How Many Holes Are In A Golf Course? (Analyzed!)

Last Updated on March 16, 2022 by

18 Holes! Which is usually the number of holes in a golf course. And a Golf tournament has 18-holes as a playing format. These 18-hole courses are divided into front 9 holes; from hole 1-9 and back nine holes; from 10-18.

Most modern golf clubs have two separate loops for both the front and back nine holes. By so doing giving golfers adequate time to rest whilst conquering both loops. However, when age becomes a factor there are forward and backward holes in the same loop as in St. Andrews Course.

Why Does Golf Have 18 Holes?

Why Does Golf Have 18 Holes

The earliest form of golf courses had a different number of holes depending on the region, province, and country. These holes include 5, 7 and only a few had 12 holes respectively.

One set of golfers stood proud amidst all and they were the St. Andrews’ Royal and Ancient Golf Club. They were first to combine all holes into 18, formulating the 18-hole rule IB 1764. The 18-hole rule state that golf should be played in a round of two with 18 holes. Owing to its status of being the Royal seat of golf, it gained world recognition but took 100 years to become a world standard.

St. Andrews went through revamp in 1857, here they created two holes, but without the first and return holes. Altogether these still accounted for 18holes but this way golfers going forward did not disturb the game of those returning from the 9th hole.

Outgoing holes are marked by White flags and incoming holes marked by red.

Most prominent golf clubs had all adopted the 18 holes by 1882. From onward from 1993 all golf tournaments conformed to the 18-holes rules.

The standardized number of holes brought about uniformity to the game of sport and allowed cross-countries and teams around different parts of the world to compete against each other under the same rule.

How Long Are The 18 Holes?

Playing 18 holes requires a minimum of 5hours and a maximum of 6. However, it could be more especially if the distance between the greens and tee box of the course is more. This would also increase the distance of travels per.

The 9 hole round is more time-efficient with a minimum of 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours tops. This provides golfers with ample time to refresh themselves off the stress of the week.

What About 9-Hole Rounds

The 9-hole round is prevalent amidst weekend golfers and players whose intention is to squeeze in a bit of practice between chores.

But recently, as the competition spikes at the workplace, people relish spending 6 hours wrapped to the TV hoping their favorite golfer wins the tournament.

With the current global recession, the golf industry has suffered many setbacks. The continuous shortage of funds has accounted for the difficulty in creating and maintaining golf courses.

More so, it is budget and economy friendly to cut down golf games from 18 holes to 9.

A lot of professional golfer clowns at 9-hole games, name-calling them amateur rounds, but a critical examination of the facts reveals that it’s but a colossal waste of valuable time and resources and presents no future if nobody plays golf.

Other pressing issues of the 18-hole are the safety precautions of the golf courses, which tread the toes of guidelines with safety margins and fairways that are too narrow.

The safest solution is to opt for strong 9-hole golf courses. These 9-holes would require half the real estate and maintenance cost compared to the 18-hole course with sufficient practice area/driving range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Brought The 18 Hole Rule?

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. These elicit men to change the rule rules of golf holes. They combined the 5, 7, 11, and 22 into 18 holes. This singular move brought standardization to the game of golf, making it possible to people of different states, provinces, and countries to play until a uniform rule. One set of golfers stood proud amidst all and they were the St. Andrews’ Royal and Ancient Golf Club. 

Is There Other Holes Aside 18 Hole?

Absolutely Yes! Other holes exist in golf. In ancient times other holes such as 5, 7, 12, and 22 existed but recent standardization has made these holes obsolete leaving just 9 and 18 holes respectively.

Which Is Best For Golf; 18 Hole Or 9 Hole?

Depending on who’s playing and for what purpose. Younger golfers and those who play for leisure prefer the 9 holes whilst those who play professionally prefer the 18 holes. 

Is 9-Holes The Future Of Golf?

Recent research has shown empirically that the wide golf landscape of the 18 holes is a waste of resources that the game can’t afford. They have clamored for the 9 hole instead which is cost-effective and offers quicker time to produce a champion. As time progresses the 9 hole is preferable to become more prevalent and hence the future of golf.

Which Is At The Olympic; 18 Hole Or 9 Hole?

Both the 9 and 18 holes are official sports at the Olympics. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics featured both the 9 holes and 18 holes respectively with champions crowned differently. 


We asserted emphatically that the current golf round comprises 18 holes, as most recent golf courses are designed to accommodate this number. Golf holes have evolved over the years from 5, 7, 12, and the standardized 18. 

However, the 9-hole golf is another popular format that is gradually gaining wave even though most people use it as a practice format. There has been a rising awareness about the colossal waste associated with the golf industry and the value of 6 hours an 18-hole game demands.

Where many golfers and fans are advocating for 9-hole rounds and if this persists we might be headed towards shorter and more intensive golf tournaments. Upgrading will increase challenges within 9-hole to the most exciting and maybe rewrite the future of golf.

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