Only Have Time For Nine Holes? You Can Still Post Your Score

18-hole courses generally have distinct slope and course ratings for their outward and inward nines, as illustrated above.

Playing nine holes of golf is not only a fun way to stay connected to the game we all love, but it is also easy for you to post a score for handicap purposes from these rounds.

Each golf course that has an 18-hole Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™ also has nine-hole Ratings. These can be found in the Course Rating and Slope Database™. You have a Handicap Index® which is designed to convert to a Course Handicap™ for 18-hole play. However, your Course Handicap can be determined for a nine-hole round by first cutting your Handicap Index in half (and then rounding to the nearest tenth). Next, you can simply use the USGA’s Course Handicap calculator or the Course Handicap Tables posted at the golf course to determine your Course Handicap for the specific nine holes you are about to play. In some instances, you will be prompted to enter your halved Handicap Index, as well as the nine-hole Course Rating, Slope Rating and par so that the program can run the calculation for you. Additionally, if you have a mobile app with your Handicap Index information, the process is likely even easier as you will just need to select the course and tees to be played to get your nine-hole Course Handicap. If you would like to learn more about the full calculation, that can be found in Rule 6.1b of the Rules of Handicapping (but we recommend letting technology take care of the math!)

So, if you are crunched for time or prefer nine-hole rounds, keep in mind that your scores can be posted after playing as few as seven holes. If you must leave the course after seven or eight holes, then net par is used on the holes not played. Net par is par adjusted for any handicap strokes applied on the hole, determined by your nine-hole Course Handicap and the stroke index (or handicap row) on the scorecard. One final point is that re-allocating the stroke index values to 1-9 may help with applying net par and net double bogey procedures, as well as for determining strokes received or given depending on the format of play.

For more information about posting scores, please see Rule 4 of the Rules of Handicapping. In addition, the USGA’s website has a variety of education resources about the World Handicap System and Rules of Handicapping.