How Long Does a Round of Golf Take? (9 & 18 Holes)

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 04/26/22

Wondering how long a typical round of golf takes?

This is a question that many people ask, and it can be difficult to give an accurate answer.

The time it takes to play a round of golf depends on the course, the player’s experience level, and how many holes they are playing.

In this blog post, we will take a look at how long it takes to play 9 and 18 holes of golf, and what factors can affect the length of a round of golf.

How Long Does It Take to Play Par 3s, Par 4s & Par 5s?

Each hole has a specific pace of play guideline for how long it should take on the scorecard.

It comes down to multiple different factors, but the main thing that varies is how many strokes it takes to complete a hole.

Depending on if you’re playing a par three, four, or five, then this will affect how long it should take you to play each hole and therefore the whole round of golf.

For your typical foursome, here’s how long each hole should take:

But since no two holes in golf are the same, these times will vary and will be stated on the scorecard for your reference.

How Long Does It Take to Play 9 Holes of Golf?

A typical nine-hole round of golf should somewhere between one and a half hours to two and a half hours, depending on how many golfers you’re playing with.

If you’re playing in a threesome, twosome, or even solo, you should expect the round to take less time.

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

A typical eighteen-hole round of golf will take between three to five hours, again depending on how many golfers you have in your group.

If you’re playing in a threesome, twosome, or even solo, you should expect the round to take less time.

Factors That Impact How Long A Round of Golf Will Take

Course type

If you’re playing a par 3 or executive course, it will generally take less time than playing a full-length course since the holes are shorter and should take less time.

While you’re expected to walk on courses like this, the pace should still be much faster.

Length of the course

Each course is unique and has its own layout, but the length of a course will affect how long it takes to play.

For example, if you’re playing on a shorter course with more par threes than par fives, then the round should take less time than an average round.

And on the other hand, if you’re playing on a longer course with more par fives than par threes, then the round should take more time than an average round.

Course difficulty

If the course you’re playing is difficult, it will generally take longer to play since you’ll need more strokes to finish the round.

This includes having more hazards and obstacles on the course, as well as tighter fairways and harder greens.

Weather and course conditions

If there are bad weather conditions like rain, high winds, or even extreme heat, this can impact how long it takes to play.

The course conditions will also be affected by the weather and could have mud on parts of the fairway or greens that need extra time to navigate through.

Golfers skill level

If you’re an experienced golfer, then it will take less time to play a round of golf than if you were a beginner.

Since beginners need more practice and make more mistakes, they usually take longer to complete each hole and therefore the course as well.

How many people are in your group

The more people in your group, the longer it will take to play a round of golf.

This is simply because there are more people to wait on and takes longer for each person to hit their ball.

So if you’re looking to shave some time off your next round, try playing with fewer golfers if the course you’re playing allows it.

Walking or riding

If you’re using a golf cart throughout your round, it should take less time than if you were to walk the course.

While this isn’t always the case and doesn’t make a huge difference, a golf cart will typically help you get to your ball faster and keep the pace moving.

Course congestion

If the golf course is full of players, you’ll likely have to wait longer on each hole and for your turn to hit.

So if you’re looking to play as fast as possible, try playing on a weekday or during off-peak hours.

I’ve had rounds where I’ve had to wait 5-10 minutes to tee off each hole, which makes the round drag and feel like it’s taking forever.

Playing a more expensive golf course will help you avoid this issue.

How you can speed up your pace of play

Choose the club before you’re at the ball

While you don’t want to rush your shots, especially if it’s a critical one that could affect the outcome of the round, take some time before each shot to plan how you’ll hit it.

You can do this while walking up to your ball or while waiting for others in your group to hit.

This will help speed up the process and you won’t have to spend time thinking about the club you want to use when you reach your ball.

Limit your practice swings

Beginners tend to take a lot of practice swings to try and get the perfect swing before stroking the ball.

While this is important, you can save time by taking a maximum of two practice swings when addressing the ball.

In most cases, one swing should be enough, and you should never take three practice swings.

Record scores on the next hole

After completing a hole, golfers tend to linger around near the green while recording their scores.

This delays the group behind you and slows down the pace of play.

While you can’t avoid recording scores entirely, try to do it on the next tee box so you can speed things up a bit more.

Limit time looking for lost balls

When you lose a ball, it’s very tempting to look for it for a few minutes and see if you can find it.

While that’s okay when no one is waiting on you, try not to spend more than a minute searching and then take an unplayable lie or drop one if you’re playing in a tournament and couldn’t find it.

Book a tee time

If you’re not comfortable playing with a group or want to play at your own pace, book a tee time.

This will guarantee that the course won’t be too crowded and you can play without having to wait on anyone.

So if you’re looking for an excuse to take some extra time off work, try booking a late afternoon tee time during the week and you’ll probably have the course to yourself.

Playing during non-peak hours will help you play much faster than if you were to play on a Saturday morning.

Play ready golf

This is a newer rule that has been implemented to speed up the game during casual rounds.

Basically, it means that you can hit your ball as soon as you’re ready, instead of waiting for the golfer furthest away from the hole to hit first.

Most groups are okay with this since it speeds up the game for everyone.

Allow groups to play through

If you’re playing on a busy course and there are groups waiting behind you, let them play through.

This is another rule that helps to speed up the game for everyone.

It’s common courtesy to let faster groups play through and it won’t take much time out of your round while saving them a lot of time.

Use gimmies in casual play

If you’re playing with friends and have a short putt that’s less than two feet, it’s common for players to pick up the ball instead of putting it out (known as a “gimmie”).

This should only be done in casual play, and you should never do this in a competitive round.

However, if you’re playing with strangers or want to avoid any confusion, it’s best to always putt out.

Final thoughts

This post should help you understand how long a round of golf will take, whether you’re playing 9 or 18 holes.

Remember to use some of these tips to speed up the process, and if you’re still having trouble, try booking a tee time during non-peak hours so the course is as empty as possible.

Golf can be a slow game at times, but following these tips will help you play much faster without sacrificing your enjoyment of the round.

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.