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

New to golf? Perhaps you’re thinking about getting into the sport and scoring some holes with your friends and all. Well, in such a case, you might be wondering, “How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf?

Well, don’t sweat yourself; we’re here to explain everything to you. This article will discuss what 18-hole courses are, how they work, and exactly how long they take to play, depending upon a series of factors.

So, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee and read this article till the end to gain tremendous golfing knowledge.

What is an 18-Hole Course?

The 18-Hole Golf Course was introduced on the eastern coast of Fife in Scotland in the year 1764. In an 18-hole course, you have to complete all the holes in one round before declaring the round winner.

You can either use the stroke play or the match play rules to decide the round winner.

Stroke play means the lowest number of strokes in the whole round. In contrast, the Match-play means the lowest number of strokes for each individually scored hole in the game.

Before you created the 18-hole standard version of golf, the grounds had 22 holes in them, each including a tee, putting green, fairway, rough, and hazards in the midst of it all.

So, if you’re going to grab a club and ball for this sport, you’re going to have to learn patience and calmness.

How long does it take to play 18 holes?

golf game

Golf is a very calm and relaxing sport. However, even the standard 18-hole or smaller 9-hole grounds take time to complete. Right now, we’re concerned about how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf. The answer: it can take around 3 to 4 hours.

So, to understand the length of time it would take for you to play 18 holes in one round, we will have to assess different conditions and situations of the play.

Here are some of the deciding factors that impact playtime for a single 18-hole round of golf.

  • Number of Golfers
  • Golf Course Size
  • Mode of Transport
  • The layout of the Holes
  • Weather Conditions

Let’s talk about each of the factors individually before telling you how long you will be playing with your mates in a single round of 18 holes.

1. Number of Golfers

First of all, we need to talk about the type of golf gameplay. Since there are multiple player options for golf, you can even choose to play alone.

According to the type of golf game, some determining factors of the average period required to play 18 holes.

2. Individual Game

There are different options for individual 18-hole golf rounds, and we’re going to assess all of them to find the right time for each.

3. Playing on your own


Golf is a game that doesn’t require a particular set of players to be interesting. A single individual can play the game of golf without any restrictions.

If you want to play alone, you have the additional advantage of the flexibility of time and playing techniques. 

Since golf is such a calm and relaxing sport, you can take your shots, move across the tees and the putts, complete the rounds on your own, and have a fun and exciting experience.

In such a case of individual play, with each tee taking around a minute or so and the putts taking about two or so, you would probably take one or more hours to complete an 18-hole round with movement and traversal ground.

4. Multiple Players

When it comes to individual play with multiple golfers, there’s a quick pace and less flexibility. And depending upon the number of individual players, the time is going to increase slowly.

You might be wondering how long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with two players? 

Well, it would take around three-plus hours. Similarly, as the number of players increases, the time increases concerning a few other deciding factors that we will discuss later in this article.

5. Team Play

If you’re playing in teams, there will be more course traffic, and it would take more wait before your turns, and ultimately it would take longer to play 18 holes per round.

Usually, there are 2 to 3 players, but there can be a larger team consisting of around four players. Let’s look at how long it would take on average to play all the holes in the ground.

How long does it take to play 18 holes of golf with two-player teams?

On average, there could be like four teams of 2 players. So if you take that number of units into account, you’re going to see that the golf course would crowd, and each shot tee would take longer than usual.

Including each player’s waiting and prep time will take around 3 to 4 hours for a single round on an 18-hole course.

How long does it take with three-player teams?

The more, the merrier when it comes to the golfing experience, but it will take much longer than it would take for two-player teams in case of time consumption.

Since more focus would be on efficient stroking, the entire time for playing 18 holes would be around 4 hours maximum.

How long does it take with four-player teams?


Usually, golf consists of teams of 4 playing against each other. Each team chooses one player who’ll strike the tee, and then the captain will decide which player plays which hole.

With all the deciding and playing time bounds, it would take four and a half hours to play 18 holes in golf on average.

10 More Things That You Should Know About Golf Playing Time


1. Tournament

In a professional golf tournament like the PGA, the average time required to complete a single 18-hole round is around 2-3 hours.

However, local tournaments with 80-160 golfers can take as long as 4-5 hours. Golfers who take extra time warn and are penalized if they continue to delay the game any further.

