How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes With 4 Players?

How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes With 4 Players

If you have ever watched golf weekend live or on television, you might have noticed just how long it takes players to get through 18 holes.

The problem for the average working man is that time is not always on our side, and this could be frustrating if you want to have a day of golfing with friends and you are pressed for time.

You might wonder, how long does it take to play 18 holes with 4 players? For 1 player, it is estimated that it would take about 2.5-hours to complete a round of 18-holes. However, this might vary depending on the course, and factors like the number of par 3, 4, and 5’s might influence the playing time. This is not to mention that it would take high-handicappers far longer than it would take a scratch golfer.

If you want to play golf with your friends, you need to make sure that you understand how timing works and how much time you need to set aside.

The modern game is evolving each year to increase the pace of play. However, being prepared with the right information would ensure that you know how long each game would take you.

You might enjoy reading: 56 Vs. 60 Degree Wedge: How do they differ, and which one to use and when?

How Long Does It Take To Play 18 Holes With 4 Players?

As an estimate, it would take four players about 16-minutes to finish a par 5. Another 13-minutes should be accounted for par 4’s, and you should consider adding about 10-minutes for each par 3. Depending on the number of each hole on the course, you can work for roughly 4-hours for 4 players to complete a round of 18-holes.

While you might think that you have to use the individual time for each player when determining how long it would take, this is not the case. Things like walking to the next hole are done by all four players simultaneously. This also includes waiting for other players to finish their game.

Bear in mind that there are additional factors to account for. We will discuss some of the factors that could extend the gameplay in one of the following sections.

However, four to five hours will be a great estimate you can work on when determining how long it should take you to play roughly 18-holes on the golf course.

See also: Must-Have Golf Accessories For Hot Weather: 9 Top Options.

How Long Do 18 Holes Of Golf Take For 1, 2, 3, 4 Players

You won’t always be four players when playing golf. Occasionally, you might be playing on your own. Other times you might have one or two friends to play with you.

Since there are various studies on the pace of golf play, we have determined that a table would be the best way to show you how long it will take to play with varying numbers of players:

Number Of Players18 HolesPar 5Par 4Par 3
12.5 Hours10-min8-min7-min
23 Hours12-min10-min8-min
33.5 Hours14-min12-min9-min
4 4 Hours 16-min 13-min 10-min
54.5 Hours18-min16-min11-min
Table Shows How Long Do 18 Holes Of Golf Take For 1, 2, 3, 4 Players –

As you can see, these are rough estimates and rounded up to the closest half an hour. Before you set out on your golf trip, you will need to do some planning.

Fortunately, this table and guide would help you get an idea of how much time you will need to allocate to your day for golfing. Keep in mind that there could be other external influences.

Factors That Influence How Long It Takes To Play A Round Of Golf

Once you have an idea of how much time is needed, you will have a rough idea of how long a game should take.

Unfortunately, various factors could influence the game, and the time it takes you to play. You might want to add about an hour to an hour and a half to your estimated time to account for some of the following unforeseen circumstances:

1- Weather

One of the biggest issues many players will face has to do with the weather. Unfortunately, the climate is unpredictable, and while you could check your local weather forecast for rain, you might not be able to predict it at all times accurately.

While you can play golf in wet weather conditions, there are often severe conditions you cannot account for.

Once rain accumulates on the surface of the golf course, golf balls might unplayable. You might not be able to get the golf ball out of a puddle, and certain additional rules would apply.

Unfortunately, many of these rules are still debated, which means the best course of action would be to break until the weather subsides and the course becomes playable.

If you wonder if you can play golf in the rain? Yes, you can; I encourage you to read this article to discover how.

2- Players In Front Of You

Unless you book the golf course for yourself, chances are you will be sharing it with other players that also like to play the game.

If you are the first to arrive at a golf course, you will be the first to tee off. This means you will be able to dictate the overall pace of play and determine how fast everyone can go through the course.

Unfortunately, the same is true if you are not the first at the golf course, and you might need to wait your turn when you have people playing in front of you.

If they have plenty of high-handicappers, you can add another few hours to your game. It is often best to be the first at the golf course and dictate the pace of play.

3- Game Type

Golf is one of the most fascinating sports, and the aim is to provide something for everyone. Unfortunately, this means that there are a variety of different gameplay options you might need to choose from.

Strokeplay is the most common form of golf, and you will need to complete each hole for it to count unless you strike out.

Playing games like foursomes could be a bit different. For these types of games, you will be alternating between different players.

If you are four people and you choose this type of gameplay, you will take the same time it would take 2 players to complete a round.

4- Green Conditions

You might be an expert at putting, but the green might not be suited for your particular game or style. Fast greens can cause players to over-hit the golf ball more frequently. Harder greens offer up the same problem to players. 

Finally, if the green has inconsistent slopes, you will find it much harder to hole out. This would force you to play more shots on the green, and you might need to adjust your game more frequently.

Fortunately, you can find this out before the game by looking at the slope rating or using a slope rating calculator.

5- Golf Course Obstacles

Every golf course will have a few obstacles you need to navigate. As a golfer, you will need to account for these obstacles, which could be made up of trees, bunkers, or water hazards.

When doing your handicap, you will often need the course rating found on the scorecard. An average course rating would be 113.

However, the course rating might vary depending on these obstacles, and this could significantly affect your gameplay and overall performance whilst playing.

The more obstacles you need to navigate, the longer it would take to reach the green. However, you might be Tiger Woods and simply just clear them with one big shot.

6- Player Skills

If you are playing a game with only beginners, you might be in for a very long day at the office. If it takes each player close to 8 shots to complete a hole, you can see that it would significantly extend your playing situation.

However, scratch golfers are more inclined to stick to the average playing times and speed up the game.

7- Course Conditions

We have already touched on the conditions of the green. However, a golf course has plenty more things you will need to consider when playing, and this includes the length of the rough

might spend hours searching for golf balls lost in the rough. This could significantly extend the time you have planned for playing a game. 

To improve the pace of play, The USGA has introduced a few additional rules that will affect the pace of play. You can invoke the three-minute rule if you are more serious with your competitors.

This means that a player will only have three minutes to find a golf ball. If not found, the ball is deemed to be lost, and the player conceded a stroke.

See also: Best Golf Gloves For Sweaty Hands And Improved Golfing Experience.

Wrapping Up

If you want to rush a golf game, chances are that you will inevitably run into one of these problems when playing.

It is best to choose a free time, and you can slowly enjoy the game and be happy with the pace of play.

We would love to see some of your comments on how you plan to improve the pace of play for your game.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind I am passionate about reading, sports, and all things outdoors. I hope you find what you are looking for while visiting

Recent Posts