How does EPPL differ from other course ratings?
Course rating and Slope Rating® exist primarily for official handicapping purposes. Less than 10% of golfers use or understand handicapping systems. A course rating of "60.4" or a Slope Rating of 93 do little to communicate how a golf course stacks up to other courses. This is especially true of short courses that often find themselves at the far lower end of these rating systems. This is because the emphasis is on length. EPPL relies on factors other than length, using length only as one of many factors. Length is not weighted as heavily as with traditional ratings.
Is EPPL accurate?
An EPPL Rating is based on a mathematical formula gleaned from aerial, GPS and superintendent provided data (green speeds, rough heights, etc.) It is an accurate snapshot of the value of the course in terms of accurate shot making compared to full-length, regulation courses. EPPL gives an immediately recognizable comparison to the golfer because it uses a standard 18-hole, par 72 layout as the baseline for all equivalents. An EPPL Rating is the product of more than 60 quantitative categories and considerations that produces a par and yardage comparison that makes sense.
How is it done?
While an EPPL Equivalent is easy to understand, to get to this simplicity an analytical evaluation is combined with algebraic equations. EPPL differs from traditional ratings by not focusing on length as a primary factor in comparing golf courses. Course length is considered, and this data is applied to key shots at every golf hole. The 60 quantitative categories used are complex and require powerful software to generate each tee shot, fairway shot, approach and green stroke. The final outcome is a comparison to an 18-hole, par 72 course. EPPL software and systems are protected by various copyright and patent means.
How much does an EPPL Rating Cost?
A 9-hole or 18-hole course is able to receive an EPPL Rating for $1,500 unless circumstances require special GIS data or a field visit by a representative. You can review the one-time fee at the Begin your EPPL Rating
area of this website
Is there an annual cost?
No. Fees are paid one-time and for a specific set of tees. If the course undergoes significant changes then it is necessary to update the evaluation. This is done on a quoted basis, as are additional evaluations for alternate sets of tees.
How can we use EPPL?
There is an inherent difficulty in marketing and promoting a shorter-length golf course (par-3, executive and 9-hole facility). In a world full of longer-is-better golf hype, a comparison that is easy to understand will help you promote your shorter course. For example, a 9-hole par-3 course may attain an EPPL Rating of 6,200 yards, Par 72. This is easy to comprehend because the golfer immediately knows what that means. While Slope Rating® and Course Rating remain useful tools, they do little to resolve the true issue of how short courses position themselves in the market. Slope and course ratings are primarily handicapping tools. Less than 10% of golfers use or understand handicapping.
What time and resources will our personnel have to spend?
Very little. The EPPL System was developed so course personnel would only participate by answering a few questions at the onset. We need information on green speeds, rough heights and any local information that may affect our evaluation. An example are nominal wind speeds that may not be available from a local weather station. Sometimes we ask that your course superintendent provide mapping or green slope information that is easy to come by.
How will the course be evaluated?
Equivalents are made using GIS, GPS and digital terrain data supplied to us by reliable mapping resources throughout the world. This data is evaluated, hole-by-hole, using a sophisticated visual software system that extracts more than 60 markers. These markers include hazard proximity to approaches, greenside obstacles, terrain, fairway width, tee shot complexity, etc. In addition, elevation above sea level, wind conditions, green slopes and speeds, and rough conditions are used to evaluate a comparison to a full-length, regulation layout with a par of 72.
How is the final EPPL Equivalent expressed?
Very simple, an EPPL Rating is expressed in yards and par, and always based on an 18-hole, par 72 course. For example, Official EPPL Course Equivalent: 6,750 Yards Ð Par 72. Even when the EPPL Rating is made for a 9-hole or alternative course (less than 9-holes) the rating is always expressed as a comparison to an 18-hole, par 72 layout.
What if we do not like the final outcome?
The Effective Par & Playing Length Council (EPPL) can only guarantee a fair and unbiased evaluation that falls within the thresholds of the rating system; e.g., 6,400 yards and 7,200 yards (based on a full-length par value of 72.) We always take the time to pre-consult prior to an evaluation (and fees), so you are assured of knowing how the evaluation will be made and our general assessment of the range.
Does EPPL work for courses of all yardages ... even very short layouts?
Yes, EPPL is engineered to provide an equivalent yardage for very short courses. The equivalent is based on shot values and requirements for accuracy as opposed to a focus on length. Holes under 80 yards will lower an EPPL Equivalent, but this is overcome by more than 60 other factors such as roughs, green openings, green size, hazards and obstacles.
What is the shortest EPPL Equivalent that can be attained under the system?
A majority of EPPL Equivalents (based on 18-holes, par-72) are calculated to be 6,400 yards or more. Measurable length of holes is offset by computative analysis of hazard and obstacle factors, combined with greens and certain course conditions.
What is the longest EPPL Equivalent that can be attained under the system?
The limit of an EPPL Equivalent for an 18-hole course (less than 6,000 yards) is 7,200 yards.
Who is EPPL?
The Effective Par & Playing Length Council (EPPL) was formed by golf course architect Forrest Richardson in 2010 as a solution to encourage the development and preservation of shorter courses and courses of shorter length. The idea was to develop a scientific means to evaluate shorter courses and provide a easy-to-understand rating system whereby these courses can communicate the shot-making value of their courses compared to full-length facilities.