How Long Does A Game of Golf Take? (Most Important Factors You Need to Know)

What’s your take on this? I mean do you think every golfer takes nearly the same amount of time to complete a single round of golf? Either way, how long does a game of golf take?

The amount of time you take actually depends on many factors. Such as how many players are involved? What is your and their skill level? And is it a 9-hole or 18-hole golf course?

So here’s the short, quick answer to this frequently asked question. How long does a round of golf take? Let’s say it’s a group 4 on a golf course with 18 holes. Around 4 hours. And how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with 2 players? The answer is 3 hours.

Now it’s time to dig a little deeper if you have the time, patience, and curiosity to know more…

How Long Does A Game of Golf Take for 1 and More Players?

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Did you know the golf rules changed in 2019? Regarding the pace of golf play at every level of the game. So how long does a game of golf take on an 18-hole course?

According to the new rules, here’s how long a single round should take…

  • With a single-player, 18 holes take around 2.5 hours. As for par-5s, the time taken is 10 minutes. And par-4s and par-3s take 8 minutes and 7 minutes respectively
  • What about when 2 golfers are playing on an 18-hole course? 3 hours are more than enough. For par-5s – 12 minutes, par-4s – 10 minutes, and par-3s – 8 minutes.
  • When 3 players are involved, it takes 3.5 hours for a single 18-hole round to complete. The par-5s take 14 minutes, par-4s take 12 minutes, and par-3s take 9 minutes
  • With 4 players, the game of golf with 18 holes rounds up in 4 hours. As for par-5s, the group takes 16 minutes. Par-4s get completed in 13 minutes. And par-3s in 10 minutes.

Now please remember that these “expected” or “predicted” times aren’t set in stone. If you’re playing slowly, then a single round can take 5-6 hours even. More often than not, the slow pace is not because of any fault of your own. The most common reason for golfers taking that long to complete a game of golf is an overcrowded course.

Speaking of which…

What Are the Factors That Determine the Length of the Game?

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So here are some of the most common factors that decide how long your single round of golf is going to take…

How busy is the golf course?

Needless to say, more golfers on the turf means a slower game. It’s highly likely, at such times, for groups of players to stack up. Thus, resulting in a decrease in your game pace.

How many players are in the group?

So let’s just assume that the golf course is empty. Meaning it’s just you and your group golfing on the turf. In that case, now the length of your round depends simply on how many golfers are in the group.

As a rule of thumb, the more players you have, the longer it takes to complete a single game of golf. Meaning a group of 2 golfers is going to complete the round faster than a group of 4. All the other things remaining equal of course.

Skill level of all the golfers

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When it comes to skill level, I mean what’s their handicap? Generally, low-handicappers on the golf course move the game at a faster pace. Simply because low-handicap players hit fewer strokes.

So if your group consists mostly of high-handicappers. Then a single round is going to take longer.

How difficult or easy is the golf course?

What’s an easy course? One that’s wide and open with few hazards and no rough. This type of golf course, no doubt, plays faster. In comparison to a tight course with deep rough and plenty of hazards.

The Most Important Factor – Golfing Speed of Every Golfer

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What defines the pace of golf? How slowly, briskly, or quickly the golfers move on that course. Some players are quicker; always ready for hitting once it’s time. These always remain in position. And move straight from one shot to another. As for the others, they’re pretty slow. As a result, slow golfers end up wasting a lot of time.

That said, please don’t be a slow golfer. Because, if playing in a group, your slow pace is slowing down others as well. And you’re also slowing down every other group’s or player’s round of golf on the course.

In the case of playing in a group, you learn how games of golf move along more quickly over time. And if playing individually, then all you can do to increase your pace is to be ready. Maintain a steady pace of play. So you don’t slow down fellow golfers sharing the same course with you.

How to Reduce the Time Taken to Complete A Game of Golf?

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Now that you know how long does a game of golf take, how can you shorten the time? The answer is pretty straightforward. Play fewer holes!

It’s the easiest method of reducing the span of time for completing a single round of golf. Generally speaking, when you talk about a game of golf, by default it means 18 holes. Am I right? But you know that you don’t necessarily need to play 18 holes? If you don’t have the luxury of time, then why not play 9 holes instead?

In fact, playing fewer holes costs comparatively less too. Many golfers play 9 holes during late afternoons. That’s when you don’t have enough natural light left for finishing 18 holes.

Also, now there are golf courses with 6-hole loops as well. So you can decide if you wish to play 6, 9, 12, or 18 holes.

The EndNote

On average, a single round of golf with a group of 4 players takes around 4 hours to complete. 18 holes, after all, is the standard length of a golf course. However, the time taken can vary due to external factors. Such as a crowded course, golfing handicap, pace of play, and the number of golfers in the group.

A single-player, on the other hand, takes 2.5 hours for completing a single 18-hole game of golf. That means a group of 4 takes the longest time. Sometimes even more than 4-5 hours.

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Carolyn Heller’s highly resourceful blog, Golf Depends, could easily become your go-to platform for the most authentic, practical golf-related content. It’s where you begin to appreciate the sport and learn how to improve your game with more positive results and less frustration. [View all posts by Carolyn Heller.]

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