May 17, 2022

How Long Do 18 Holes Of Golf Take?

How Long Do 18 Holes Of Golf Take?

In this post, we’ll cover just that! Not that anyone is counting but a standard game of 18 holes can take a really long time.

Many factors contribute to the fact that, in some cases, a round like that can take upwards of 5 hours!

If you’re an avid golfer who’s in it for the long haul then this should not be a problem for you.  But if you’re a person with a busy schedule, a deadline to meet, or even to attend, it can be hard for you and your friend/s to gauge whether or not you could fit in a game of golf. 

That being said, you probably want as close a ballpark time frame as possible.

How Long Do 18 Holes Of Golf Take? 

Want to know how long 18 holes of golf take?

Ever wondered what you can do to speed the game up? Do golf carts really help?

Well, question no more because, in this article, we’ll answer all those questions and more!

How long does it take on average?

You don’t have to do any survey taking or heavy arithmetic to get an answer for this. The United States Golf Association (USGA) already commissioned a study for this! 

According to their findings, a round of 18 holes can average around four hours on weekdays and average four hours and thirty minutes on weekends. It takes longer during the weekends due to the large influx of other golfers using the course. 

Furthermore, the time of the day you choose to begin can also affect how long you play. If, for instance, you’re the first team on the course, then you might be finished in less than four hours. But as the day pushes on, and more and more golfers come to use the course, the game time only gets longer.

How long does it take to play each hole?

18 Hole Course

Let’s get into some specifics. If you’re a group of 4 and you’d like to be done playing in 4 hours or a little less, then you’ll likely be spending the following amount of time per hole type:

  • Par-3 Hole: 10 minutes (4 par-3s = 40 minutes)
  • Par-4 Hole: 13 minutes (10 par-4s = 2 hours and 10 minutes)
  • Par-5 Hole: 16 minutes (4 par-5s = 1 hour and 4 minutes)

Par-3s, par-4s, and par-5s are the typical types of holes found on most golf courses. Now, allotting 6 minutes of travel time between the holes, you’d be finished at exactly 4 hours. 

Do more players make the game go longer?

Yes, it does. With each player added to the group, more time needs to be added since that player is… well, playing! On average, an added member of the team will result in an additional 30 minutes of your game time. 

So if you’re a group of 2, you guys could be done in about 3 hours more or less. A group of 3 makes it 3 hours and 30 minutes; a group of 4 is 4 hours and so on. 

Will riding in carts help?

Golf Cart

It does depend. If it’s just you and one other friend then chances are a golf cart speeds things up nicely so long as the cart can accommodate two riders. If, however, the golf cart does not accommodate more than one at a time, that means your friend/s will probably have to follow you in another cart.

Whoever gets to the hole first will have to wait for the other to arrive, the waiting is what adds to the game time. 

Strangely, walking is the faster option in this scenario since each player can walk directly to their ball without having to wait on their playing partner.

Other factors:

Here are some other factors, mostly uncontrollable, that can also affect how long 18 holes of golf takes:

  1. Weather

Wind and rain can impact a golf game unlike anything else. If the weather conditions are unfavorable, then you’re gonna have to deal with it as best you can or come back on fairer days.

  1. Tee Time Intervals

Golf operators try to maximize the number of rounds per day possible to generate more revenue, especially during peak seasons. This leads them to impose Tee Time Intervals. This is the time that the course establishes the daily play schedule between tee times. Intervals can range anywhere from eight minutes to 15 minutes. The less time of the intervals, the more players you can expect on the course. 

  1. Setting Up

There’s no easy way around setting up. We all have that one friend who takes forever to get everything in place before he or she takes a swing. 

  1. Course Difficulty

The harder the course, the longer it will take. That’s just a fact of learning through trial and error. It’ll take time before you manage to conquer a course like that, many balls will go missing, so patience is key.

How to speed things up:

Here are some of the recommended ways you and your friend/s can save time and make a round of 18 holes go faster:

  • Arrive Early

If you arrive at least 45 minutes early before tee time, then you should have enough time to check in and warm-up before it’s your team’s turn. This allows you to get a good start on the game once it’s time and keep the ball rolling from there.

  • Try Tee It Forward

A joint initiative between the USGA and the PGA of America, it’s a program that encourages players to play from a set of tees best suited to their driving distance.

  • Try Ready Golf

Ready golf is a style that lets you do away with the “honor system” of formal golf. Here, players should be ready to play their shot when it is their turn and should not be afraid to play out of turn. 

  • Know your handicap

If you’re new, it’s time to figure out your handicap!

Handicaps, if we’re being honest, are a downright mind-boggling Golf scoring system that are more tedious than anything else. Countless beginners struggle to fully grasp the concept while those who don’t play golf know nothing about it and why it matters.

Despite this, there’s sadly no way around it.

Bottom Line…

Golf is a time-consuming game for good reason. It requires patience, commitment, and a marriage between a calculating mind and muscle memory. Rushing it would be a disservice. 

That being said, should you find that the game could go a little faster, or you’re pressed for time but can’t help playing at least one round, then now you know how to speed things along. 

About the author 

Linda Parker

My name is Linda Parker, I’ve been around golf since I was born, and I’ve been golfing since I was four years old!

I’m here to share my love of the game with you, so please do let me know if you have any questions!

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