How Long Does 9 Holes Of Golf Take?

Golfers are walking on the golf course with their golf bags.

Sometimes people don’t have much free time on their hands and prefer to play 9 holes instead of 18 holes. This article analyzes how long does 9-holes of golf take and how to maximize your time on the course.

9-hole golf is a shorter version of the traditional 18-hole game. That being said, the actual length of time it takes to play nine or 18 holes of golf can vary greatly depending on a number of factors.

On an average it will take 2 to 2.5 hours to complete a 9-hole golf round. However, experienced golfers may finish in less than 2 hours.  

This article analyzes the average time it takes to play 9 holes of golf and a few other factors that can affect the game’s length.

How long does 9 holes of golf take for different players?

The average 9-hole golf course is between 1,000 and 3,000 yards long.

Generally speaking, an average round of golf time takes around 15 minutes per hole to complete a game of golf. For different players, time duration may vary depending on their pace of play.

For 1 player

A 9-hole round on an empty golf course can be played in as little as 75 minutes by a single player.

For 2 players

Two golfers playing the 9-hole course may finish in 75 or 80 minutes in an ideal game with no one else around. The pace can be cut down by riding the golf cart between holes and with little to no activity obstructions.

For 4 players

If you are playing golf as a group consisting of four people, it usually takes two hours and 15 minutes to finish the game if you’re using a golf cart. If everyone walks at a reasonable pace, it will take under three hours. 

If the group is of high handicappers, then it may take about 3 hours and 30 minutes.  But, if players swing quickly, they’ll finish more quickly.

What is slow play in golf?

Slow play occurs when a group takes too long to finish their round of golf, which can frustrate other groups behind them.

Courses will limit groups to four players or fewer to prevent excessive slow play and the disruption it causes. They are also expected to follow the course’s recommended golf pace play policy. Moreover, courses employ starters and rangers to ensure things move along at an appropriate speed.

Factors that affect the length of a Round of Golf:

There are a few factors that need to be considered while completing 9 holes of golf courses are mentioned below.

The ability of the player

Skill level plays a huge role in improving the pace of play.  Beginner golfers usually spend a lot of time searching for a lost ball and for wayward. Advanced golfers, on the other hand, keep most of the shots in the fairway and spend less time after their golf ball.

Size and type of golf course

The size and type of many golf courses can also affect the timing required to play 9-hole golf. On an average golf course, 9 holes can be played in about two hours. To be more specific, a 5500 to 6000-yard course takes approximately 1 to 1 and a half hours to play 9 holes. However, it may take up to 2 and a half hours for a 7000 yards course.

Course difficulty

Another factor that affects the time it takes to complete 9 holes is the difficulty of the course. If a golf course has more water hazards, bunkers, and other obstacles, then it will take more time to play a round. The course difficulty can also make it harder can for players who are not experienced in golf.

Busy golf course

Usually, the busyness level of golf courses can also affect the pace of play. Playing nine holes of golf on a weekday afternoon is generally quicker than playing on a Saturday morning because most golf courses are packed with people then. 

When the course is busy, you may have to wait several minutes at each hole before teeing off. If you wait three minutes per hole, your playing time will increase by nearly half an hour.

The competitors 

The number of players in your group is one of the most important factors that determine  how fast you can finish nine holes. A twosome, for example, will almost always be able to play faster than a foursome

If you’re playing by yourself, you can finish even more quickly. However, not all golf courses allow single players. If they don’t and you show up alone, the pro shop will usually pair you with another golfer.

Weather condition

Weather conditions also affect the time it takes to finish a round. Windy days can slow play significantly, as players must take more time to correctly line up their tee shots. Rain or snow are other factors that can lead to slower play.  Wet fairways make it harder for golfers to hit long shots accurately and long delays due to lightning.

Your commute on the course

When playing a round of golf, individuals can choose to walk or ride in a cart. Golf courses are now increasing their riding options from only carts that fit two people to  the ‘GolfBoard.’ The GolfBoard is unique as it fuses aspects of both surfboards and carts, making for an enjoyable experience.

Golf carts are not only more fun, but they also save you time. You can get around the course faster in a cart, but keep in mind that if you’re limited to driving on the cart path, it will still take longer than if you could drive on the fairways. But, the average golfer who can walk at a brisk pace can still have a well-planned playing time. 

How to play 9-hole golf faster?

To get better at your game, you need to pay attention to the group of golfers you play golf with. You can follow some of the tips mentioned below to quicken your pace of play.

Don’t waste your time finding your lost balls while playing golf

This can help you limit the time spent in searching the ball and increase the time for playing. Plan your game in such a way that you don’t spend any more than three minutes searching, and if you can’t find it consider dropping a provisional ball.

Don’t wait at greens to see your score

If you wait to see your score, this could cut down your time. This takes up more than the time you took to play a hole. So, check out the score at the end of the play to spend more time playing.

Play, not practice

Don’t use the golf course to practice your shots. Practice at the driving range or anywhere else that is not on the course. You must also try to keep up with your group in front.

Play ready golf

Playing ready golf is a method where players don’t wait for their turn based on who’s farthest from the hole; instead, they play as soon as they’re ready (within reason). This can save up to 30 minutes per round.


The length of time it takes to play nine holes of golf is typically about half as long as it takes to play a full 18-hole round. As mentioned above, the amount of time it takes to play nine holes will depend on various factors, such as the number of players, the pace of play, and the difficulty of the course. The important thing is to enjoy the game and spend time playing rather than searching and walking on the golf course.

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