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

By Joe White

A golf hole takes an average of about 15 minutes to play--including walking time between tees and shots--but there is significant variation from hole to hole. Some pacing experts prefer to calculate a par three at nine minutes, a par four at 12 and a par five at 18 minutes. These calculations bring the nine-hole total to between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours 15 minutes.

Pace Per Hole

A golf hole takes an average of about 15 minutes to play--including walking time between tees and shots--but there is significant variation from hole to hole. Some pacing experts prefer to calculate a par three at nine minutes, a par four at 12 and a par five at 18 minutes. These calculations bring the nine-hole total to between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours 15 minutes.

Variable Factors

There are many factors that can change the playing time. Difficult courses, which require more shots and often more distance to cover, take longer. Playing with a cart is usually faster than walking. Playing a course for the first time may take longer. And, most importantly, your pace is affected by the players ahead of you.

Maintaining Time

Many courses have a specific pace of play that they hold players to: generally 4 1/2 hours for 18 holes, which translates to 2 hours 15 minutes for nine holes. The best way to maintain pace is to play "ready golf," which flexes the rules regarding order of play and allows whichever golfer is ready to play to shoot. It's also important not to linger next to the green. Get moving to the next tee and mark your scores there. This allows the following group to hit their approach shots to the green.

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