How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take?

Did you know that besides slow play, many other reasons spoil your time at the golf course? The day of the week, the time of the day and the number of players can affect your golf play.

Suppose that’s the case; how long does 18 holes of golf take? Generally speaking, an average round takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes.

It’s worth noting that a shorter round conveys an excellent pace of play. On the other hand, a longer one is regarded slow day.

While several factors can slow your performance, you can do something to accelerate your golf play.

And the delighting news is that the post below intends to tell you more about playing 18 holes. Continue reading about what 18 holes is all about below.

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How Long Should It Take To Play Each Hole?

How Long Should It Take To Play Each Hole?

On average, it takes about 15 minutes for four amateur golfers to complete a regular golf hole.

Several factors can minimize this duration; many factors are out of your control. Such factors include weather conditions, course setup/difficulty, and how other golfers play.

Here are the three different types of holes:

Par-5 Hole: 16 minutes

Par-4 Hole: 13 minutes

Par-3 Hole: 10 minutes

How Long Does 18 Holes Take When You’re Playing Alone?

How Long Does 18 Holes Take When You’re Playing Alone?

Playing 18 holes alone for more than four hours is incredibly slow. But, it’s great if it takes you only three hours.

Meanwhile, more than three hours and thirty minutes are long if you use a cart.

How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take For Two Players?

It takes two hours for two players to complete 18 holes of golf.

How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take For Three Players?

It takes three and a half hours for three players to finish 18 holes of golf.

How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take For Four Players?

It takes four hours for four players to finish 18 holes of golf.

How Long Does 18 Holes Take When You’re Playing In A Group?

A standard golf hole will take a group of players approximately 15 minutes to finish.

This duration corresponds to an 18-hole round of golf, taking anywhere from four hours and thirty minutes.

Factors Out of Golfer’s Control

1. Weather Conditions

Weather Conditions

The wind speed, the rain’s intensity, and temperature can affect your game experience, significantly affecting your pace. High winds can make the golf course dry, making lawns and fairways more challenging to hit.

Rain can affect your time on the golf course; playing golf while wearing rain protection can restrict your swing. Additionally, a wet golf course affects how the ball rolls when it hits the ground.

Drier conditions are ideal for optimal distance; therefore, when the temperature is dry, it can affect ball flight. As you might already know, the ball won’t fly as far as it would on a warmer day.

Similarly, wearing extra layers of clothing during cold seasons can restrict your swing, affecting your overall performance.

Consider practicing in these weather conditions to be well-prepared when the weather changes.

Read more: Can You Play Topgolf in a Lightning Storm?

2. What makes a round longer or shorter?

Playing four hours and thirty minutes in an empty golf course is strangely low. Three hours and thirty minutes of play are easy with a cart and without other groups playing.

Nevertheless, expect a five-hour round with lots of other golfers around and other obstructions.

3. Tee Time Intervals

Tee Time Intervals

8 to 12 minutes apart is the usual tee time interval for most golf courses. Speed of play is faster when golfers tee off 12 minutes apart than at eight-minute intervals.

Regularly waiting on shots happens when you tee off eight minutes after four golfers in front of you. Indeed, fast tee times result in bottlenecks, generally a brief stretch of a few challenging holes.

More spaced-out tee times allow forgiveness for lost balls, foul shots, and other obstructions. And, since not many golfers are on the course, waiting as long as no one pressures you are unnecessary.

4. Is the time of day necessary?

The course is busiest from 7 in the morning to mid-afternoon, slowing down your pace since it’s crowded.

Your round is likely faster later in the day. But make sure to complete with less than an hour before sunset. Unfortunately, some golfers also prefer playing at this time when the temperature has dropped, affecting your pace of play.

5. Course Traffic

Golfers can wait five minutes on each tee box before setting out the hole on crowded golf courses. Adding this to the standard ten to fifteen minutes for each hole could amount to almost six hours.

That said, you must learn some of the necessary things to do to avoid course traffic.

6. Course Difficulty or Set Up

A correctly set up and well-maintained golf course can help you speed up your pace of play. However, a complex setup can make hitting harder for an average golfer.

Course difficulty usually results in more time on the golf course and higher scores. Unfortunately, courses with water hazards and other obstructions can extend the time it takes to finish a round of golf.

Many beginners find faster greens more challenging to putt, impacting the time it takes to finish a hole.

7. Day of the Week

Most golfers play golf on the weekends, making the golf course crowded on those days.

Consider fixing your schedule on weekdays to avoid crowded courses on weekends.

Things I Can Do that Affect Pace of Play

1. Lost ball protocol

A lost ball not found by the golfer or caddie within three minutes means you have lost your golf ball.

In this case, you must play a ball under the penalty of a single stroke. In this case, you must play a ball under the penalty of a single stroke. You’ll play the ball at the area where you last played the original golf ball.

