How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take? An In-Depth Explanation

A long golf game is not something anyone enjoys watching. People cut the chores from their busy schedules and come to see matches just for the sake of enjoyment. But this enjoyment can quickly turn into a boring and tedious end-up if the play takes longer to reach a result. Even if there are interesting parts and nail-biting turnovers, it seems only a boring circus to fans.

Not only this, the golfer who took more time than average to complete the game loses fans. It’s because everyone is busy and wants a thrilling, rewarding experience that’s worth their money and time.

If you are a golfer and wish to have a strong reputation, try to finish the game in a short matter of time. But how can you do that? Knowing how long does 18 holes of golf take can help you compare and finish your play in a timely manner.

In this article, we will explore the answer to the question: how long does 18 holes of golf take and some tips to improve your round time.

How Long Does It Take to Play 18 Holes of Golf?

The time to play 18 holes of golf depends on various factors. But to give you a general idea, we have determined the average figure. The average playtime to complete an 18-hole play round takes 3 to 5 hours (when playing solo).

There is not a perfect figure because many distinct factors come into play in terms of golf round time. Some of them are in the player’s hand, and others are uncontrollable.

A shorter round or one under average gives a good pace, whereas a round longer than 5 hours is considered a slow day. The number one way to ruin your game enjoyment is to play slowly. Golf courses and fans hate slow play, so to win the fan’s hearts and games, aim to finish in 4 hours.

How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take for 4 Players?

A group of four will take longer to play 18 holes of golf. On average, a quadra will take almost 4 to 5 hours to golf 18 holes. Wondering why a group of 4 takes more time than a solo or a couple of buddies?

The number of golfers in a group can change the speedy momentum of the game. The more golfers on the course, the more time delays could be in your journey to 18 holes. One of the apparent reasons is that you will have to wait for each golfer to hit their shot and reach the next one.

How Long Should It Take to Play Each Hole?

A standard golf round takes 12 to 13 minutes for beginners and ordinary players to complete, thus if speed doesn’t change, a round of Golf 9 Holes might be completed in 108 to 117 minutes. A professional player could finish a round of golf in even less time because they could finish a round in 11 to 13 minutes.

The scenario would be totally different when a group is playing. For a group of four amateurs, it takes 15 minutes to golf a hole. If the group is full of four pro golfers, the time will decrease to 13 to 14 minutes.

Remember, all these values are taken out on an average scale. Numerous factors can change these values.

 What is the Average Time to Play 18 Holes of Golf With a Cart?

The usual playtime of 18 golf holes in a cart is around 3 hours. The game’s average value includes a flight of 4 golf players without extreme interruptions, long and slow play, etc.

The length of golf round time depends on how long you travel from one space to another. You can increase your play pace and relax your legs with a cart. Here’s the average time to play 18 holes of golf with a cart considering the different numbers of buddies playing on the course.

Number of GolfersAverage Time to Play 18 Holes of Golf
11.5h to 5h
22h to 5.5h
32.5h to 5.5h
43h to 6h

Factors That Affect The Time of Golf Round

Many factors impact the time to play 18-holes of golf. These variables make it difficult to predict exactly how long does it take to golf 18 holes. Here are the most common factors that come into play.

Group Size

If you are playing as a solo, you will golf 18 holes in less time. It’s because you will travel much faster alone than in a group of two, three or four golfers. Group size can greatly affect the round time.

Plus, if there are more golfers on your way to golf 18 holes, several interruptions will occur. Side conversation, ball searching and changing, tomfoolery, etc., can all impact your game’s pace.

Waiting Time on the Tee Box

The time intervals on the tee box is an unfortunate yet necessary fact of golf. Most golf courses have tee box time breaks of 8 or 12 minutes. It can add up to four or five minutes on each hole, depending on how long the wait is.

Golf Course Difficulty

Courses are of different types. The golf course’s difficulty impacts how long does 18 holes of golf take. Courses that contain long holes will obviously take up some time to play. Natural ground-lying obstacles such as bunkers, water hazards and thick rough will always slow down the pace of play.

Pro players have enough experience to combat these extra challenges. However, beginner or average players struggle and add up a significant amount of time to their overall play.

Time of Day

The golf course is crowded for a major part of the day, from 7 am to the afternoon. A busy course can decelerate the speed of your game. It’s because you have to wait for other golfers to complete their game.

Play later in the day, most probably two or three hours before the daylight winds up. That way, you can golf 18 holes faster. It’s not just a decided time of the day to play golf; instead, try to play whenever the course is less crowded.

Other Groups on the Course

The groups already playing on the course can also have a notable influence on your pace of play. For instance, the frustrating bottlenecks on the holes are a popular source of delay.

It can add up to waiting for 5 or more minutes to the time to golf 18 holes. To counter this, you can play your game on an off-peak schedule.

Player Skill Level

The skill level can have a profound impact on the pace of play. Newbie golfers take some more time to play than pro golfers. It’s because they have just entered the golf world and aren’t mastered hitting shots, swinging the club, and playing the game quickly. They take longer to hit accurate shots and move the ball across the golf course.

On the other hand, pros can quickly and efficiently put the ball into the hole. Even a busy crowd isn’t a problem for them.

Golf  Course Bookings

Clubs can overbook the course. It just contributes to the congestion of the golf course. When the course is busy and crowded, everyone will take longer to play.

To help newbies and average golfers, some clubs have set a time to play on courses. It will help unpressurized novice players and result in quick gameplay.

