Playing a nine-hole
round of golf is not only a fun way to stay connected to the game we all love,
it is also very easy to post for handicap purposes.
Each golf course that
has an 18-hole USGA Course Rating™ and Slope Rating® also has nine-hole
Ratings. These can be found in the USGA Course Rating and Slope Database™.
Since most players have an 18-hole Handicap Index®, the first step is to
determine a nine-hole value by cutting it in half (rounding to nearest tenth as
applicable, e.g., 14.5 / 2 = 7.25, 7.3 rounded). Next, multiply that value by
the respective nine’s Slope Rating and divide by 113 to determine a
nine-hole Course Handicap™ for that side (e.g., 7.3 x 131 / 113 = 8.4, 8
rounded). Golf courses have Course Handicap Tables posted on site and a Course
Handicap can also be determined using the USGA’s Course Handicap Calculator.
Players who are really
crunched for time will be glad to know that nine-hole scores can be posted for
handicap purposes after playing as few as seven holes. If a player needs to
leave after seven or eight holes the “par-plus” method can be used to compute a
nine-hole score. This is done by taking par for the hole(s) not played and
adding a stroke(s) if the player is entitled to them according to their nine-hole
Course Handicap. Using a player’s nine-hole Course Handicap as 8 from the
example, and only playing eight holes, that player would determine a hole score
of bogey on the ninth hole if it were one of the first eight handicap-stroke
holes on that nine. (Note: Handicap-stroke holes may need to be
re-allocated 1-9.) A score of par would be recorded if it were the ninth
The policies and
procedures for posting a nine-hole score can be found in “Section 5-2 & 10-5” of “The USGA Handicap System.” In addition, the answers to
many of the most common inquiries regarding the USGA Handicap System™ can be
found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the
USGA’s Handicapping page.