Handicap holes are used to determine where strokes fall on a course.  For example if you have a 1 handicap then your
ONE stroke falls on the 1st handicap hole.  If a course were to have two..#1 handicap holes then there would be no way to know which hole the stroke falls on.

If you have a USGA Handicap System manual, look at Section 17, "Allocaton of Handicap Strokes." You can view "The USGA Handicap System" manual online as well at the USGA website.

Courses usually let the first handicap hole fall on the front..2nd on back, 3rd on front, 4th on back etc...Odd on front and even on back..so they rotate evenly.  Handicap holes must be unique 1-18 so there is no ambiguity about where each stroke should fall.

So...assign them in the order they are going up to 18

#1 handicap on front is #1 handicap hole
#1 handicap on back is #2 handicap hole
#2 handicap on front is #3 handicap hole
#2 handicap on back is #4 handicap hole
#3 handicap on front is #5 handicap hole
#3 handicap on back is #6 handicap hole
#4 handicap on front is #7 handicap hole
#4 handicap on back is #8 handicap hole
#5 handicap on front is #9 handicap hole
#5 handicap on back is #10 handicap hole
#6 handicap on front is #11 handicap hole
#6 handicap on back is #12 handicap hole
#7 handicap on front is #13 handicap hole
#7 handicap on back is #14 handicap hole
#8 handicap on front is #15 handicap hole
#8 handicap on back is #16 handicap hole
#9 handicap on front is #17 handicap hole
#9 handicap on back is #18 handicap hole

This method comes into play when you play at a 27-hole complex and you have to add two 9-hole courses together to create an 18-hole course. There are three possible 18-hole courses in a 27-hole complex: AB, AC, BC.

See our blog article, "Stroke hole, handicap hole or handicap-stroke hole…it’s where you get your strokes".

Here is a table showing a sample allocation. Your course's handicap allocation order may be different.