How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes Of Golf? What You Need To Know

The thing about golf is that it’s not a sport for all. What I mean to say is that the game requires a lot of concentration and patience. Even though all you have to do is swing the club, a round of golf can take hours to complete.

When you’re on the course, several factors decide the length of a single round. So considering all of them, how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf?

You should know that many golfers think about the sport as an 18-hole and not a 9-hole game. But this was not the case a few decades ago. In fact, you’ll find many 9-hole golf courses in the USA. Playing a 9-hole game was as common as slicing off the tee.

So let’s talk about how this changed before we get into answering the most frequently asked question.

The history of 9-hole and 18-hole

When golf courses started developing towards the end of the twentieth century, a significant number of them were equipped with 18 holes. So at that time, a golf round with 18 holes was considered to be real golf. Turfs started getting longer and bigger. This way the 18-hole game became the norm.

Here’s what an 18-hole golf course looks like:

18-hole-golf-course - How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes Of Golf


Here’s a video of another 18-hole golf course:

But the sport is not as popular today as it was back then. Expense and time are the two reasons why. So playing a 9-hole game is better than playing no game at all.

In fact, both 9 and 18-hole handicaps are now made legal by the USGA (how to calculate golf handicap with 9 holes). Otherwise, the score of an 18-hole round was a combination of two single 9-hole games.

Here’s what a 9-hole golf course looks like:

9-hole-golf-course - How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes Of Golf


Many golfers around the world still play the 18-hole golf round. But a 9-hole game is considered to be the cheaper and faster alternative. So what’s better; playing a complete 9-hole or a partially incomplete 18-hole?

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf?

how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf


As you already know that several factors affect your playing time. Courses that are difficult to play on demand more shots. This means more distance and longer time. If you’re a player that prefers a cart instead of walking, the round gets completed faster.

Beginners usually take longer than more experienced players to finish a single round. Also, the rate at which you play is primarily affected by golfers that are before you.

So let’s discuss each of these factors in detail below, so you know how long it takes to play 9 holes of golf.

Course Size

Every 9-hole golf round depends on the course size. When playing on the par-3 golf course, a single round doesn’t take more than 1-1.5 hours. While any standard par-34 to par-37 course usually takes 1.5-2.5 hours.

Just remember that the regular 5,500-6,500 yard golf courses take 2 hours on an average. And golf courses that are as long as 7,000 yards take more time (around 2.5 hours).


It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or professional, each hole takes not more than at least 15 minutes. That’s the required rate at the majority of golf courses.

They even set the tee times to play every hole. This is usually between 8 and 12 minutes. It includes your tee shot, approach shots, and time taken on the green.

When all the numbers add up at the end of the round, you should have taken anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours to complete the game.

Cart vs. Walking

golf-course-cart - How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes Of Golf


Apart from par-3 golf courses, all the others provide you with the option of a cart. Players riding the cart move faster and find the golf balls quicker. Golfing with a cart takes not more than 2.5 hours to complete a single round. On the other hand, walking can take up to 2.75 hours.

So how long does it take to golf 9 holes with a cart? The answer is 2.5 hours.

And how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf walking? The answer is 2.75 hours.

Skill Level

How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf for a beginner and professional depends on their skill level? An average player can easily hit straighter and longer. He or she might even land more golf balls on the green and fairway, with fewer lost balls.

This means less time wasted in searching for golf balls as well as less total shots. So any good golfer can finish a 9-hole round in not more than 1.5 hours. While a golfer with a lower skill level (that means higher handicap) will take at least 2-2.5 hours.

Course Traffic

The speed at which you play is important when playing a 9-hole round of golf. When there’s heavy course traffic, you can take about 3 hours to complete a single game. Waiting for 5-10 minutes on the tee box for another golfer to can add 45-50 minutes to the round.

It’s Important to Maintain Time

Now that you know how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf. Let me tell you about managing time. You will find many golf courses that decide the pace for golfers. It’s usually 2.25 hours for a 9-hole round. This adds up to 4.5 hours for an 18-hole game.

And the most efficient way to keep up is by playing ready golf. This adds flexibility to the golfing rules. And golfers that are ready to go are allowed to shoot first.

Shot During 9-hole Round

The final note

A 9-hole golf round is suitable for those who like to indulge in the sport after work hours. It is also perfect for senior or older golfers. Because a 9-hole game allows them to exert lesser energy than they would over an 18-hole golf round. The thing about 9-hole games is that they help you get better in terms of speed and performance.

So now do you know how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf? I hope the article helped in answering this question.

What about you? Does a 9-hole round sound more like a fun golfing experience than an 18-hole game? Tell us what you think about this golfing trend.

You can drop in your comments in the section below. Thank you for taking out time to read the article. We hope it helped in solving your problem.

Before we sign off, you should know that the game of golf requires tons of patience and concentration. But it is also a stress relieving activity. So don’t take the joy out of it. Concentrate on having a good time too!

We hope to see you again soon. Happy short golfing!

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