How Long Does A Golf Tournament Last? [2023]

Playing in golf tournaments and watching golf tournaments on TV is great fun.

But the golf tournaments you see on TV such as a PGA event or major championship will differ in length from that of a club or local tournament.

In my many years of playing golf, I’ve played in plenty of different tournaments, lots of which have varied in how long they lasted.

In this article, we’ll have a look at how long are golf tournaments, from the days taken, to the number of holes played.

So how long does tournament last in golf?

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.

How Long Is A Golf Tournament?

How Long Do Golf Tournaments Last?

The length of a golf tournament can vary depending on the format, size and level of competition.

Most amateur tournaments will be played in a day, usually over 18 holes. Whereas, most professional golf tournaments will start on a Thursday and finish on a Sunday, with a total of four rounds played.

Golf tournament formats vary from stroke play to match play events, and the level of players competing.

Let’s have a look at the different types of golf tournaments and discuss how long they last.

How Long Do Golf Tournaments Last?

Club Golf Tournament

For an amateur tournament at a local golf club will be played over 18 holes, usually on the same day.

Sometimes this will be throughout the whole day, or other times it could just be a morning or afternoon event.

On some occasions, a club competition might be played over a couple of days. A monthly medal for example might allow golfers to play either Saturday or the Sunday, but they’ll only be allowed to compete on one of the days.

For more prestigious events, such as the Club Championship, this may be played over 36 holes across one or two days.

In some instances, it may be longer, such as an 18-hole strokeplay on the first day and then a round of match play matches to find the eventual winner.

For club tournaments, it’s very much up to the club to decide how long they want the competition to last.

Regional Amateur Tournament

For top-level amateur golfers, regional tournaments will usually run for one day and will be played across 36 holes.

These amateur golf tournaments bring some of the best golfers in the local area to compete and test their games against other top players.

The Selborne Salver, for example, is a top amateur golf tournament played at Blackmoor Golf Club and has some of the best players in the country competing across 36 holes.

National Amateur Tournaments

National amateur golf events can vary in time depending on the format being played.

However, the most common format is a 36-hole stroke play event to start, then the field will be cut down to a certain level, and rounds of match play will to played to decide the winner.

For the English Amateur Championship, 204 golfers will start the event and play 18 holes of stroke play on the first day and another 18 holes on the next day.

After those 36 holes, which sometimes can be played on multiple golf courses, the field will be cut to the top 64 golfers, who’ll play another four days of match play. The eventual winner will end up playing eight rounds of golf across six days.

This is the same for the Amateur Championship and the US Amateur Championship, but the size of the field is bigger to start with.

Pro-Am Golf Tournament

A Pro-Am is a great event for amateurs and charity tournaments, where they get a chance to play golf with a top professional player.

These events are usually held the day before the pro tournament starts, usually on Wednesdays, and are played over 18 holes.

This is the most common type of Pro-Am tournament that will take place for 95% of the PGA tournaments and other pro golf tour events.

Some Pro-Am tournaments however will take place over four days. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, on the PGA and DP World Tour respectively, are played from the Thursday to the Sunday.

Ed’s Thoughts ⛳

A Pro-Am is a great event for both the professionals and the amateur golfers. For the pros, they get another day of playing the course with slightly more pressure than a practice round.

For the amateurs, it gives them insight into the world of pro golf and they can see how their games compare to the top players.

Professional Golf Tournament

For the top golf professionals playing on major tours such as PGA Tour and DP World Tour, the professional tournament will last for four days and 72 holes of golf will be played.

All of the major championships; The Open Championship, The Masters, US Open and PGA Championship, are played over 72 holes across four days.

Golfers that make the cut after the first two rounds, will get the chance to compete in the final rounds with a chance to win.

Having said that, there are some other instances in pro golf where the tournaments don’t last four days.

The Ryder Cup is possibly the biggest event in golf, but tournament play is only played on three days.

The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest golf events in the world.

The match play events between Europe and the USA start on Friday and include four ball better ball and foursomes rounds on Friday and Saturday, then on Sunday it has one round of singles match play.

This is also the case for the Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup.

You’ve also got the World Match Play tournaments, the one and only match pay event available to the top pros on the PGA Tour. The entire tournament lasts for five days and features match play from the start.

The other thing to mention about a professional golf tournament is the chance of a playoff occurring after the 72 holes are complete.

If more than one golfer finishes at the top of the leaderboard, the winner will have to be decided using a playoff.

For many professional tournaments, this will mean a sudden-death playoff where the golfer who achieves the lowest score on the first extra hole will be the winner.

Other tournaments may have a playoff format where a certain number of holes are played by the tied golfers. Players compete over those holes and the lowest aggregate score is the winner.

For example, the PGA Championship has a playoff policy where the golfers tied at the top after regulation play will then go out and play a pre-determined three holes, with the player scoring the lowest number winning. If they’re still tied after those holes, it will go to a sudden-death playoff.

The US Open up until 2018, when it got changed to a two-hole playoff, had a playoff format of playing 18 holes the Monday after the tournament.

The golfers tied in 1st place would compete over another 18 holes, with the lowest score coming out on top.

This was hugely entertaining to watch for golf fans and many will always remember the last time we saw this in 2008.

Having holed an incredible putt on 18, Tiger Woods managed to tie Rocco Mediate at the top of the leaderboard.

Despite barely being able to walk, Tiger then went on to win the following 18 holes on the Monday and pick up his 14th major championship.

LIV Golf Tournaments

With the recent introduction of LIV Golf for professional golfers, the professional tournament is played over three days and 54 holes of golf.

Using a shotgun start model, they get golfers playing on the golf course at the same time and helps to speed up the pace of play.

Final Thoughts

There’s many different types of golf tournaments in the game of golf, all of which vary in how long they last.

For professional golf tournaments, the most common is a 72 hole event that’s played over four days.

For amateur tournaments, they’ll usually be only 18 holes, which takes about 4 hours, and will be played on just one day.


How many rounds is a golf tournament?

Most professional tournaments will last four rounds, usually with a cut after the first two rounds of golf. Most events will start on a Thursday and end on the Sunday.

How long does a PGA Tour event last?

A PGA tournament will usually last four days and 72 holes of golf will be played by about 50% of the field.

The event will start on Thursday and will have a cut after the Friday round. Then the top players will continue for a Saturday and Sunday weekend round.

How long does a pro golf game last?

A professional tournament round will usually take between 4.5 and 5.5 hours to play 18 holes of golf. The pace of play on the golf course is quite slow in pro golf because there’s so much at stake for the golfers.

How long does a PGA game last?

A PGA golf game will last four days, usually starting on a Thursday and ending on a Sunday evening. The event is played over four days and across four rounds of 18 holes.

How long is a PGA game?

A PGA game is played over four rounds, each of which takes most of the day to complete, depending on the size of the field and which day it is. Played over four days, the number of players will halve after the second day.

How long does a charity golf tournament last?

A charity golf tournament will usually last about five hours and then a couple more hours afterwards for the prize giving and drinks. Golf rounds in charity tournaments can take longer than usual due to the nature of the event and the size of the field.

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