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How Long Does It Take to Golf 18 Holes?

Find out how long it takes to golf 18 holes and learn strategies to improve your pace for a smoother round.

by Jake Tingey & Judd Lyon · Updated: 5/28/23

18 holes stopwatch - primary image

A game of golf is typically played on an 18-hole course, offering a mix of challenges and landscapes that test a golfer's skill and strategic thinking. Completing a round can be a leisurely experience or a test of efficiency, depending on various factors that influence the overall duration. In this article, we'll explore these factors and provide insights into how long it takes to golf 18 holes.

Average Duration of an 18-Hole Round

The time it takes to complete an 18-hole round of golf can vary significantly based on a player's skill level. A round may take anywhere from 4.5 to 6 hours for beginners, while more experienced players can often finish within 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Golfers with advanced skills and a faster pace can sometimes complete a round in under 3 hours.

Skill Level Estimated Time to Complete 18 Holes
Beginner 4.5 to 6 hours
Intermediate 3.5 to 4.5 hours
Advanced Under 3 hours

Pace of play guidelines

Many golf courses establish pace of play guidelines to help maintain a steady flow and minimize wait times on the course. These guidelines typically recommend an average time per hole, such as 12-15 minutes for par-3 holes, 15-18 minutes for par-4 holes, and 18-21 minutes for par-5 holes. Based on these guidelines, an 18-hole round should take approximately 4 to 4.5 hours to complete.

Hole Type Recommended Time per Hole
Par-3 12-15 minutes
Par-4 15-18 minutes
Par-5 18-21 minutes

Factors Influencing Round Duration

Tips for Speeding Up Play

Optimize your time on the course

Various factors, such as course difficulty, golfer skill level, group size, weather conditions, and course congestion, contribute to the time it takes to complete an 18-hole round of golf. By understanding these factors and implementing strategies to speed up play, golfers can optimize their time on the course without sacrificing enjoyment.

Remember to appreciate the beauty of the game and the camaraderie of your fellow players while maintaining a reasonable pace to ensure a great experience for everyone on the course.