How Long Does It Take to Play 9 And 18 Holes of Golf? (Alone, 2, 3, 4 Players)

No matter how quick a golf game seems on TV, it’s quite time-consuming. It includes reaching the golf course and moving from one hole to another. So, it might take all day to complete a round. You must have ample time on your hands when you’ve decided to play.  

You might wonder how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf. Well, the average time to play 9 holes of golf is around 2 and a half hours. For 18 holes, it’s around 4 and a half hours. 

However, many factors determine this timing. That includes whether you’re playing alone or in a group and your group’s playing speed. It might take longer if other groups hold your group. 

This article will tell you all about the timings of a 9 and 18 hole golf game to get you started.

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How Long Does It Take to Play 9 Holes of Golf? 

Most players who don’t have much time on their hands go for 9 holes of golf. It takes 2 to 2 hours and 30 minutes and lets you enjoy a great day at the court. Busy golf enthusiasts with time constraints can also play 6 holes of golf.

Initially, the 18 hole golf game was the standard. But time and expenses reduced its popularity a bit. That’s when the 9 hole game was introduced. So, being short yet challenging, many golfers loved 9 holes along with 18 holes. 

However, the average time taken for this game might differ as per the player. Pro golfers might take less than 2 hours to finish a 9 hole game. In comparison, inexperienced players may take longer than 2 hours 30 minutes.

How Long Does It Take to Play 9 Holes of Golf

Some elite country clubs may ask players to wrap up a 9 hole game within 90 minutes instead of the 2 hours. You might have to walk from one hole to another without a cart in these clubs. So, it can get difficult to complete it within 90 minutes.

How Long Must a 9 Hole Golf Game Take?

To understand this, let’s start with the hole timings. On average, each hole will take 13 to 15 minutes or more. Be it a beginner or a pro; this is the usual timeframe for most of the courses.

Then there’s tee time, which is important for organizing all the golfers on the court. That can be anywhere between 7 to 15 minutes, depending on the course’s regulations. You’ll play tee shots, approach shots, and participate in pre-shot routines. 

So, considering all this, a 9 hole game should take approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Factors Affecting the Pace of a 9 Hole Game

There are many factors that determine the timing of a 9 hole game. It includes the player’s skill level, course size, transportation, and other aspects. Let’s look at them in detail.

Golf Course Size

No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, the course size will affect your game. If you’re playing on a par 3 golf course, a single round can take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. It might even take longer.

For standard par 34 and par 37 golf courses, you might need 1.5 to 2.5 hours to finish a game.

Golf Course Design

Also, standard golf courses span about 5,500 to 6,000 yards. Most golfers take around 2 hours to complete a 9 hole game there. However, on large courses spanning more than 7,000 yards, you might need more than 2.5 hours to wrap up a game.   

Time for Each Hole

The total time required to complete a game will depend upon the time spent on each hole. In general, each golf hole takes around 15 minutes to play. This time frame includes walking between shorts and tees. 

On average, a par 3 hole is calculated at 9 minutes by golf analysts. A par 4 hole is calculated at 12 minutes, whereas a par 5 takes 18 minutes. Therefore, you might need 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete a 9 hole round.      

Skill Level

How long does it take to golf 9 holes for any player? It all depends on their experience and skill level. If you’re playing for the first time, you will naturally take longer than an expert.

Pro level and average level golfers complete a game at a reasonable amount of time. It’s because they have more accuracy and hit balls into the greens. Also, they rarely lose the Golf balls.

Therefore, the time wasted to get a new ball is reduced. Skilled players also need your thoughts to complete a 9 hole game. The average time to play 9 holes of golf is 1.5 hours for an experienced player. This timing is similar for an average player too. 

However, if your skills are low, you might take more than 2 hours for a game.  


You will take less time to move around a golf course on a cart than by walking. While moving around in a golf cart, you will take 2 to 2.5 hours for a round. On the other hand, walking might take you more than 2.75 hours.

Golf Transportation

Besides a par 3 golf course, other courses will offer you carts to move around. You can save a lot of time using carts and spend it perfect your game. 

In addition, if you are relaxing after a game or hanging out with your golf buddies, the transportation time may differ.

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Course Congestion

While considering transportation, you also have to look at the course’s traffic. If there are many players on the course, you’ll take longer to complete a round. On average, you might need 3 hours to complete a game on a heavy course.

