The VSGA is licensed by the United States Golf Association to issue course and slope ratings in Virginia. The VSGA re-rates golf courses approximately every seven years, even if they have not changed in any way, to comply with the USGA’s 10-year requirement. The VSGA also re-rates courses after significant course renovations are performed. Newly constructed courses are re-rated within five years of the initial rating. There is no charge to VSGA member clubs for the course rating service.
The VSGA course rating teams are made up of trained volunteers throughout the commonwealth. When rating a golf course, the team evaluates each hole in accordance with the USGA Course Rating System™. Values are obtained for a series of obstacle factors (Topography, Fairway, Green Target, Recoverability and Rough, Bunkers, Out of Bounds/Extreme Rough, Water Hazards, Trees and Green Surface) and effective playing length factors (Roll, Elevation, Dogleg/Forced Lay Up, Prevailing Wind an Altitude). After rating, members of the team will play the golf course to gain greater insight, from a playing perspective, and to clarify any doubts or questions that may arise on specific holes or shots.
Preliminary course and slope ratings are generated for each set of tees rated and then sent to the VSGA Course Rating Committee for final approval. The new course and slope ratings are sent to the club at the end of the year and will become effective on Jan. 1 of the following year.