How Long To Play 18 Holes of Golf?

After going to a course the first thing that pops up in a newbie’s mind is how long to play golf. But the question doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. It depends on certain factors.

This article will cover everything about the factors that are going to help you to estimate the average playtime of a round and some proven tips to improve your pace of play.

How long does a round of golf take?

On average it takes 3 and a half to 5 hours to play 18 holes of golf.  If we add the break time and warm-up it would consume half of your day. But if you are playing from the right tee and following some basic strategy you can fasten your round.

How long to play 18 holes of golf? 7 Things to consider

As I said before there are some considerable factors to estimate the length of a round. Let’s dive down to those factors.

Tee time Intervals

Tee time intervals can have a huge impact on the time of a round. Thankfully through online systems you can check the tee time intervals sheet and plan the day according to that.

Intervals can range between 7 to 16 minutes. If there is a full tea sheet and intervals are 7 or 8 minutes you should plan for a long round. On the contrary, if intervals are more than 10 minutes you can assume there are fewer players in the group and you can enjoy a fast pace of play.

Group members

If you are playing alone it may take 2 hours or a little more to finish a round (18 Holes).

Moreover, it usually takes 3 to 4 hours if you are playing with a group of 2 or 3 players where 4 and a half hours are reasonable expectations for a group of four.

Walking or Riding

Here’s you have to think smart. Usually, we think that riding in a golf cart will make rounds faster. But it’s not true all the time.

 If your ball is in the same direction as your cart path then riding in a golf cart can really be helpful to quicken your round. But if it’s in the other direction you wouldn’t have any option without a walk.

Before that just make sure you are carrying all the necessary clubs because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to repeat that walk to collect your leftover clubs.

If you are playing in a group of 3 or 4 members and sharing a golf cart you can use a buddy system. This will speed up your game.

Time & Weekday

Golf courses are usually jammed from 7 am to mid-afternoon and also on the weekends. If you play in the first group of the day you can likely finish your round in 4 hours or less.  

As the day progresses more groups came to the course and it takes longer to play a round. On a busy day, it may take 5 hours or more to complete a round.


Weather is an unavoidable factor in golf. It influences the average time of a round. For example, in dried conditions balls fly far more than in wet weather.

Rain can negatively impact your ball swing.  After the rain ball is stuck in the ground where it lands. Moreover, additional things like an umbrella, rain gear, and glove impact your swing and also add extra time to the round.

Winds impact the ball flight.

Variety and condition of the course

How long a round of golf will take also depends on what type of course you are playing. Course difficulty or setup also matters. If the course has more water hazards, trees no wonder it would take longer to complete a hole.

There are different types of golf courses like Par-3 course, Desert course, Stadium/Championship course, Regulation course and many more. These course’s setup and condition determine the length of a round.

Level of proficiency

In a group, the level of proficiency of golfers impacts the average time of a round.

How long do 18 holes of mini-golf take?

On average mini golf takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete a round (18 holes).  Factors like the number of group members, Course difficulty/setup, and Skill level of players determine the length of a round.

In case you have a short time you have another option to play 9 holes mini-golf that will take 15 to 20 minutes on average to complete around.

However, anyone can enjoy a better time playing golf on a miniature golf course, especially children. You can have a great family time playing mini-golf. Besides, it helps to improve your concentration, balance and spin.

Tips to improve pace of play in golf

Spending half of the day on a single round is really frustrating. So to make the game enjoyable for all a good pace of time is really important.  But it doesn’t mean you have to rush. All you have to do is be strategic and be aware not to waste time in the course. Here are some of the tips to improve your pace of play:

  1. Always arrive at the course before tee time and take preparation for your shot.
  2. Make a short, simple and effective pre-shot routine.
  3. Play from the tee set that matches your age and skill level.
  4. Try to park your golf cart close to the next tee box.
  5. Use a buddy system when you are sharing a golf cart.
  6. Keep an eye on the shot of each player to minimize the time for searching for the ball.
  7. You can also take a caddie.
  8. If you want to finish your round in a couple of hours you can play in a short course.

Final Thoughts

End of the day, golf is an amazing game. It becomes more enjoyable when everyone plays at a good pace. Try to help others to enjoy their game and maintain a good pace of play.

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