which involves helping the Lead Raters to gather all the necessary data around the course.
The normal practice is for new individuals to start in the latter role and when they have a reasonable level of experience to decide whether or not they wish to progress to Lead Rater.
Lead Raters are normally expected to have achieved a good level of golfing skill and to have a strong understanding of the Rules of Golf. They are also required to have a good understanding of the detailed aspects of the USGA Course Rating System plus a reasonable level of computer literacy.
Assistant Raters are expected to be experienced golfers – not necessarily low handicappers - with a working knowledge of the commonly encountered Rules of Golf.
In both instances a reasonable level of fitness will be required and availability to perform ratings during weekdays is essential.
If you are interested in helping with course ratings – or know of anyone else who may be interested and / or suitable - please contact either Ruth via the CCLGA web site or Jim through the County Office.