May 20, 2022

How Long Does 9 Holes of Golf Take?

In this post we’ll examine the question as old as time itself, how long does 9 holes of golf take? Okay, that was probably an overstep – but it’s still good to know in order to be properly prepared!

Although no one wants to rush a round of golf, a game that we assume we all love, we completely understand that it can be quite a time-consuming game. There are some rounds of golf that are so long that they take two days to finish! 

With schedules jam-packed and free time scarce, you’re here to know how long it takes to play 9 holes of golf to see if you can fit it in your day. Well, ask no more because, in this article, we’ll answer that question along with some tips on how to keep your game within a timeframe.

How Long Does 9 Holes of Golf Take? 

Instead of timing your games and coming up with an average yourself, the United States Golf Association (USGA) has actually answered this question for you. They commissioned a survey wherein they found that a round of 18-holes in golf would take around 4 to 4 and a half hours to finish.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that a game of only 9 holes would be about half of that, around 2 hours give or take.

There are several factors that could increase or decrease this though:

  • The size of the group
  • The terrain of the course
  • Your overall pace of play can influence the amount of time you spend on a course
  • And a few other things we’ll get into below

Factors That Make a Round Go Longer

Let’s take a deeper look!

Course congestion

Congested Golf Course

The number of people using the golf course can seriously extend your play time. If you should decide to play a round of golf during the course’s busiest hours, you should expect long wait times between holes and harder maneuverability overall. 

The peak hours of the course are usually around lunchtime towards closing. If you want a quick game, then maybe play in the morning right after opening. This will leave the course wide and open for you and your friends to move around freely. 

Course difficulty 

Golf Sand Trap

If you decided to play on an infamously difficult course, with lots of hazards and pars, then you shouldn’t expect a quick game by any stretch of the imagination.

The harder the course is to play, the longer it’s going to naturally take.

The size of the group

One thing that the survey conducted by the USGA found is that the game gets even longer the more players there are. Though this is intuitive information to say the least, they actually found that every additional player adds about 30 minutes to the game. 

So where a round with two players would take around 2 hours or less, three players would make the game about 2 hours and 30 minutes long. What more if you’re playing as a group of 6? If you want a quick and easy game, we would suggest you keep the amount of players as minimal as possible.

The skill level of the group

If you have newbies in the group, or a beginner yourself, the game will last longer as a result of one or more of you still learning the ropes, even if you played only Par-3 courses all throughout.

What more if you play courses with long holes, thick rough, bunkers, water hazards, etc. These, as expected, add strokes for even the most experienced of players. For novices, they might as well serve as unscalable mountains. 

But then again, you can’t run progress and the only way golfers learn to play quickly is by playing as often as possible.

Travel time between holes

Whether you’re walking or riding on a cart, the time you spend traveling between holes is going to impact the amount of time you’re playing on the course. This can either increase or decrease depending on the course layout and how congested it is.

It’s also important to point out that taking a cart doesn’t automatically make the game go farther. With a jam-packed course, your cart is confined to the pathways. There’s also the waiting for your other players to arrive to take their shot. Sometimes just walking is the fastest way to get from point A to B.

How To Make a Round Go Faster

Here’s what you should consider

No Breaks

If you’re serious about ending the game as quickly as possible, then taking as little breaks as possible between holes is essential to keep things moving along. If breaks are absolutely essential, then ensure they don’t go beyond 5 minutes.

Play On the Proper Tees

Probably one of the most important things a player can do to shorten the game is to play in the proper tees. This means only playing from the tee box that best suits your skill level and driving ability. If you’re unsure about what distance is best for you, then take your average driving distance and multiply it by 25 to get the proper length of course for you. That means if you average a 250-yard drive, a 6,250-yard golf course is perfect for you.

Use The Golf Cart Efficiently

Golf Cart

A good strategy for this is to drive up to a rider’s golf ball and drop him/her off there.

Then drive to the other rider’s golf ball. This minimizes waiting time between shots.

Ready Golf

Ready golf is the idea that players need not go by the traditional order of play that’s based on the player farthest from the hole and instead play as soon as you’re ready to go (within reason).

That will save up to 30 minutes per round.

In Conclusion…

And that was all you needed to know about how long it takes to play 9 holes of golf.

Golf is an infamously long game that requires patience, great decision-making, and a whole lot of walking around.

You should be aware of this before ever picking up your first club.

But if you’re in a pinch for time, but would still like to squeeze in a fun round, then you finally know how to do it.

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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