How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes Of Golf? (Well Explained!)

Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Alex PT

It takes an average of 4 hours and 30 minutes to play 18 holes of golf, according to the United States Golf Association (USGA). However, the actual time it takes can vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The skill level of the golfers
  • The size and difficulty of the golf course
  • The number of golfers in the group
  • The pace of play on the course
  • Weather conditions

The Table Below Contains The Number Of Players And The Amount Of Time It Will Take Them To Complete 18 Holes. 

No. Of Players18 HolesPar 5sPar 4sPar 3s
23 hrs12 mins9 mins6 mins
33 hrs 30 mins14 mins11 mins8 mins
44 hrs16 mins13 mins10 mins

How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes Of Golf?

How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes Of Golf

On average, it takes about three to four and a half hours to complete an 18-hole of golf. Besides, a group of professional golfers will take around 10 minutes to play a normal golf hole. However, it will take a group of average amateurs around 15 minutes to play the same hole. In terms of time, the time of day can also impact the length of a round of golf. It will be faster to finish a round of golf if you’re one of the first groups to play on the course. You’re most likely to complete a round of golf in four hours or less. However, the time required to finish a round of golf will be elongated as many groups get onto the course, most especially on busy weekend days. We’ve seen people taking as long as five hours to finish a round on hectic weekend days. 

How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes Of Golf With 2 Players? 

Play 9 Holes Of Golf With 2 Players

To finish 9 holes of golf, it will take two players about 75 minutes. Nonetheless, it is quite important to know that this stipulated time depends on whether the players will be riding with a golf cart or just walking. Also, the age of the golfers might be another influencing factor. On the other hand, it might take up to three hours to finish a 9-hole of golf on a busy course. 

Factors That Can Impact How Long Your Round Of Golf Takes

Several factors can influence the duration of a round of golf:

  1. Golf Skill: A player’s skill level can significantly affect pace. Experienced golfers tend to play faster as they make fewer shots and decisions.
  2. Course Difficulty: Courses with more hazards, longer holes, and challenging layouts can slow the game. Easier courses may speed it up.
  3. Group Size: Smaller groups typically play faster. A twosome or threesome can move through the course more swiftly than a foursome.
  4. Course Traffic: The number of players on the course affects pace. Busy days can result in slower play due to crowded fairways.
  5. Golfers’ Behavior: Courtesy and etiquette matter. Slow play can result from players not being ready, taking excessive practice swings, or lingering on the green.
  6. Course Conditions: Wet or poorly maintained courses can lead to delays, especially when carts are restricted to cart paths only.
  7. Waiting Time: Waiting for other groups ahead to clear the fairway, tee box, or green can extend the round.
  8. Course Management: Well-managed courses employ strategies to maintain a good pace, like course marshals, tee-time intervals, and efficient maintenance.
  9. In-Game Challenges: Lost balls, penalties, and searching for balls in rough can add time to a round.
  10. Playing Format: Different formats, like match play or scrambles, may have varying pace due to rules and strategies.
  11. Walk vs. Ride: Walking a course generally takes longer than riding in a golf cart.
  12. Tee Times: The interval between tee times set by the course can impact pace. Closer tee times may result in quicker play.
  13. Weather: Adverse weather conditions, such as rain or strong winds, can slow the game.
  14. Player Experience: Novice golfers may need more time to select clubs, line up shots, and navigate the course.
  15. Course Policies: Different courses have different policies and expectations regarding pace of play. Some enforce a specific pace of play to keep rounds moving efficiently.

Number Of Participants In Your Group

The time it takes to finish 18 holes of golf will naturally be influenced by the number of participants in a group. If you’re the only one out there playing, it will be much easier for you to complete 18 holes of golf within two and a half hours. The more the participants, the more time it will take to complete the round of golf. For each participant that’s added, the time to finish around would increase by almost 30 minutes. So, for a better explanation, on average, you should expect a group of two participants to finish around within three hours, a group of three participants would finish within 3 ½ hours, and a group of four participants would finish 18 holes of golf within four hours. 

How Long Should It Take To Play Each Hole?

Generally, there are three main types of holes on a typical golf course. They include par-3s, par-4s, and par-5s. As a serious golfer, it is good to be conversant with the time it will take to finish each hole. Try to adhere to the following times when you’re on the course so that you and your group members will be able to finish your round within four hours. 

