How Long Does 9 Holes Of Golf Take? [Not That Long!]

To some people, the thought of spending hours walking around a golf course doesn’t sound overly appealing.

However, the beauty of golf, is that you don’t also have to play 18 holes to still have a great time.

Sometimes, it’s nice to just jump out for a quick nine holes after a long day in the office or squeeze a quick front nine in before Sunday lunch.

But how long should it really take you to play a round of nine holes golf? Let’s find out.

How Long Do 9 Holes Of Golf Take?

How Long Does 9 Holes Of Golf Take?

How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes?

Typically, a round of nine holes at most golf courses should take about 2 hours to complete.

Most golfers playing in a group of 2 should really be able to get around those nine holes in no more than 2 hours, about half of what you would expect for a full 18-hole round of golf.

For a group of four golfers, it may take up to 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete, but this will vary depending on a few factors.

The great thing about playing nine holes is the fact it takes half the time to complete compared to the full round.

This makes it much easier for golfers to get out and play some golf after work or during darker months when time is more limited.

What Affects How Long 9 Holes of Golf Takes?

How long it takes to play nine holes of golf will of course be affected by different factors which will vary from golfer to golfer and course to course.

If you’re after a fast nine holes, these factors are likely to have the biggest impact on how long it will take you to play.

Number of players

The number of golfers playing in the group is likely to have the greatest impact on timings.

A group of 4 golfers is going to take much longer than just a single golfer for example.

If you fancy a quick round of golf, jumping out on your own (if the course allows it) will mean you can fly around for a nine-hole card.

Skill level

Perhaps just as important as the number of golfers in the group for pace of play is the skill level of those players.

New golfers won’t be able to hit the ball as far as more seasoned players so they’ll have to play more shots.

They’ll also spend more time looking for golf balls as shots are more likely to be going offline.

More advanced golfers will be hitting the fairways and greens more frequently, so won’t have to look for their lost balls as often. They’ll be taking fewer shots, spending less time in the thick rough or water hazards, and ultimately play faster rounds of golf.

Better golf doesn’t always mean quicker golf, however. You just need to turn on the TV and watch the PGA Tour to see how much time professional golfers take to play a round of golf.

But often, the worse the player the slower they will be.

Group in front

One of the frustrating things about playing golf is the fact that you have to play behind other groups.

This means you’re at the mercy of the group in front for how long your round of golf could take.

They might take ages looking for a lost ball or spend lots of time chatting with their playing partners.

Slow play from the group in front can certainly add a few minutes to your overall time spent out on the golf course.

Of course, golf etiquette means that if the group in front is slow, they should let you through to carry on your round.

However, this might not always be the case or even possible if it’s a very busy golf course.

If you’ve got an empty golf course, there’s no need to worry about the group in front and you can fly around as quickly (or slow) as you wish.

Type of golf course

Golf courses come in all different shapes and sizes.

Some are very long, some are very short. Some are very easy and some are incredibly challenging.

As a result, the length of golf course and type of layout can very much impact the time it takes to play nine holes.

A high course difficulty will impact the time because it will likely have more obstacles, be longer in length and the average golfer will struggle to play it well and in good time.

A golf course full of par 3 holes is likely to take much less time to play than a course with a mixture of par 3s, 4s and 5s.

Walking or buggy

You’ve also got to think about how you’re getting around the golf course, to determine how long it will take to play nine holes.

Using a sit-on golf buggy will be much quicker than simply walking around the course as you play.

However, the great thing about golf is the exercise you get from walking around the course for a few hours. By using a buggy, you’re sacrificing a lot of this calorie-burning workout for the sake of nearly half an hour of time.

If you’re pushed for time a buggy could be a good option but think carefully about whether it’s actually worth it for your health and well-being.

How To Play A Fast 9 Holes Of Golf?

If you’re looking to speed up your nine holes, it’s important to think about the factors already mentioned, however, there’s a few other things you can do to help speed up your round of golf.

Play ready golf

Ready golf is a great way of speeding up your round of golf. It simply means the first person ready to play should go and play their shot.

No need to wait for the person with the best score to tee off first or the person whose ball is slightly further away from the green to hit.

If you’re ready to hit your shot (and it’s safe to do so), then fire away.

If you’re a singleton you won’t have to worry about this, but if you’re playing with other golfers, playing ready golf will help speed up your round dramatically.

Don’t look for lost balls

If you’ve hit your ball deep into the woods or any other hazard, don’t then go and spend ages trying to find it.

If your golf ball is clearly in a bit of trouble, speed things up and just move on to your next shot by either dropping a ball to play or simply walking to the next hole.

Of course, if there’s a good chance you’ll find the ball, golf rules state that you can spend up to 3 minutes searching.

But this only really makes sense if there’s actually a good chance you can find the ball and you know where it went.

The less time spent looking for golf balls the better and it will hugely help speed up your nine holes of golf.

Final Thoughts

Getting out for a quick nine holes is one of the best things about golf.

When you’re pushed for time, struggling for light or just don’t fancy walking around the full 18 holes, a nine-hole round of golf is a perfect fit.

The time it takes to actually play those nine holes might vary a little, depending on a couple of different factors. However, for most golfers, they should be able to get round in under 2 hours for those nine holes.

9 Holes Of Golf FAQs

How long does it take for 4 people to golf 9 holes?

A group of four golfers will usually take between 2 and 3 hours to complete 9 holes of golf on an average golf course.

This will depend on their skill level, the course they’re playing on, if they’re using a golf cart and how busy the course is that day.

The better the golfers, the quicker they will most likely play.

How long to play 9 holes par 3?

A nine-hole round of golf on par 3 golf courses should take no longer than 2 hours to complete.

The pace of play for many golf courses of this sort is usually a good pace because the holes are far easier.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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