Golf Course Congestion

That includes waiting for 6 to 10 minutes before playing each hole. If there’s a golfer before you, they will take some time to choose a club. After that, they will take some time to take a swing. 

So, all this adds 45 to 50 minutes to the game. It’s recommended to avoid a heavily congested course if you’re short on time. 

Tricky Courses

It might seem insignificant, but the type of golf course will definitely affect your game. For instance, suppose the golf course has a lot of water bodies. Or, it has a large number of bunkers. In both cases, it will take longer to cover the course and complete the game. 

So, if you’re a beginner, try practicing at small grounds and then move to larger ones.   

Selection of Golf Club

The golf club you use for the game will also have an impact on the game’s completion. When you’re comfortable with a club, you’ll hit smoothly. So, it’s best to play with your most favorite golf club.

For beginners, there are many complete club sets available. These are great if you aren’t sure about the type of clubs. However, experienced golfers can pick a club after analyzing multiple factors. These include the type of wood, iron, wedge, putter, shafts, and clubheads. 

In addition, make sure to keep your golf bag organized. When all the accessories are neatly packed, you’ll waste less time finding your stuff during the game.

How Long Will It Take for a 9 Hole Par 3 Game?   

An average or expert golfer will take around 9 minutes to finish a par 3 hole. They might finish it within three strokes or a little more.

Therefore, a complete 9 hole par 3 golf round will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. It will also depend upon your skill level and ground traffic.

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

If you’re an old-school golf lover and have plenty of time, 18 holes are the game for you. Unlike 9 hole games, it takes a lot of time to complete one round of 18 holes. So, it’s good to have an entire day at hand when planning to play this game. 

The average time to play 18 holes of golf is 4 to 4 and half hours. Usually, on weekdays you will be able to complete a game within 4 hours. However, on weekends it might take an extra 30 minutes or more.

How Long Does It Take to Play 18 Holes of Golf

Playing with many people on a busy weekend won’t be easy. That’s why many people prefer playing alone on weekdays. But, not everyone has the pleasure of enjoying that, as people are usually busy on weekdays. 

If you are a beginner, then 18 holes of golf might take more than 5 hours in some cases. It’s because of the time you take to get accustomed to the ground. For seasoned players, the game might be over under 3 hours. 

This timing might increase when more players are added to the team.

Factors Affecting the Pace of an 18 Hole Game

If you’re wondering, “how long to play 18 holes of golf?” then the answer isn’t that straightforward. Just like a 9 hole game, there are some factors that determine the pace of an 18 hole game.

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Time of the Day

The first factor you need to consider is the time of the day when you’re visiting the course. For instance, it’s early morning, and you’re one of the first groups there. 

Then, you’ll be able to complete the game well under 4 hours or even less. It’s because there won’t be too much crowd.

However, if there are multiple groups on the course, it will take longer. Even on a weekday, it can take more than 5 and a half hours. On such crowded days, you’ll have to wait for your turn to play, and things won’t be quick. 

As a recommendation, reach the course early, be it a weekday or a weekend.

Walking vs. Riding 

After taking a fantastic swing at a ball, you might start walking to reach it faster. If the ball has traveled very far, you can walk to it quickly. But if your shot was awesome, reaching it on foot will take a lot of time. 

Therefore, walking around a golf course might take you around 4 to 5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a cart. It will take you from one hole to another and reach your ball in less time. In general, you’ll take 3 to 4 and half hours.

Walking vs Riding

However, if you’re sharing the cart with someone, the timings will differ. It’s because if you reach your ball, the player beside you has to wait for his turn. Similarly, when this player hits his shot, you’ll be waiting in the cart. 

Therefore, these waiting periods will add up to the total time spent on the course till the game ends.

Climatic Conditions        

The climate will determine how far your ball will go after hitting. If the weather is dry, the ball flight will increase. So, the ball will reach where you wanted it to go. However, this distance will decrease on a warm day. 

If it’s slightly cold, you might wear an additional jacket or cardigan. These additional layers of clothing might hamper your swing and also the ball’s distance. 

On rainy days, the golf course will get wet, preventing your ball from rolling properly. If the fairways are puddled, the ball may get stuck after landing.

