A USGA Course Rating is the USGA’s evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions for the purpose of providing a uniform basis on which to issue USGA Handicap Indexes. (Washington Metro. Golf Assoc.)

A USGA Slope Rating evaluates the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers. The lowest USGA Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a USGA Slope Rating of 113. (Washington Metro. Golf Assoc.)