9-Hole vs. 18-Hole Handicap

Handicaps in golf have a lot of variables and factors that come into play. For instance, if you are playing 9 holes or the full 18 hole course, your handicap would be different. Deer Creek can help you determine your handicap and convert your 9-hole handicap into an 18-hole handicap. It might seem complicated at first, but we are here to try and simplify it. 

Let’s start with the basics. What is your handicap, and how do you get it?

What Is a Golf Handicap?

A golf handicap is a number that provides an indication of your playing ability based on the previous round’s scores. For men, the handicap is typically between zero and twenty-eight. For women, it is between zero and thirty-six. From your previous scores, you’ll be able to calculate course handicaps. 


When you are a member of a club, the handicap for you at the course will be given based on your scores from previous games played at that same course. This number is used to enable players of varying abilities to fairly compete against one another. The better the player, the lower the handicap. 

Convert 9 Hole Handicap to 18 Hole Handicap

When playing and trying to convert a 9-hole handicap to an 18-hole handicap, the index is called ‘N.’ The handicap only ranges from ‘0 to 18’ compared to the typical handicap of 18 holes that ranges from ‘0 to 36’. One of the reasons behind having 2 separate handicaps is the level of concentration needed between playing 9 holes vs. 18. An 18-hole round takes about 4.5 hours to complete, and holding a steady concentration for that time period is more difficult. But it wouldn’t be fair to just multiply the score by 2 when playing only half of the course. 


There was a study done by “The Range by The Grint,” and it looked at 5 golfer’s scores and their handicaps. See the graph below to see the comparisons.

9-Hole vs. 18-Hole Handicap

So while there is no real conversion on the 2 handicaps, it is important to understand them and play by the rules of golf to get accurate scoring if you are only playing 9 holes. 

Contact Us

If you want to become a member of the Deer Creek Golf Club or want to check out our tee times, contact us today! We are excited for you to come and play on our course.