Free Golf Course Handicap Calculator 2024: The Ultimate Guide!

While each player has their own handicap, which is often set by the power of being, there are different golf courses around the world.

Your handicap potential on one course might be different on another course and once you know this, you can aim for a specific target on each course. The golf course handicap calculator is one of the best tools you can use.

Many players can calculate their course handicap with the assistance of some basic math. It will indicate the handicap strokes a player can receive from a set number of tees on the golf course.

With the calculator, you will be placed at a level of scratch, which gives you a new score to aim for on different courses.

As you can see, the process can be daunting and there is plenty of information needed to make this calculation. The course calculator not only focuses on 18-hole courses but 9-hole courses as well.

We have decided to dive a bit deeper into this and find out how it works and how it could be beneficial to your game.

18 Hole Golf Course Handicap Calculator

The 18-hole course handicap calculator is the ideal tool that shows you what score you should be aiming at for a specific course. You will start by adding your handicap index and combining this with the slope rating and course rating.

The handicap allowance and par figures will enable you to see how many shots you get.

The calculator is one of the most sophisticated and it needs plenty of information to work correctly. Keep in mind that you will get a different number from your handicap index, which is often set by the USGA.

What Do You Need to Measure Your 18 Hole Golf Course Handicap?

While many other calculators simply ask you for a few numbers and spew out the number you are looking for, you will need some additional information for this calculator.

18 Hole Golf Course Handicap Calculator

Fortunately, all the information is readily available on the scorecard. However, you need to know your handicap index. Here is what you need to find out your course handicap:

  • Handicap Index: The handicap index is the number you receive from the USGA. You will need to submit 3 18 holes scores, but this can be made of a few 9-hole scores as well. You are looking to have about three full games of scores.
  • Slope Rating: The slope rating is found on the scorecard and this refers to the difficulty of the slopes on the course. These could take into account things like the angles and the pin placement on the green.
  • Course Rating: The course rating is also found on the scorecard and gives you a general overview of how the course is rated. Some courses are slightly more difficult than others. Things like the layout and the obstacles are the main focal point.
  • Par: The par is the number you are looking to play on the specific golf course. Par refers to the standard score that a scratch player should aim for. It is also one of the hardest targets to aim for on a golf course as a beginner.
  • Handicap Allowance: The handicap allowance is the percentage of the course handicap. It is often a number recommended for a handicap competition. As a rule of thumb, the handicap allowance percentage is often set at 95%.

Once you have all these numbers, the calculator will spew out a number that you should be aiming for. You can use the number to set up targets for yourself and it is often used for handicap competitions as well.

The course handicap calculator can determine whether a player qualifies for a competition or does not.

How to Calculate 18 and 9 Hole Course Handicap?

There are several ways you can calculate the course handicap. You will notice that we have included the 9-hole calculator and will focus on this calculator a little later.

However, the best way to calculate your course handicap is to use our online calculator. The calculator makes it easy to enter the numbers and will spew out the player and course handicap.

You can use these to set up target scores for yourself when you are on the golf course and it can even be broken down into specific holes. Once you have this, you will notice how much closer you get to your potential when playing specific courses.

The best way to improve your handicap is to focus on your swing. Once you have mastered the swing, you will see a better distance in your game and this could contribute significantly to your handicap.

Using the swing style of the great Ben Hogan, we have found a way to guarantee handicap increases by at least 2 or 3. You only have to understand the swing technique.

9 Hole Course Handicap Calculator

If you are not someone who enjoys playing the full 18 holes on a golf course, you might want to settle for 9 holes.

By playing a 9 hole course, the game is much faster and you get to see a few holes on a specific golf course. However, the 9-hole golf course calculator will be the tool you want to use to get your course handicap.

For the 9-hole course calculator, you will be using the same numbers as you would when calculating the 18-hole course calculator. The only difference would be that everything is halved.

Once you have your 18-hole score, you can simply divide the number by two and you have the 9-hole score. If you want to directly calculate the 9-hole score, you will be entering the same metrics as the 18-hole calculator.

The calculator should do all the calculations, including halving the numbers to spew out the course handicap and allowance. This makes it much easier to understand how to calculate the 9-hole course handicap.

9 Hole vs 18 Hole Golf Course Handicap Calculator

One of the biggest issues we found was the accuracy. While the 9-hole calculator will give you the score for a 9-hole game, it does not paint the full picture when dividing scores to insert into the calculator.

