How Long Does a Round of Golf Really Take?

How Long Does a Round of Golf Really Take?

For most of us, golf is a sport enjoyed because of the amount of time it DOES take to play. And it’s most definitely not a sport enjoyed by speeding up the pace or rushing our opponents. Whether it's catching up with friends or sharing some friendly competition, golf has a way to consume most of our day in the most lovely way. Golf unlike many other sports is not a timed game. It’s broken down into the front nine and the back nine. However, how fast those are played is a combination of several factors. These factors include; The difficulty of the course, the number of players in a group, the overall skills of the players, the number of holes played, and the pace of other parties in front of you, which can all affect the total time of play. Here are some helpful tips to help you estimate the time it will take to play a round. 

Average Time

Through years of play and reference, the average time to play a round of 18 holes is approximated to be around four hours. Breaking that number down further, in order to finish a round in four hours, you'd need to spend an average of a little over 13 minutes on each hole. This amount would include the time walking or riding from hole to hole. To complete a round in four and a half hours, the average time per hole increases to 15 minutes. 

Woman golfer on teebox

Skill and Number in Party

Skill is another factor that usually has a significant impact on how fast the game is played. Also, the amount of players is another crucial factor in the speed of the game. It’s generally going to take longer for a group to play than a solo golfer. The skill level and the number of players in a round will have the highest impact on the length of play. 

Tee options 

Tee options are an interesting subject in the game of golf, and one aspect of the game that still has a lot of evolving left to do. A lack of teeing options to cater for different standards of golfer and/or hitting distances can lead to slow play as players are given fewer options to avoid both hitting less lofted, more difficult, clubs and playing over obstacles such as water hazards and bunkers. Do golf courses need more tee options and alternative names for these tees? How do you know where you should tee off? A great topic for us to dive into in our next blog. 

Obstacles on the course 

Most golf courses will have a mix of some or all of the following – rough, bunkers, water hazards, trees, bushes, and other obstacles. The more of these there are, and the harder it is to recover from these obstacles, the slower play is likely to be.


Golf is a difficult sport to play and sometimes mother nature is our biggest opponent. A little rain and or some strong wind can make for a difficult day on the course. A poor weather day can, as a result, have a major impact on the length of time it takes to complete a round.