Par-3 Hole: ten minutes (four par-3s take forty minutes)

Par-4 Hole: thirteen minutes (ten par-4s take two hours and ten minutes)

Par-5 Hole: sixteen minutes (four par-5s take one hour and four minutes)

The average total time it will take to complete 18 holes of golf is 4 hours.

Naturally, it should take about 3 hours and 54 minutes for playing time and 6 minutes for travel time from one hole to another. 

Riding In A Golf Cart VS. Walking

It might seem like riding in a golf cart would reduce the total time it will take to complete 18 holes of golf, but that’s not always true. When two players are riding in a cart, the first player would have to wait for the second player to hit his/her shot before he/she could ride the cart to his ball/hole and do the same. All the time each player has to wait for each other will increase the total time it should take to complete 18 holes of golf. Sometimes, it pays to walk. When players choose to walk, they will reach their ball faster without the need to wait for their playing partner.  

Factors Out Of Your Control

Some factors affect the time it takes to complete a hole that is just out of your control. There’s less to what you can do to avoid it. Factors like tee time intervals, course setup, and weather conditions are out of your control and they all affect the time it takes to finish 18 holes of golf. 

1. Tee Time Intervals

Generally, tee time intervals generally range anywhere from 8 minutes to 15 minutes. The thing is that most golf course managements are focused on generating more revenue through many rounds especially when the course is flooded with a lot of golfers. We’ve prepared some examples of typical tee time intervals to help you understand better.  

1. 7 Minutes and 8 Minutes Intervals: This type of interval gives room for up to 8 tee times within an hour, with about thirty-two participants on the course. 

2. 12-Minute Intervals: This type of internal gives room for up to five tee times within an hour, with about twenty participants on the course. 

3. 15-Minute Intervals (Uncommon): This type of interval gives room for up to four tee times within an hour, with sixteen participants on the course. 

Just like we’ve listed above, your time on the course could be impacted by the tee time intervals on the daily schedule. 

2. Course Difficulty / Set Up

The time it will take to finish 18 holes of golf can also be impacted by how the course is set up and maintained. As an average golfer, if you’re playing around on a course with a difficult setup, it will take you more time to finish and also result in higher scores. The time it takes to complete a round of golf will also be lengthened when you’re playing on a course with numerous water hazards, tree-lined fairways, or out-of-bounds. Generally, it is more difficult for amateurs to put on faster greens. As an amateur, the time it’ll take to complete a hole will be lengthened if you’re playing on a course with faster greens. 

3. Weather Conditions

The weather conditions during your time on the course would influence the time it will take to finish rounds of golf. Factors like wind, rain, and temperature would play a role in impacting the pace of play on the golf course. Naturally, the current temperature of the course you’re playing on will affect your ball flight. Warmer, drier conditions make the ball fly far for maximum distance while the ball might not fly as far as it should when the temperature drops. During the winter months, golfers wear extra layers of clothing to warm their bodies on the course. However, this additional clothing would restrict your swing, impacting your overall performance. It would be a smart move to practice golf in these conditions to be acquainted with them as the weather changes. 

The wind is also another limiting factor. It affects both the ball flight and also dry out the course. And when the course is dried up, you’ll find it difficult to hit the greens and fairways. When the fairway is dry, your well-placed driver could run off through the fairway into a water hazard, a bunker, or the rough. Greens are also less receptive to golf shots when they are dry out. This might result cause your ball to roll over the back of some greens. 

Lastly, the rain is a common influencing factor on the course. Take, for example, when a golf course is wet, it will definitely affect how far your ball will roll as it hits the ground. In some cases, we’ve seen balls staying put where it lands on the well-saturated fairways. Besides, when you’re playing around in the rain, you’ll have to deal with an umbrella, a dry glove, and a dry towel. Doing this will waste some time, which could lead to longer round times. Don’t forget that rain gear also restrict you from taking powerful swings. 

Closing Thoughts 

As we said earlier, the time it takes to finish 18 holes of golf is influenced by a number of factors. These factors include the number of players in a group, the time of day, weather conditions, course difficulty, tee time interval, age and skill levels of the participant, and movement of the participants(whether they are riding a golf cart or walking). But on average, it takes about three to four and a half hours to complete an 18-hole of golf. Besides, a group of professional golfers will take around 10 minutes to play a normal golf hole. We’ve reached the end of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know how long it takes to play 18 holes of golf. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!


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