Playing 9 holes of golf is a great way to squeeze in some playing time in the evenings after work. But how long does 9 holes of golf take to play? We need to know the amount of time it takes roughly so we can make sure we maximise our time spent on the golf course and reduce stress.
On average it takes a foursome 2 hours and 15 minutes to play 9 holes with a cart. It is advised that each golf group takes 15 minutes maximum per hole to keep a good pace of play.
So that's great for a foursome, but what about other numbers of golfers? Let's look at some other scenarios and which factors determine how long a round will take.
There are number of time variables when it comes to playing golf for 9 holes, and they relate to the numbers of players golfing and if they're using a golf cart.
How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 1 player
If you're playing alone, it should take you 1 hour and 15 minutes to play 9 holes of golf. This assumes you are walking. If you take a cart, it could knock 15 to 20 minutes off of your time.
How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 2 players
When playing as a two ball, it should take 1 hour and 30 minutes to play 9 holes of golf. Playing with a cart could be quicker.
How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 3 players
A 3 ball should take 1 hour and 45 minutes to play 9 holes.
How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf with 4 players
A 4 ball should take 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes to play a 9 hole round of golf.
How long does it take to golf 9 holes with a cart
Playing with a cart can speed up play, but I don't think it take that much time off a normal 9 hole round of golf. A standard 2 ball would take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to play 9 holes with a cart, but if they're both good players and the course is quiet, they could do it faster.
How to play 9 holes faster
If you want to guarantee 9 holes of golf in a specific time frame, there are several factors you need to consider. Let's look at how you can optimise your time spent playing golf.
Book A Tee Time
Most golf courses operate a tee sheet booking system these days so showing up without warning isn't an option. If you do, you might have to wait for a slot to play and you may get paired up with other groups.
To make sure you play at the time you want with the number of players you want, call the golf course to book a slot or use an online service like Golfnow. Many golf courses are now more accommodating to golfers playing nine holes so this shouldn't be an issue.
Play at Twilight
Most golf courses are quieter in the evenings, and often offer discounted twilight rates for golfers playing later in the day. I have played solo twilight rounds where I have flow around nine holes on an empty golf course in around an hour. There's something really satisfying about playing golf as the sun is going down and you often don't even realise you're playing faster.
When playing at twilight, make sure you do leave enough time to finish however. Golf carts can also be discounted for these rounds so consider paying a little extra to guarantee you can fit your nine holes in.
Use a push cart if you're walking
I love to walk when playing golf. I don''t get the opportunity to do it very often in Thailand and in the USA it's a rare sight. Walking 9 holes is a great way to get in some exercise and I think it actually makes me play better as I use the time walking to my ball to think about my next shot in more detail.
The easiest way to speed up a walking round is to invest in a push cart. Carrying a golf bag full of equipment and snacks can be tough going and a nice push cart eliminates the extra effort.
A solid cart costs between $200 - $400 and has the following handy features:
- A holder for water or drinks
- A scorecard holder
- Large wheels for easy movement over different ground conditions
- Umbrella mount for rain or sunny days
Play Ready Golf
Ready golf in my opinion should be how everyone plays the game. No, golf karens, it doesn't mean talking over people's backswings and running on the greens, it means having a mindset that you're ready to play at any time.
What REAL ready golf looks like:
- Search for your golf ball for a maximum of THREE minutes. This is now a rule. Also, if the ball is obviously lost, move on!
- Help others try and find their golf ball, but don't be shy to say "it's lost"
- If you're playing a serous round, hit a provisional ball if you think a ball is lost
- Be ready to play your shot when you reach your ball. Think about what you're going to do when walking between shots.
- Keep your golf bag organized. Simple but effective. Clutter adds time to your game.
- Reduce unnecessary pre shot routines - you're not on the PGA tour
- Line up putts when others are playing
- Letting faster golfers pass "play through" if you're not keeping up pace
- Most of all, BE AWARE of what is going on around you. Be considerate of your playing partners and play smart.
No one likes slow play, but sometimes it's unavoidable. If you're playing in a 4 ball in a field full of four balls on bust Saturday, rushing around isn't going to speed up the pace of play in a meaningful way. Playing ready golf encourages good habits on the course and you will find that experienced golfers will have these "hacks" in their game already. The biggest thing to remember is that golf is meant to be fun, and rushing around isn't fun.
Understand your skill level
If you're a scratch player, you're going to play golf faster than a high handicapper. It's simply because you will be hitting fewer shots. New golfers often think they need to finish the hole to get their money's worth. I hear you, but if you've taken 20 shots and your not on the green of a par 4, pick the golf ball up and move on. Trust me, you will enjoy the game more.
Skilled players might be able to play two balls and practice their golf game in a 9 hole round. This isn't really an option for less advanced golfers as it will take two much time.
Play the correct tee box
If you're a 20 handicap, the 7400 yard championship tee boxes aren't right for you. Your round will be a grind, and you will run the risk of having a lost ball on every hole. Course difficulty is something many golfers just don't consider when it comes to pace of play, so don't be that guy who thinks they can play off tips when you can't drive the ball over 200 yards.
Take your medicine
If you hit the ball into the trees or the thick rough, don't try a hero shot. Most golfers will end up blowing up a hole trying to hit a Tiger Woods style low hook from the trees. Chip the ball out, and get it on the green!
Final thoughts on how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf?
Playing 9 holes is great fun and a way to play more golf more often. Use the tips and tricks in this article to make sure you get as much time playing golf as you can.
How long does it take to play 18- Holes?- It usually takes a foursome 4 hours and 30 minutes to play 18- holes of golf.
Why do courses pair golfers up in foursomes? Golf courses like to pair up golfers in foursomes because it makes more room on the tee sheet for more customers.
What do you say when you reserve a tee time? When a golfer calls a golf course, to book a tee time the pro-shop is going to want the day, time, and the number of golfers in the group to make a tee time. Sometimes the course may ask an email address to send you a confirmation of your time.