How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes?

How Long Does it Take to Play 18 Holes?

Typically, a round of golf takes about 3-5 hours. Two hours is a pretty large disparity, we’ll cover why it takes longer sometimes than others. We’ll also give you a few questions you can ask yourself when deciding where to play that will help you avoid slow play when possible. 

Pace of Play Factors

  • What golf course are you playing? This is the biggest variable for your pace of play. Typically, private courses have a much better pace of play. This isn’t because the players are better, or even that they know what they’re doing more than golfers at public tracks. This is because the same people play private courses every day. Golfers at these courses hold each other accountable for their pace of play and have a target pace that they shoot for, typically about 3 ½ hours. Public courses are usually a little slower for a variety of reasons like golfers playing the course for the first time, and little to no enforcement of pace of play. 
  • What is the location of the golf course you’re playing? Is it the only course in town? It’s going to be busy. Sometimes lower end golf courses are the busiest around simply because they’re easy to get to. Is it the nicest course in the area? It will probably be pretty busy. 
  • What is the price of the golf course you’re playing? Is it the best value in town? It will be busy. Is the course over priced compared to other courses in the area? You never want to overpay for golf, but overpriced courses will probably have a great pace of play. 
  • How difficult is the course you’re playing?. If the course is easy, people won’t have to hit as many shots, so it won’t take as long to play 18 holes. If the course is very difficult, people will spend more time looking for their ball, 3-putting, and reconsidering their choice to play this game. The pace of play will probably be closer to that 5 hour mark. 

These are just a few of the reasons why a golf course might play quickly or slowly. Sometimes, there is no way around a slow round of golf. But If you ask yourself these questions before deciding where to play, chances are you will be able to find a track that won’t take too long to play.


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