How Long to Play a Round of Golf? 6 Crucial Factors

golfer in blue shorts putting the ball

For a group of four golfers, a round of golf typically takes 3-5 hours to complete. Of course, that is just an estimate, as how long it takes to play a game of golf depends on multiple factors. 

One of the most notable factors that affect how long it takes to play a round of golf is the number of people playing in your group.

For a single skilled golfer, the time to play 18 holes can reduce dramatically to 2.5 hours since total golf swings affect the length of play.

More experienced golfers will swing less since their golf shots generally tend to go where they intend them to.

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf?

A group of four golfers can usually complete a round of 9 holes of golf in 1.5-3 hours. Golfing 9 holes is one of the most efficient ways to decrease your time on the course.

Most people don’t mind being on the course longer, but I have personally played golf rounds that have lasted 6+ hours.

Since golf is such a mental sport, playing a round of golf that lasts that long is extremely difficult.

Keeping your mind in the game and focused on your form only becomes more difficult when you are out in the sun for nearly 6 hours. 

Of course, the amount of time it takes to play 9 holes of golf, or 18 holes for that matter, entirely depends on a few different factors.

Factors that change how long it takes to play golf

There are a few key factors that affect the length it takes to play 18 holes of golf. Most notably:

  • The number of people in your group
  • The weather on the day you are playing
  • Skill levels of the golfers in the group
  • How busy the golf course is when you play
  • The difficulty of the golf course
  • Whether you are riding or walking

Playing with More People Affects The Length Of Playing a Golf Round.

Playing with more than yourself will multiply the time it takes to play each hole.

Just think about it; two people mean one extra person that has to chase their ball and take their next shot.

You can expect how long it takes to play each round of golf to increase according to each person playing in your group.

How Weather Lengthens Golf Rounds

length of golf in good weather

Have you ever golfed when it was windy out? Or when the rain started coming down and visibility became difficult?

Most golfers will have experienced this at one point or another. When the wind starts blowing and the rain starts falling, golf becomes even more difficult than it already is.

Poor weather can increase how long it takes to play a round of golf because your shots can become more erratic and less precise.

You may have to take an extra shot or even a mulligan if you cannot place the ball right where you want to.

Skill Level: How long it takes pro’s to play a round of golf

It takes the average professional golfer about 10 minutes to golf one hole. Multiply that by 18, and experienced golfers can golf 18 holes in 3 hours. 

Compared to professional golfers, amateurs can expect to golf each hole in about 15 minutes. Regardless of how good you are at the game is okay!

However, to be clear, most people who enjoy the game of golf are nowhere near the professional level.

That is the truth for most sports, even more so with a game as difficult as golf.

Getting better at golf is one reason you are reading this post right now and one significant way to increase how long it takes to play a round of golf.

Busy Courses Make Golf Rounds Take Longer

We have all had those moments of wondering where the course ranger is.

The group in front of you seems to have no idea what they are doing, and every hole, it looks like they only struggle more.

Being held up by the group in front of you is one of the main factors in how long it takes to golf 18 holes.

Knowing the best time to play at your preferred golf course is essential when you need to get a quick round in. 

Course Difficulty: One Controllable Way to Make Your Game Quicker

Have you ever played a course that you just can’t hit the fairway? There are many challenging courses out there.

Playing at a golf course that suits your skill level is one sure-fire way to not only get better at the game but make it more enjoyable. 

There are things you can do to make sure that you play any course according to your skill level.

By playing the tips, you are effectively playing the most challenging course available.

Playing from the tip of the course should only be reserved for those golfing in a tournament or professional golfers practicing for upcoming events.

You can reduce the amount of time you play a round of golf by using the beginner tee boxes, those tees that are one or two places ahead of the tips. 

Riding Vs. Walking

One sure way to quicken the pace of play is to utilize a golf cart when you play your round of golf, especially if you are a beginner.

Every golfer was once in your shoes, where every swing you take could send the golf ball somewhere other than the place you want it to go.

By using a golf cart, you can get to your ball much more quickly than you would by walking.

People who can drive the golf ball 300 yards or more may not want to walk to the ball after every drive.

Using a golf cart makes the game of golf much easier for experienced and beginner golfers alike.

Using a cart is even valid for professional golfers who are not playing in a professional tournament.


You can use many factors to control how long it takes to play a round of golf.

Many golfers would rather not spend all day playing, especially when you are just starting.

By playing at the least busy time, using a cart, and improving your golf game, you can certainly make that all-day event turn into something a bit more efficient.

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