Some players might play much better on 9 holes due to the lack of attrition. Others might want more holes to compensate for mistakes.

Your skill level will greatly come into play when determining the accuracy of these calculators. We would recommend trying both of them and playing a few games to test the calculators.

If you find that you are a few shots over or under, you can incorporate this to give you a more accurate picture of the true course handicap you are aiming for.

Course Handicap vs Playing Handicap

If you are prone to playing in different competitions, you might have heard of the term playing handicap.

The playing handicap refers to the handicap you have for a specific game and involves using the course handicap to determine how many strokes the player gives or receives for a specific round. It is used to even the playing field.

If a low-handicap player is playing against an amateur, it would not be fair to measure them on the same score. The playing handicap is used to give a player a few strokes and even out the playing field.

Scratch players will now have the same opportunity of winning a competition as the beginner, but this only applies to friendly competitions.

How to Convert Course Handicap to Playing Handicap?

Determining the playing handicap has everything to do with the handicap allowance. While many advanced players might not like this, it does even up the playing field for all golfers and also makes the competition more fun.

To convert the course handicap to the playing handicap, you would want to adjust the course handicap to account for the handicap allowance. This can be done with the percentage and some simple math or you can use the online calculator tools we offer.

The process is simple, players will play on either the 9-hole or 18-hole course and this will give them a score they have achieved. Once they have the score, they can adjudicate this to incorporate the handicap allowance.

The competition organizers will often be in charge of this process. A player might have a 90 on a par 72, but due to the handicap allowance, it could bring it back down to a 76 for instance.

Keep in mind that this process is only used in friendly competitions and when playing different formats like the best ball. In professional competitions, you will have to play with the raw numbers of each hole. The USGA does not use the handicap allowance when determining competition results.

The handicap system can be daunting to understand. However, it helps with golf clubs and your handicap index is something you will always carry with you.

Once a golfer receives the handicap, they can use the handicap table to understand other handicap formats. As a scratch golfer, this might not apply and you already know the number of strokes allowed.

Course Handicap vs Handicap Index

The handicap index is the official handicap a player has attained. It is often determined by the USGA and you will need to submit 3 18 holes that can also be made up with a few 9-hole scores in between.

Unfortunately, you cannot make up this number and you will need to be associated with any governing golf body to get your handicap index.

The handicap index is converted to the course handicap with the assistance of the course rating. In many situations, the slope rating is also added to give a clearer indication of the course handicap a player has.

Once you have the course handicap, it is often converted to the playing handicap. The playing handicap is the number competitions will use when figuring out how many strokes a player gives or receives.

By using an online calculator, you can input all these numbers and it will spew out the course handicap and playing handicap based on the golf handicap allowance.

As you might have noticed, this is one of the most complicated topics we have discussed. The metrics used to determine these scores can be daunting and it is best if you have the assistance of an online calculator.

While we hope this has helped clear up the fundamentals of the calculators, we have noticed a few lingering questions:

Can You Calculate Handicap for 9 Holes?

Yes, calculating the 9-hole handicap will often be easier than your 18-hole handicap. You simply need to input the numbers in the calculator, and it should spew out the 9-hole handicap.

However, you can also calculate it by dividing the 18-hole handicap you received. The most important thing is that you have your handicap index, which should be obtained through a governing body of golf.

The handicap system uses a specific set of metrics when handicapping a player. Your golf handicap index is the most important part of your game and a course handicap calculator will give you all the handicap strokes you have allotted.

How Do I Calculate My Course Handicap?

To calculate the course handicap, you will need to have your handicap index. As mentioned, this is obtained through a professional governing body and will also be your true handicap.

Once you have this, you will compare it to the course rating and the slope rating. You could add your par score as well, but this is only extra.

It should give you your course handicap and this will be convertible to the playing handicap with a different formulation.

How Many Handicaps Do You Need for 9 Holes?

To calculate your handicap index, you need 3 18 holes scores. However, you can incorporate your 9 holes cores, but these will be counted together to get your 18-hole handicap index.

Once you have the 18-hole handicap index, you can divide this by two to get your 9-hole handicap.

Wrap Up

A handicap calculator is one of the most effective tools to determine different aspects of your game and calculate certain scores. The golf course handicap calculator will not only take your course handicap into account, but it can help with your playing handicap.

Let us know in the comment section how you have used and calculated your handicap.

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