2. Golf Course Size

When it comes to the average time it takes to play 18 holes of golf, the size of the golf course holds very high importance. It is because a golf course consists of two parts, each of which we’re going to talk about it.

3. Golf Course Land

The land that the particular ground for golfing occupies is known as the golf course land. You might have seen trees and nature surrounding golf courses.

They are also parts of the golf course and include in the land part of the course. Ideally, a large-sized golf course is around 60 hectares of land, including the turf and the greenery.

4. Maintained Golf Turf

The turf, which is cut, maintained, and played on, is known as the maintained turf. The transportation and the teeing ground, fairway, roughs, and hazards include this part of the golf course.

In a more significant ground of 60 hectares, the maintained turf would be around 30 hectares. So, the time taken to move across each of the 18 holes depends upon the size of the turf. The bigger the size, the longer it would take to complete a round trip.

That also heavily depends upon the kind of transport you’re going to choose, which we’re going to delve deeply into it. So, in the next part of our time determining factor discussion for playing 18 holes.

5. Modes of Transportation

Conventionally, golf carts were the only way of transportation on golf courses. However, with modern technology, newer alternatives have become quite common when it comes to golfing transports.

Depending upon which model you choose, the time of your rounds may vary significantly. First, let’s talk about some of the more commonly used modes of transportation.

6. Golf Carts

It is the most commonly used mode of transportation when it comes to golf courses. Even professional tournaments use golf carts for carrying players across different holes.

Golf carts are usually inexpensive and take longer to travel across different holes, teeing and putting greens. 

That’s why golfers are trying to find faster alternative ways of transportation to promote speed golf.


7. Seg-ways 

A newer, faster way of transportation across golf courses is the Segway. It can move faster than the conventional golf cart and reduce the movement time from 30 minutes to even an hour.

The only downside when it comes to seg-ways is that they’re not as spacious. Also, it can usually carry only a single player at a time, so they’d be better for individual games with lesser players in an 18-hole course.

8. Golf ATVs

ATVs are a much better and more efficient mode of transportation used in addition to golf carts nowadays.

They’re more expensive for one round compared to golf carts, but they are much quicker and can carry more than one player at the same time.

It is why even professional tournaments are starting to use Golf ATVs more often than carts and seg-ways for transportation.

9. The layout of the Holes

Another significant factor that will decide how long it takes for you to play 18 holes is the layout of the holes and how far they scatter around the golf course.

Take a look at standard golf courses. You’ll see that there is quite a long distance between even the teeing ground and the hole itself, multiply that by 18, and you’re going to get the layout of the entire course.

Usually, there are different hazards and distances between each of the holes themselves, creating a weird layout where no hole fairways collide with each other. But in some courses, a couple of spots will have the same piece of fairway between them, making the layout less complex in general.

All of these different hole placements and design layouts determine how long it will take for you to play 18 holes in a single round.

On average, you might have to play for around four and a half hours on a standard layout when it comes to a 4-player team game between several teams, but times could vary.

10. Weather Conditions


Weather conditions are the most critical factor on which the time of your 18-hole round depends. Different problematic weather conditions might delay the game more than a typical optimal dry and sunny day. Let’s talk about them.

10.1 Rain

A golfer’s worst nightmare. Rain makes the grass damp and creates problems for putting strokes more than teeing strokes. You’re going to have to judge the strokes properly to get them into the holes. This struggle will make the number of strokes higher, and the overall time to play 18 holes will become longer.

10.2 Wind

Windy conditions can also cause severe problems, but instead of creating difficulties for putting strokes, it hinders the ability to hit better-teeing strokes. In addition, because of the wind, the planned trajectory moves away into the direction of the wind making the game longer due to more stroke plays.


All of these factors are going to determine how long does it take to play 18 holes in golf.

In an ideal condition, no matter what kind of game you might be playing and whatever type of conditions might exist. It would take you up to 4 hours to complete a single 18-hole round maximum. 

But in difficult circumstances, it could take even longer than that. So, make sure you have got your clubs, balls, and patience.

Because if you’re interested in playing an epic game of golf with your mates, you’re going to need it. Use this article as a guide to improve your game and adjust your schedule.

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