how long do 18 holes of golf take

How Long Do 18 Holes of Golf Take? Your Questions Answered

There’s no easy way to determine out how long a game of golf takes. Though, one thing is for sure: no one wants to spend six hours out on the green.

Even if you love golfing, either as a sport or a hobby, taking too much time can take the fun out of the game.

So, how long do 18 holes of golf take? Let’s find out!

How Long Do 18 Holes of Golf Take?

On average, you shouldn’t take more than four hours playing any course. Yet, it’s not exactly set in stone, so it depends on your skill as a golfer, as well as the type of golf course you’re playing.

So, typically, an 18-hole game that takes less than four hours is considered a good play time. However, there are several factors that can determine a play time, such as:

  • Group size
  • Transportation mode
  • Course length and difficulty
  • Tee time
  • Weather conditions
  • Skill level

How Long Should a Group Take to Do 18 Holes?

Playing time between a single player versus a group of players makes a huge difference. A good rule of thumb is adding half an hour for every additional player in your group.

For example, it may take you three hours if you’re playing with someone else. Yet, if your group has three players, you can complete the course in over three and a half hours, and so on.

Of course, these are just rough estimates. Keep in mind that other factors, such as weather conditions, skill levels, and track congestion, can make your time on the green last much longer.

How Does Walking vs. Riding a Cart Affect Play Time?

It makes sense that riding a cart can get you faster to your destination. However, you may find that walking can take even less time than riding a cart when trying to reach your golf ball.

This is especially true with courses that have specially designed cart paths because they tend to steer you farther from where you want to go. Thus, riding in a cart can be more time-consuming and will add extra time to your game.

Do Course Length and Difficulty Matter?

Professional golf courses can extend to more than 7,000 yards, while shorter courses are only about 6,000 yards. So, it’s obvious that larger courses take more time to complete.

Course difficulty also impacts your duration. Sometimes, courses will have hilly terrains or various other hurdles that make it harder to move across the green.

When Is the Best Tee Time?

Knowing when to tee can determine the pace of your game.

The best tee time depends on the club’s average tee interval. Shorter time intervals can mean longer waiting times in the course. On the other hand, longer intervals can give you a smoother pace with less wait.

Ideally, you’ll want to play in 12-minute intervals. You can still tee off after 8 minutes, but it can lead to bottlenecks, especially if you’re going after a foursome.

Most golfers also complain that they have to wait for five minutes on average to get their turn. However, this waiting time can add up quickly if it happens in every range.

Another thing to consider is whether you’re playing on weekdays or weekends. Expect to see more players during the weekend, which means the course will be more congested and play time will be slow-paced. So, if you want to enjoy a shorter playing time, hit the golf course on the weekdays.

How Does Weather Affect Play Time?

Every golfer agrees that a rainy day isn’t ideal for golfing. The water saturates the course, making it harder to complete rounds.

Moreover, you’ll have to take along extra items, such as umbrellas or towels to keep yourself dry. It’ll also be hard to go from one place to another because the paths are wet and slippery.

So, always check the forecast before heading to the greens. If it’s rainy, it’s better to wait until the weather clears up.

Do Golfers With Higher Skill Levels Play Faster?

You may think that golfers with higher skill levels play faster. Yet, the opposite is true. While they take fewer strokes, pro players spend more time strategizing their play.

According to the USGA rules, you should complete a stroke in 40 seconds. Yet, amateur golfer tend to take much less time to complete a stroke, while pro golfers make the most of their allotted time strategizing.

How Can I Play Faster?

If you don’t like a slow game of golf, there are ways to improve your time.

Practice the Ready Golf System

Simply put, the “ready golf” system allows the player who’s most ready to hit first. While following the honor system is nice, it doesn’t increase the pace of the game.

Thus, not only is this structure more efficient, but it can make the game more enjoyable.

Apply the Tee It Forward

Tee It Forward allows you to play from a tee box based on your driving distance. As a result, there’s no more sticking to designated tee boxes for ladies, men, or pros.

For example, if you have a driving distance of 175, the recommended 18-hole yardage is 4,400 to 4,600. So, if you’re playing in a course that’s 5,000 yards in total, you should consider teeing forward.

With this system, you’ll have fewer strokes and better scores. What’s more, you’ll enhance your playing experience.

Consider Shorter Courses

Enjoying a golf game doesn’t mean playing 18 holes every time. If you just love playing golf, why not just play shorter courses?

Shorter courses are also great for beginners looking to hone their skills. However, they still provide enough challenges without taking up too much time.

Final Thoughts

How long do 18 holes of golf take? Well, it depends. Playing an 18-hole course typically takes time. Yet, the general rule is that it shouldn’t take longer than five hours.

If you want to reduce playing time, there are ways to do that. Remember that enjoying the game without sacrificing the quality of your play should still be your main priority.

Now all that’s left to do is get out on the green and tee up. Happy golfing!

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