Walking or Riding on the Course

You can travel distances on a golf course to play 18 holes in two ways. One is to walk, and the other is to drive a golf cart. Walking the course can cause a significant dropoff in the play speed. It’s because everyone has a different walking speed, which can greatly impact the time round.

A cart is a distance-covering machine or vehicle used in golf for travelling purposes. On average, driving a cart can save you one hour. But all in all, it depends on you whether you choose to stick to walking or ride a cart on the course.

Golf Course Layout

The location of the tee box can also have a significant impact on the pace of play. Several golf courses have tee boxes located near the last hole’s green. However, some contain hard-to-reach tee boxes and add-on distance between holes.

Newer-built courses with other obstacles, such as houses or buildings, can extend the time between tees and greens.


Unstable weather conditions can delay the gameplay. Heavy rainfall can be an uncontrollable obstacle. Other than rainfall, high temperatures can heat up players. As a result, they quickly get worn out and sweltery.

Moreover, stormy winds can slow down the traveling speed of the ball, increasing the overall playtime.

How Long Does A Round of Golf Take?

Here’s a chart that indicates how long does a round of golf take.

No. of Golfers18 holesPar 5sPar 4sPar 3s
12.5 hrs10 min8 min7 min
23 hrs12 min10 min8 min
33.5 hrs14 min12 min9 min
44 hrs16 min13 min10 min

These values are taken out on an average scale. However, the expected times aren’t true for each round. The slow pace of play can impact rounds, taking it to 5 or 6 hours long. The fault for slow play isn’t the golfers; the factors we have discussed earlier alone just do more than half of the total work.

Why Is Round Time Crucial in Golf?

The round length is crucial for many reasons. For one, the slow play can hold up other golfers to wait. It contributes to their rising frustration, as they are also in the queue to play the game.

Moreover, the USGA doesn’t like slow games. That’s why the association has set up several rules in the golf book that encourage fast play. For instance, the golfer has only 40 seconds to play the stroke. Additionally, if a golfer behaves unethically and delays the game for no reason, he can be fined or suspended.

In 2012, the National Golf Foundation researched that an 18-hole golf played during busy hours took around 4 hours and 16 minutes to complete. However, numerous games on crowded public golf courses take five or more hours. This slow pace of play can demotivate new golfers and cause a big dropoff in the golf fanbase.

How to Improve Your Round Time?

Wondering how you can improve your round time? Well, as a golfer, you would surely want to reduce the round playtime. Fortunately, there are some trusted techniques that can considerably increase your pace of play. Here’s how to apply them while being on the course:

●     Keep Moving Continuously: Don’t get distracted between your way from tee to green. Keep moving continuously rather than chatting to your golf buddies at off-course locations such as

●     Be Prepared to Hit a Shot: Try to calm down and get relaxed before a minute your turn rolls around. This way, you will get better assistance from your brain, and you can hit the shot more accurately and quickly.

●     Find the Ball Too Early: Many of us know that a golfer gets 3 minutes to find the lost ball. However, you can save this time and get your ball in two or even one minutes. The key is to hit the ball in a way that it doesn’t get lost.

●     Opt for a Cart: As mentioned earlier, a cart can shave up to one hour in total of your playtime. Drive a cart to travel through distances. It will also help your legs to get relaxed and prevent you from getting tired quickly.

●     Observe Your Partners: See how your partners are going faster than you. Watch their playing technique; if it’s worth noting, imitate your partner to play faster.

●     Plan Ahead: After you hit the ball, don’t just relax on the course. Instead of waiting for your fellow golfers to take their shots, plan your next shot. Observe the next holes and decide how you can hit the ball so it will go in it. By utilizing this free time, you can prepare to take action and hit the next shot as quickly as possible.

●     Walk With Your Group: Do your best to keep pace with your group. It will minimize the gap between you and your group buddies. This is a great way to measure your overall play speed and ensure you will never slow down than your group.

●     Don’t Try Extra Practice Swings: All golfers practice swing moves before the actual swing. However, they may be unfamiliar with the fact that doing four or more practice swings can burn their energy. The good idea is to perform two or three practice swings. If your practice swing hits perfectly, immediately play your actual shot.

How Much Do You Walk in a Round of 18 Holes?

First of all, let’s clear the question. There are different types of walking on the course. These include walking by your legs, driving a cart, hiring a caddie, or using pushcarts. Whichever type you are referring to, each can burn many calories of a golfer.

If you are playing a round of 18 holes, you can expect to walk around 7 to 8 km. The distance will remain the same even if you use a cart or any other method to travel through holes. It means you have to travel the same 7 to 8 km distance with each method. However, the time to reach from one hole to another can be reduced with a cart or caddie.

The number of calories a golfer can burn during an 18-hole round ranges from 1500 to 2000. It is average when a player is walking through his legs. If a golfer uses a cart or any other method of easy travel, this number can be reduced by 500-1000.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)

Wrapping Up

If each golfer understands their responsibility for the game, everybody on the course can play their game on time. Keeping a spy eye on your average playtime to pass each hole can help you get a quicker pace of play. It will also ensure your game is efficient and remarkable.

It’s always better to have a crystal clear view of how you will play before stepping on the course. There are numerous tips from which you can streamline your game. With these tips, you can finish your golf game in a short time without sacrificing quality. Follow these tips to streamline your golf playtime. Remember that short golf time always seems appealing to the fans.

Jake Paul