• Breaking Down the Time: How Long Does it Really Take to Golf

    by Chris Bajda September 27, 2022

    Ah, the age-old question of how long it takes to play a round of golf. A question that has been puzzling both newbies and seasoned golfers for years! It's like trying to figure out why the chicken crossed the road or why the golfer decided to wear those plaid pants. The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind...or rather, it depends on a bunch of different factors.

    First off, how many holes are you playing? Are you going for a full 18 or just a quick 9? Are you playing alone or with a group of pals? And speaking of pals, what's their skill level like? Are they the type of people who can effortlessly hit a hole in one, or are they more likely to hit a tree than the ball?

    How Long Does It Take To Golf

    But wait, there's more! You also have to consider the pace of play on the course. Is it a busy day at the links? Are you stuck behind a group of slowpokes who can't seem to find their ball? Or are you lucky enough to have the course all to yourself, with the wind at your back and the sun on your face?

    If you're feeling overwhelmed by all these variables, fear not! We've got a handy dandy guide to help you out. It's chock full of tips and tricks to help you plan your rounds like a pro. So, whether you're a golfing novice or a seasoned pro, be sure to check it out. And who knows, maybe one day you'll be the one strolling down the fairway in those plaid pants, wondering why the chicken really did cross the road.


    How Much Time Does It Take to Play 9 Holes?

    Depending on where you are and the type, of course, you are playing, it takes a different length of time to complete a round of golf, but on average, you should expect a nine-hole round of golf, complete with putting and chipping, to take 2 hours and 15 minutes.

    If you do not have that amount of time, some things can help speed up your game, like playing without teeing off at the first hole, so you do not have to walk the entire course length again.

    Or go in as a foursome instead of two people, so you are not waiting for the other person between each shot, and remember to bring plenty of water or sports drink because it is easy to get dehydrated during a longer round of golf!

    I played a round of golf once and managed to finish my nine holes in an hour and forty minutes with some good old-fashioned hustle. It was just before sunset, so I had perfect light for my putts. Also, it was super-hot out, which made the rough pretty dead. No weeds or tall grass means easier shots.

    As far as pace goes, that is the fastest round of golf I have ever played!


    How Much Time Does It Take to Play 18 Holes?

    On  average it takes 4 hours and 30 minutes, but this can vary depending on the course and player. Two main factors affect how quickly someone can finish a round of 18 holes: the course length and their skill level.  

    The average distance for 18 holes is 6,500 yards. It means an individual must walk at least 3 miles to get around all 18 holes.

    The speed at which players move while walking varies greatly, but walking at a fast pace will likely result in finishing an entire round of golf within 5 hours or less.

    Course length also affects how long golf takes to play a full round of golf.

    A person's skill level also significantly impacts how quickly they can complete a round of 18 holes.

    These factors will undoubtedly slow down your pace.

    As you practice, however, you will find that a lot of these emotions subside, and soon enough, you may start to notice yourself making much more progress than before!


    Factors That Impact Your Pace of Play

    The type you are playing, the time of day, and your playing style will all contribute to how quickly or slowly you play. Following is the list of factors:

    1. Busy Courses

    In some cases, if the course is busy, the pace of play can be impacted by waiting on other groups.

    To avoid this, try playing early in the morning, empty golf course, or during off-peak hours like Wednesday afternoons.

    2. Length of a Golf Course

    Shorter courses require less time to complete, but there is more possibility of hitting a golf ball out-of-bounds.

    Longer courses have more space between the tee box and each hole, meaning players have more time to consider where they want to hit the ball before making contact with it.

    Shorter courses may offer fewer obstacles (think trees), making them easier for beginners who do not have as much experience.

    3. Numbers of Players

    The number of players in a group will impact the pace of play. The fewer shots and people, the faster the pace.

    If you are an average golfer and play alone, you must set your own pace. Of course, if you are in a group, have groups ahead and waiting on someone else's slow play or another player is taking more than their allotted time for the shot, then everyone's pace slows down.

    For example, if one person is having trouble reading the green because they cannot see well, everyone must wait until that player finishes.

    4. The Skill of Your Team

    When your team is skilled, you can play faster with playing partners because there is less time spent on each hole.

    If the entire team has a low skill level, you will spend more time playing each hole. The quality of the course also impacts your pace of play.

    5. Weather Conditions

    Weather conditions can have an impact on your pace of play. Windy or rainy days may force you to be more conservative with your shots.

    On the other hand, if you are playing in the summer and it is hot, you might want to tee off earlier in the morning so that you can finish by lunchtime.

    6. Walking or Driving

    Knowing the course, you are playing will help you understand how much time you need for each hole. Walking versus driving is another significant factor that can impact your pace of play.

    Generally, walking will add about 10-15 minutes per hole, and driving will add about 5 minutes per hole.

    7. Course Difficulty

    Course difficulty is the most significant factor that impacts your pace of play.

    In general, the more complex the golf courses, the slower your pace of play should be.

    Most golf courses are usually 18 holes and under, while many golf courses are 18-36 holes.

    If you are a novice golfer or playing with someone who is a novice golfer, you will likely find an 18-hole course quite challenging.

    On the other hand, if you are a seasoned golfer, you could find some of these public golf courses to be boring.

    Tips to Play Faster

    Play Ready Golf

    It is a way of playing the game that assumes everyone on the golf course has a golf cart.

    As a result, there are no more lost golf balls, and we play faster rounds. We always know where all the players are on the course. The goal is to get through 18 holes as quickly as possible and still have fun.

    Play from the Front Tees

    If you want to play faster, go from the front tees to be closer to each hole's green, but at a disadvantage regarding how far you will hit your shots.

    It is easier for beginners who do not yet have much control over their club selection or ball flight.

    For advanced players, it is also easier because they will not be as frustrated by miss-hits.

    Do Not Look for a Lost Ball

    If you lose your ball, find a replacement as quickly as possible and continue on with the game.

    Do not waste time on golf courses!

    Do Not Move Every Time You Hit a Shot

    You can save time by only moving when you need to find out what kind of shot you can play (e.g., bunker shot) or when your next shot is played from somewhere different than where the last one was (e.g., the fairway).

    Stay Out of Trouble

    Stay away from water hazards, bunkers, and traps to avoid potential losses of strokes due to penalties.

    If you feel like you are getting tired from playing golf or making too many mistakes, take a break.

    Keep Track of Your Progress

    Golf is a timed sport, so it helps to keep an eye on the clock while you are on a golf course!


    Golf is a game that can be played at any time of the year, regardless of the weather.

    Find a golf course near you and make sure they have available tee times.

    Make sure to bring your ID, driver's license, and equipment.

    It is always good to arrive about fifteen minutes before your tee time for registration and remember that this sport is meant for fun and relaxation, so do not let it stress you out! 

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