The letters "SSS" on a golf scorecard stand for Standard Scratch Score. This abbreviation is generally only used in Great Britain and Ireland. SSS provides golfers with a general expectation on the difficulty of a golf course.
Standard Scratch Score
The SSS is the score a scratch golfer would expect to shoot on the related golf course. A SSS is usually within a few strokes of par, with a lower SSS stating the golf course is easier and vice versa. Each golf course's SSS is evaluated based on playing conditions and length of the holes.
SSS Governing Body
The SSS rating system for golf courses was developed by and is monitored by the English Golf Union. It was first instituted by request of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews in 1926.
Course Evaluation for SSS
The English Golf Union evaluates courses using numerous factors. The difficulty factors that change the SSS of a golf course most drastically are rough length, bunkers, trees and water hazards. Environmental factors, including wind, also determine the SSS.