How Long Does 18 Holes Of Golf Take?

** Dunedin Golf is supported by readers. We may earn a commission when you buy with our links — thank you!

How Long Does 18 Holes of Golf Take

It can be hard to find the time to partake in our favorite leisure activities. It seems like these days people are as busy as ever, so finding the time for a round of golf can be a rather difficult thing. If you’re trying to find the time in your busy week for a relaxing round of 18 holes, it’s important to know how long that’s going to take. 

So how long does 18 holes of golf take? 

It depends on the course, the number of players you have, and the player’s skill level. However, you can pretty much expect it to average out at about 4 hours. This means you should probably carve out 5-6 hours of your day, just in case anything makes things go a bit slower. 

There’s more to know about this, though! There are many reasons that you may be able to complete a course in less than four hours, or maybe it might take you even more time. Read on to find out everything you need to consider to plan out a day of golfing. 

“Eighteen holes of match or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will 18 years of dealing with him across a desk”.  Grantland Rice

How Long Does 18 Holes Of Golf Take? Here Are 7 Factors

There are many reasons for how long someone can complete 18 holes. Here are seven factors:

Factors at play

There are several factors at play when it comes to how quickly you’ll be able to complete 18 holes of golf. The major factors at play are the following: 

  • Group size: the number of players you are playing with.
  • Course type: The course’s par number, the course size, and other factors can change the length of time you take to complete it. 
  • Skill level: More skilled players will be able to complete courses faster than newer or less skilled players. 
  • Crowded course: The more players that are on a course, the longer you’re likely to have to wait to play each hole, extending the time it takes to complete the course. 
  • Per-hole speed: The speed with which you are able to complete each hole will also impact your total speed. 

Group Size

The number of players you are playing with is a major factor in how long it will take to complete a full 18 holes of golf. While playing with four players, which is considered the average, it will probably take you about four hours, give or take some time because of player skill. 

When playing with fewer players, like one or two, it will take you considerably less time to complete the course. These games can take as little as two hours. This is because there is significantly less waiting.

Each additional player makes the game much longer than the last one did, as you have to wait for one more person to walk the course, find their ball, and take their shots. It also makes scorekeeping more complicated. 

Course type

18 holes golf course

The type of course has a rather large impact on how long your 18 holes are going to take. A full par 72 (4 par per hole) course will probably take an average of around 4 hours. However, a par 3 course will take you significantly less time. These probably take around 2 or 3 hours to complete for a group of moderately skilled amateurs. 

It might not seem like much, but courses designed to be longer or a little bit more difficult will significantly increase the amount of time it takes to complete the course. This problem can be especially exacerbated by balls hit in the water, into the rough, or into sandtraps. These make difficult courses take significantly more time. 

Did you know!

Dunedin Golf Course is a 27 acre, 18 holes, par 3 golf course nestled among nature, surrounded by pine trees and osprey nests. Located in Dunedin, Dunedin Stirling Links is located near the world-famous Clearwater Beach and the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

Skill level

Another factor in how long your game will take is the skill of the players. Obviously, the better you and your group are at golfing, the less time the course will take. If you’re shooting at or around par, you can expect to finish a par 4 course in around 3 or 4 hours. 

Less skilled players will often take much longer, however. The combination of taking more shots and potentially hitting your ball into rough spots can make the game take much longer. There’s nothing wrong with playing as a less skilled player, but it’s important to carve out more time for you and your group to have fun!

Be realistic about how long you think you’ll take to complete the course when you’re planning your day. 

Check out our latest articles about the best golf irons for:

Crowded Course

One of the major factors for how long you’re going to take to complete 18 holes is actually beyond your control. How many other people are on the course at the time you play can seriously slow down how long you’re able to play. 

Not only do you have to wait for them to complete their shots, score their game, and get out of your way, but if they are less skilled they can shoot poor shots that seriously extend the time it will take you to get through the course. 

Expect to take much, much longer if the course is very crowded. Even one other group on the course can add a couple of hours to your game. Take this into account while planning out your day of golf!

Per-hole Speed

The speed at which you complete each hole is one of the most important factors to how fast you are able to complete the entire course. How fast you can tee up, take your shots, score your game, make your puts, and move on to the next hole will be the main factor of how long you take to get 18 holes done. 

A group of professionals takes an average of 10 minutes to complete the average hole. However, groups of amateurs will take longer, usually taking at least 15 minutes on each hole. This means an average game will take about 3 and a half to 4 hours for four people. 

Riding vs. Walking

The last major factor of how long your 18 hole game will take is whether you’re walking from hole to hole or riding a golf cart. Riding a golf cart can considerably reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the course. 

Not only does it make finding balls and navigating the hole much faster, but you’re traveling from hole to hole is much faster too. If all your players are riding in golf carts, it can cut down your speed by thirty minutes or even an hour. 


There are many factors that will inform how long 18 holes of golf take. However, you can expect it to average out at around 4 hours. 

There are a few things that change this, however. The size of the group you’re playing with, the type, of course, you’re playing on, the skill level of the players you’re playing with, the number of other groups on the course, your group’s speed per hole, and whether you’re riding a golf cart or walking can all change the amount of time you take to complete 18 holes. 

When you’re planning out a day of golfing, you should probably carve out at least 4 hours for the actual game, plus transportation time, paying, getting equipment, and other time sinks. Remember, 4 hours is only the time from hole 1 to hole 18. 

Every minute is worth it though, so get ready for your 4 hours of fun!