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

How Long Does It Take to Play 18 Holes of Golf

Golf is one of the most loved games by Americans as it provides a physical and mental challenge to them. Hence, golf makes you fit and engaged but playing golf is a time-consuming task and many school-going kids in America can’t find that much time to play golf therefore they enjoy playing unblocked games for school on their mobile screens or tabs.

But, for the people who want to challenge their body and mind, here we have all the information about how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf?

The time taken in playing a round of golf course depends on several factors which in general include ‘travel to and travel from the golf course’, ‘warming up on the driving range’, ‘traveling from hole-to-hole’, and then finally ‘stopping at the 19th hole’ and hence one round of playing 18 holes of golf can take a longer period of time.

But, do you want to know exactly how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf?

Well, if we talk about the exact hours then we would say a round of golf can take time anywhere from less than two hours to more than five hours which depends majorly on the number of golfers and the number of holes played.

Most golfers play 9 holes or 18 holes in Golf Course. And, the optimal time for playing 18 holes in golf is 4 hours 30 minutes or less and for playing 9 holes in golf it may take 2 hours and 15 minutes or less.

This is not however the exact time because several factors determine the length of a round of golf and it includes –

  • The number of holes played
  • The number of players playing in the group
  • The skill level of all the golfer players
  • The mode of transportation they’re using on the ground.

If you want to learn more about these factors and also about the ways to shorten your time to the next round of golf, then keep on reading.

Let’s now know how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf?

If playing golf alone, a single golf player can easily play 18 holes of golf in just 3 hours or less. But, the time taken in playing the 18 holes of golf will increase when you add more players to the game.

If four people are playing golf then they will probably take 4 hours and 30 minutes or less for one round of playing 18 holes of golf.

How to Prevent Slow Play in Golf?

When a group of golf players takes longer than the recommended time for playing one round of golf with 9 holes or 18 holes, it is termed as slow play and it can really affect the enjoyment of the other golf players who’re positioned behind the slow group.

However, to prevent such slow play, the golf courses strictly limit the groups to a maximum of four golf players or less. And, also they have recommended the golfers follow the policy of the golf course’s recommended pace of play.

Moreover, to decrease the time taken in slow play, the golf courses also employ the “Starters and Rangers” who have the specific duty of ‘setting’, ‘monitoring’, and ‘maintaining’ the recommended pace of play.

1. Starters

The starters in the golf course are positioned on or near the driving range or at the starting hole. Their job is to account for every golf player and all the shepherd groups to the starting hole at their designated time (tee time).

It is always a good practice to locate the ‘Starter’ when the golf players arrive at the driving range for ‘checking-in’. The golf players’ groups should be there on the starting hole and should be ready to play at least five minutes before their designated tee time.

And, the starter is responsible to review the following thing with each group:

  • The recommended pace of play generally varies from course to course but if a good rule is followed then it will be a round of golf under 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  • They review the location of bathrooms on the golf course
  • The cart restrictions for the day include ‘cart path only’, ‘90-degree rule’, or ‘carts scatter’
  • And lastly, they also review the day’s holes’ location because the golf courses change the location of the holes daily.

2. Rangers

The rangers have sole responsibility and that is to drive the golf course in the reverse order so that they can monitor the pace of the play of the groups playing on the golf course. Hence, the Ranger’s duty is to notify a group that might be playing slowly and to tell them that they need to quicken their pace of play.

Initially, a warning is given to the players before any further action is taken. But, if no progress is made even after giving the warning then the ranger may ask the group to skip the holes for catching up on the time or he may also ask them to let the faster groups play through. 

The ranger carries a tee sheet where the names of all the groups or all the golf players on the ground along with the exact starting times of every group are mentioned. And, he uses this time chart to calculate whether a group is:

  • On pace
  • Ahead of the pace, or
  • Falling behind the pace.

What Are Those Factors That Affect the Length of a Round of Golf?

There are many factors that can affect the length of time to play 18 holes of golf.

  • The Number of Golf players in the Group affects the length of the game as this is the #1 factor that affects the length of a round. Hence, a group of two people will almost always play in less time than a group with four players.
  • The Number of Golf players on the Course also affects the time taken in golf. And, the weather conditions, the days of the week, the time of the day, and others are the factors that directly affect the number of golf players playing on the golf course.
  • The Number of Holes Played undoubtedly affects the time taken in playing a golf course because as we discussed above golf courses with 9 holes typically take half time to that of 18-hole rounds.
  • The Difficulty of the Golf Course is another major factor that can affect the duration of the golf play. Some challenging golf courses that feature let’s say rough surfaces or a lot of water will slow down even the fastest golfer as well.
  • The Skill Level of Golf players’ in the Group is also a factor that determines how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf? However, better golfing skills don’t directly correlate to faster rounds but it correlates to taking fewer shots which aids in shortening the length of the round of the golf play.
  • The Mode of Transportation can also decide the time duration of a round of playing 18 holes of golf. Because the golfers have the option to either walk or ride in a cart while playing a round of 9 or 18 holes of golf.


When you know how long it takes to play a round of 18 holes of golf or 9 holes of golf then it can help the golfers enjoy their day on the golf ground.

However, when you practice the techniques to quicken up the pace of playing the next round of golf with 9 holes or 18 holes then it can make your game at the golf ground a more enjoyable experience for all the golfers out there.

And, if you’re busy and don’t have time to go to the golf ground then you can enjoy playing the unblocked games for school on your smartphones or tablets.

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