Helpful Tips

How Long to Play 18 Holes of Golf: Standard and Group Games

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Many beginners often wonder how long to play 18 holes of golf, but the answer is that time can vary from player to player and can even depend on how many people are in your group. If you’re playing alone, then you can probably plan on spending an hour getting from hole one to hole eighteen.

How long to play 18 holes of golf can vary depending on several factors such as:

  • Your skill level
  • Pace of play
  • How busy the course is

On a fairly empty course, you can expect a standard round of golf to take an hour. If you’re playing with a group of friends you can expect to add at least an hour to your course time for every player in your party.

Read on to learn why and how these factors can impact how much time you spend on the course and what you can do to cut down on the amount of time it takes to finish a single round.

What Can Impact the Length of a Round of Golf?

For most players, how long it takes to play a round of golf really isn’t important, but if you’re new to golf and you’re short on time, then learning what you can expect from golf, in terms of how time-consuming it can be, definitely matters. As we mentioned earlier, a standard round of golf for most players will take one hour. But the length of a round can be affected by a number of factors, such as skill level, weather, how many other golfers you’re playing with, and even the course.

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A Packed Course

You may also have to sit back and wait your turn if the course is packed for the day. Basically, the more people that are on the course, the more likely you can expect to waste a lot of time waiting in line for your turn to take a shot. If you’re playing with a group of four players on a busy day at the golf course, then there are even more possibilities that your playing pace is going to be slower than usual.

The Size of Your Party

But even if the golf course was totally empty except for your group of four players, you can still expect to spend a minimum of four to five hours playing a single round.

Skill Level

If the course is packed with mainly low handicappers, then you can expect people to move from hole to hole at a much faster rate. But why? A low handicapper will take fewer strokes per hole. But a beginner will tend to spend plenty of time taking practice strokes, focusing on their posture, ensuring they’re using the right body mechanics when taking a swing, and taking several shots. As you can see, if you’re in a group of beginners or waiting behind a group of beginners, then you can easily add two or more hours to the amount of time it’s going to take you to make it to hole eighteen.

Golf Course Difficulty

A course that’s challenging and filled with hazards can make for one long golf game, especially when compared to a course that has few hazards and is wide open.

Golfer Speed

The biggest factor that will impact how much time you’ll spend on the green is how slow or fast you and other golfers are. The pace of play refers to how slowly or quickly a player moves on the course. Some players will move from hole to hole very quickly and tend to always be ready to take a swing when it’s their turn. This means they often stay in position and move directly from one shot to the next. Other golfers seem to always be exploring new ways to waste time at each hole, whether they take too many practice swings or they’re busy catching up with buddies. If you’re searching for a golf group to join, make sure you choose other players that have a pace of play that’s similar to yours.

Related Questions

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How Can I Cut Down on the Amount of Time I Spend on the Course?

If you want to spend less time on the course, play fewer holes. You aren’t actually required to play all eighteen holes, so, if you’re short on time, play nine or ten holes instead. Additionally, there are many golf courses that offer a reduced fee for players who only want to play half the holes during a round. To learn more about how golf etiquette and course fees work, click here to read our article on golf rules made easy.

Can A Golf Range Finder Really Improve My Golf Game?

Yes! These devices accurately determine the distance from one hole to the next, or they can be used to measure the distance to hazards or any obstacles in your path. Models like the Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt golf laser range finder can also help to train your eyes to automatically gauge the distance to a flag. If you’re trying to get in a quick round of golf before work, then a range finder can help. Instead of wasting time trying to gauge the distance from you to the hole, simply take the range finder, aim and pull the trigger and the distance reading will pop up within one to three seconds. If you’d like to learn more about these handy devices and what they can do for your golf game, then click here to read our golf range finders buyer’s guide.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, how long to play eighteen holes can depend on a variety of factors including how many people you’re playing with, how busy the course is that day, and your skill level. Typically, in ideal conditions, it will take a golfer approximately one hour to play a round of golf. If you’re playing a round with three or four other players, then you can expect to spend at least four hours on the course.