Let’s be honest, golf takes FOREVER. In this article we’ll discuss how long a golf day will realistically take, and some tips to make it a little faster.
The 5 biggest factors that cause golf to take forever:
- Driving to and from the course
- Checking in with the pro shop
- Warming up
- Slow play
- The 19th Hole
BUT, you can streamline the process a bit by following these tips.
Driving to and from the golf course:
Play the course that is closest to home. It might not be your first choice of courses to play, but if you’re trying to play quickly, it’s your best bet. If you can limit the driving time, that makes a huge difference. In addition, pick a course that isn’t too busy. Unfortunately, the courses that we want to play are the busy ones. But if you want to play quickly, pick the course that gets the least amount of play. With nobody in front of you, you can play as quickly as you’d like.
Checking in with the pro shop:
This is inevitable. You have to let them know you have arrived and are going to play. You can’t really speed this process up, you’re at the mercy of the golf course. But if you factor in this time, you’ll have a more accurate estimate of how long your day of golf will take. With that being said, keep this in mind: This process usually takes about 10-15 minutes when you factor in your walk into the club house, probably waiting in line, and finally talking to the pro shop attendant.
Since this is an article about how to play golf in less time, let’s talk about getting loose in the most efficient way possible. You don’t need to hit a large bucket before you play. In fact, you don’t even need a small bucket. Our favorite warm up session is splitting a small bucket of balls with our cartner, and hitting a couple lag putts. Please don’t skip putting before you play. Even hitting just a few putts can be immensely helpful with getting a feel for the greens and your stroke that day. Hitting 3 wedges, 2 seven irons and 2 drivers will take about 3 minutes. Then go putt for 3 minutes. Then add another 4 minutes for those couple extra putts you'll need to hit to see one go in, and the walk/ride to the first tee. You can get a pretty solid warm up in 10 minutes.
Once again, there isn’t much you can do about the slow play in front of you. Which is why it is important to pick a course to play that isn’t packed. But you can certainly control your own pace of play. Play ready golf. If you’re out of the hole, you’re out of the hole. Pick up the ball. Don’t putt out the 3 footers. Leave the pin in. Don’t look for lost balls that are definitely goners. Don’t chat on the tee box for 3 minutes before everyone hits. If you’re trying to play fast, these suggestions can save literally 60-90 minutes.
The 19th Hole:
Well, this one is pretty sacred. You might not want to cut this part out. For some of us, it’s the only reason we golf in the first place. In addition to that, it can be considered rude to say no to a beer with your playing partners after the round. But if you’re trying to squeeze in a quick round, the 19th hole isn’t an option. Just tell your buddies before the round that you need to run right after you hole your putt on 18 for 79.
Recap: Factors to consider in how long a golf day will take, and how long each factor will take:
- Drive to AND FROM the course (you tell me how long this takes, for the sake of the article let’s say you’re playing a course that’s 20 minutes away): 40 minutes
- Parking lot to pro shop-Putting on shoes, grabbing your sticks, walking into the shop to check in, bathroom: 10-15 minutes
- Speed warm up (Including time from the range to the first tee): 10 Minutes
- Actual round of golf: 3 hours
- Unforeseeable circumstances: 30 minutes
- Realistic Estimate of how long your golf day should take if you’re making it quick: 4 and a half hours.