How Long Does a Round of Golf Take on Average?

One of the toughest obstacles for many people when it comes to golfing is finding enough time to play a full round. Even a simple 9 holes of golf can take quite a while to play through, never mind a full 18-hole round. If you're wondering how long a game of golf should last on average, here's what you need to know.

Warm-Up

While some people like to head to the golf course and get started right away, others like to warm up a bit before playing an actual round of golf. If you're planning on warming up at the driving range for a while, you will need to make sure you factor that into how much time you're going to spend at the golf course.

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Number of Holes

The number of holes you're playing has a major effect on how long a round of golf takes. Most casual golfers prefer to play a quick 9-hole round because it doesn't take as long. With a small group of golfers, a 9-hole course can be completed in about two hours, depending on the pace of play.

If you want to spend a little more time out on the course, you can play a full 18 holes of golf. Playing 18 holes of golf usually takes around 3-1/2 to 4 hours, depending on how many players you have, and how quickly you're playing through each hole.

Number of Players

Of course, the number of players has a huge effect on how long a round of golf takes on average. While you and your buddy might be able to play through an 18-hole course in a fairly short period of time, it's going to take a lot longer if you add 2 or 3 players to the mix. If you want to cut down on the time it takes to play through a round of golf, one of the best ways to do this is to play with a smaller group.

Skill Level

Skill level plays a big role in how long it takes to play through a round of golf. The better the players in your group are, the quicker you'll make it through each hole, and the shorter your rounds will be. However, it's important that you don't feel any pressure to play quickly because you aren't as skilled as other players. It is also important not to make the mistake of thinking speed equates directly to skill, as golf is a game that requires deliberate choices and decisions, which can in turn take time. If you do find that other golfers are catching up to you and waiting on you to play a hole, you can always let them play through.

Traffic

There are times when the course you play on is going to be busier, which is going in turn to slow down the overall pace of play. Remember, it is important to be courteous to other golfers when the course is busy; if somebody is catching up to you, let them play through. If you're catching up to another group of golfers, try not to rush them.

Walking vs. Riding

Walking from hole to hole is a great way to get a good amount of exercise, but it's not the way everybody prefers to golf. If you want to make your rounds of golf go a little bit quicker, consider renting a golf cart or two to travel from hole to hole. It is generally best practice to rent one golf cart per two people you have in your group.

The reality is that a round of golf is always going to take a decent amount of time. Even if you're a skilled golfer playing in a small group, you're still going to have to spend a couple hours to finish a round. If you're planning on heading to your local golf course, make sure you set aside two to four hours, so you can comfortably finish a game, and enjoy yourself while doing so.