BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With spring having begun in Buffalo and the weather getting warmer, golf season has opened for players to get out on the course.

For newer players, you might want to go play on some of the easier courses. For more seasoned players, you might want a challenge or a new course to try out. But, how do you know which courses are easier and harder without playing them?

Thankfully, there is a way to know. Courses are ranked by two different numbers: Course Rating and Course Slope.

Here is what those two terms mean.

Course Slope

The course slope will predict the difficulty of the course for a bogey golfer, which is someone who would shoot around 18 over the par of the course. The slope can be anywhere from 55 to 155, with 113 being the average. Again, the higher the number, the more difficult the course. A number below 113 would be an easier-than-average course. As with course rating, there is a slope for each set of tees.

Course Rating

This rating indicates the difficulty of the course for a “par” or scratch golfer. For example, if a course has a par of 72, the course rating might be a 71.7. That number would be what a scratch golfer is expected to shoot for the course. That number goes up with the difficulty of the course. A rating is given for every set of tees on the course.

News 4 used data from dozens of golf courses in and around Buffalo to find the easiest and hardest courses in the area, both by slope and course rating, according to BlueGolf.

Easiest courses by slope

  1. Delaware Park Golf Course (Buffalo): 101
  2. Grover Cleveland Golf Course (Buffalo): 107
  3. Cazenovia Park (Buffalo): 108
  4. Greenwood Golf Course (Clarence): 110
  5. Gothic Hill Golf Course (Lockport): 110
  6. Bob-O-Link Golf Club (Orchard Park): 110
  7. Niagara County Golf Course (Lockport): 111
  8. 18 Mile Creek Golf Course (Hamburg): 112
  9. Aubudon Golf Course (Buffalo): 113
  10. Elma Meadows Golf Course (Elma): 117

Hardest courses by slope

  1. Crag Burn Golf Club (East Aurora): 145
  2. Glen Oak Golf Club (Amherst): 136
  3. Brookfield Country Club (Clarence): 132
  4. Cloverbank Country Club (Hamburg): 132
  5. Park Country Club (Williamsville): 131
  6. Diamond Hawk Golf Course (Cheektowaga): 131
  7. Country Club of Buffalo (Buffalo): 131
  8. The Fox Valley Club (Lancaster): 131
  9. Lancaster Country Club (Lancaster): 131
  10. East Aurora Country Club (East Aurora): 131

Easiest courses by rating

  1. Grover Cleveland Golf Course: 66.5
  2. Delaware Park Golf Course: 67.0
  3. 18 Mile Creek Golf Course: 67.8
  4. Cazenovia Park Golf Course: 68.0
  5. Niagara County Golf Course: 68.9
  6. Hyde Park Golf Course (Niagara Falls): 69.9
  7. Greenwood Golf Course: 70.0
  8. Gothic Hill Golf Course: 70.0
  9. Bob-O-Link Golf Club: 70.0
  10. Audubon Golf Course: 70.2

Hardest courses by rating

  1. Crag Burn Golf Club: 76.0
  2. River Oaks Golf Club (Grand Island) 75.0
  3. Buffalo Tournament Club (Lancaster): 74.6
  4. Diamond Hawk Golf Course: 74.1
  5. Harvest Hill Golf Course (Orchard Park): 74.1
  6. Brookfield Country Club: 74.1
  7. Cloverbank Country Club: 74.0
  8. Park Country Club: 73.6
  9. Pendleton Creek Golf Club (North Tonawanda): 73.2
  10. Transit Valley Country Club (East Amherst) 73.1

Western New York has dozens of courses in the area, so there is always something that will be a good challenge for anyone.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.