Golf Climatic Conditions

You’ll need a pair of dry gloves to pick the ball up while covering your head with an umbrella. All this significantly increases the round times. In addition, rain gear can also restrict your club swing.   

Apart from all this, you also need to consider strong winds. When the wind force is too much, the ball flight will increase more than it’s needed. The chances of an Ace are less here. You might even miss a shot and send your club flying in the air. 

Course Design 

The way a golf course is designed will affect the pace of your game. If the design is difficult, it will be harder for inexperienced players to score and complete a round. That will result in more time spent on the course. 

There may be multiple water hazards, fairways with very long grass or greens that aren’t cut short. Also, the tee box might not be very flat. So, playing will be a little difficult under these circumstances and would take longer.

18 Hole Golf Course Design

Moreover, if the genes are fast, beginners won’t be able to putt easily. Experienced players will take a little less time in such tricky courses. So, you can consider a player’s skill level while analyzing a course design.        

Note: A full par 72 course will need around 4 hours to play at max. Par 3 courses with 18 holes will be wrapped up within 2 hours.

Type of Game 

The type of game you participate in has a lot to do with the overall pace. If you are playing Stroke play, it’s going to be the slowest. It’s because you need to complete every hole to get a score, which will naturally take longer.

Stroke Play in Golf

If you are participating in Alternate Short or Foursomes, the pace will be far better. Here, you play a shot, and your partner starts hitting from where you ended up. So, you might complete a round within 3 hours. 

Thus, if you’re experienced, choose a quick game type to get through the rounds quickly.

Player Behavior and Expertise   

Your capability and approach towards the game will affect the pace. 

The same goes for your teammates or other players on the course. If a player is inexperienced, they might take almost 5 hours to complete an 18 hole game. Experienced or pro players will get it done in under 3 hours.

Player Behavior and Expertise

When you’re wondering how long do 18 holes of golf take, the player’s behavior is also important. If the player is quick, they will complete the rounds as fast as possible. But if someone likes to take it slow, the rounds will naturally take longer. 

If a player or a team doesn’t know the rules well, their pace will be slow. These players might also take too long for a shot, which won’t help either. 

For instance, a team of four experienced golfers might take 70 shots to finish a round. But, a team of beginners may take 90 shots.

How to Have a Quick Start on the Course?         

To start your 18 hole game quickly, try reaching the course 30 to 40 minutes before your tee time. It will allow you to warm up with some practice balls or grab a snack. Then, go and talk to the starter, so you’re called on time for the first tee.

If you still have time, you can practice some putting or get a feel of the ground. Try planning out your game for maximum success. 

All these tactics will help you get a headstart on your game and complete it faster. 

Still, have questions regarding “how long to play 9 holes of golf”? Wondering, “how long does it take to golf 18 holes”? Check out these FAQs to clarify all your doubts.

How long does it take to golf 9 holes with a cart?

For a single-player, a 9 hole game will take 2 to 2.5 hours on a cart. For a team of four players, the time taken will be 2 hours 15 minutes on average.

How long do 9 holes of golf take for 1 player?

A game of 9 holes will take approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes, or more for one player to complete. However, this time depends upon the player’s skills.

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 2 players?

For 2 players, a game of 9 holes will take 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 3 players?

3 players will take 1 hour and 45-50 minutes to finish a game of 9 hole golf.

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 4 players?

To complete a 9 hole golf game, 4 players might take approximately 2 to 2 and a half hours.

How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf alone?

An 18 hole golf game will take 2 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes to wrap up.

How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with 2 players?

On average, 2 players will take around 3 hours to play 18 holes of golf. 

How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with 3 players?

18 holes of golf will take 3 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 40 minutes for a team of 3 players.

How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with 4 players?

For a team of 4 players, a game of 18 holes will take approximately 4 hours approximately. However, the team is playing a bit slow; they might take 5 or even 6 hours to finish a game. 


By now, your question “how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf” must have been answered. One of the key reasons players aim to complete a game faster is participation. 

When you finish a round quickly, others won’t have to wait too long for a shot. It also enhances your teamwork.

If you’re an inexperienced player, then try practicing more to increase your pace. Watch other seasoned players or professional golfers to up your game. Try getting to the course early to warm up and be ready. 

In addition, while swinging, watch the ball closely to gauge how far it can go. It will significantly reduce the time required for searching balls, and they won’t get lost often.

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