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How Long Does It Take to Play a Round of Golf?

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A golfer leans on his golf club and relaxes
Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Four hours is the estimate most people give for how long it takes to play 18 holes of golf.

The actual time depends on how busy the course is, how many people you are playing with and how many strokes everyone takes (a round of 72 will obviously be faster than a round of 112).

A golfer playing alone on a course that is not crowded should be able to finish in 2 and a half hours or less.

A foursome playing a very crowded course might wind up spending 5 or even 6 hours on the golf course.

To keep things moving, all friendly matches (rounds of golf that are not played in tournaments or for money) should be played by the principles of "ready golf."

It's important for newcomers to golf to learn how to maintain a good pace of play, and for veteran golfers to help pass along those habits to newbies. For suggestions, look over our Golf Etiquette primer, and also see Tips for Fighting Slow Play on the Golf Course.

Back to Golf Beginners FAQ index

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