2. How do I select the tees I play?

Hit your driver below 200 yards and play from the nearest tee. This technique will help you detect which tee box is suitable for you.

You should be playing the most distant tees back if you’re hitting 275 or more precisely.

3. The ” ladies” tees

“Ladies tees” is the term most golfers use for the lowest total yardage. These tees are forward and secured for golfers who score the highest, regardless of gender.

Being The Group Causing Slow Play

When playing, remind yourself that you’re not the only one playing a round of golf. Being a responsible golfer is vital, considering that all players want to play quicker rounds.

1. The skill of the golfers in the group

A group of high handicap golfers will finish much slower than a group of lower handicap players.

A longer round is caused by more time you consumed searching. This time refers to situations when players couldn’t hit the ball straight constantly.

2. Ready golf

Ready golf means preparing to hit your shot, regardless of who’s the farthest or closest. You should consider this technique when a group of players gets over a full hole ahead of you.

This approach helps accelerate your pace of play and shuts the gap between you and other players ahead of you.

3. Number of players in your group

Number of players in your group

One player could play as quickly as the golfers in front allow. One player is unlikely to complete a golf round in 2 hours or less.

Twosome and threesome usually take three to four hours to finish a round of golf. This duration mainly depends on the pace of the groups ahead of them.

Meanwhile, it could take four or four and a half hour for four players to complete a round of golf.

4. Waving a group up

Mark and shift to the side after every player in your group hit the ball on par 3s. Afterward, wave to the other group behind you to allow them to hit their tee shots while walking.

Remember, it’s essential to hit the ball softly. This approach keeps any group from waiting too long on the tee box, avoiding obstruction on the next hole.

5. When do I write my group’s scores?

We don’t recommend noting your group’s scores down while on the putting green. Ask your playing partners on the next tee to note the scores while other players tee off.

This technique lets the group behind you hit onto the putting green. It helps your group and other groups sustain an equitable pace of play.

Things You Might Not Have Considered

1. Why skilled golfers take longer?

Skilled players take more time on each shot but take fewer shots. They use intelligent strategies and don’t merely go from one spot to another.

Golfers are given 40 seconds per shot, and skilled players savor every moment. Their careful preparation when other golfers hit their shot keeps their pace of play from going bad.

2. Why a round of golf gets faster as you improve?

You can enjoy quicker rounds as long as you practice your swings often. In the same way, faster rounds are guaranteed when you don’t stand over putts for over a few seconds.

3. Calling your order in for the turn

You can prevent any obstructions on your turn by letting the bar know your order in advance. Inform them when you have a few more holes to play and your spot on the course.

4. Is a cart essential?

Is a cart essential

Using a cart on an empty golf course is advantageous in that it helps set your pace. Furthermore, a golf cart is ideal for keeping your legs fresh when the golf course is crowded.

It helps you remain cool on a warm day and preserve energy. However, it won’t help much in your pace of play.

Read more: 10 Best Golf Bags for Push Carts

How Will The New Rules Minimize The Duration of Time A Round of Golf Takes?

Time A Round of Golf Takes

1. Plugged or embedded ball

Players are now permitted to drop the ball quickly behind the area the ball was embedded. This is regardless of the area on the course the ball settled.

2. How to drop the ball

Golfers can now drop the ball from knee height. The goal is to accelerate the play by allowing the dropped ball to remain within the allowed two-club-length drop spot.

3. Search time

The time a golfer can search for their lost ball is minimized by 40%. As a result, players only have three to five minutes of search time.

4. Putting the flagstick in the hole is allowed now.

Putting the flagstick in the hole is allowed now to prevent obstructions in a round of golf.

The removal and putting back of flagsticks now and then are one of the major causes of delays.

5. The pace of play recommendations

Golfers take their shot not over 40 seconds after the period they should have been prepared to golf.


1. Can you play 18 holes of golf in two hours?

Playing 18 holes of golf in two hours is possible for advanced or experienced golfers. It’s critical to play in favorable weather conditions and know the golf course well.

It commonly takes roughly four hours to play an entire par-72 course. However, you can finish a par-3 course with 18 holes in approximately a couple of hours.

2. What about the time it takes for a round of golf on the PGA Tour?

Pro golfers usually take roughly ten minutes per hole. Hence, it takes approximately three to four and thirty minutes to finish an 18-hole round on a PGA tour.

3. How long does 18 holes take with a cart?

It usually takes one hour of the regular course time to play 18 holes with a cart. This is regardless of the usual factors affecting your pace.


Did you find this post about “How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take” informative? As discussed, several factors can minimize the duration it takes to complete a round of golf.

It’s essential to be a responsible golfer and remember that everyone wants to enjoy a quicker round. Every player should sustain a good pace of play by incorporating valuable strategies.

Undoubtedly, it helps you learn the new rules and the factors out of your control. This way, you can accelerate your pace of play and keep things moving for other golfers.

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