Have you ever turned down an invitation to play because you can’t find the time to hit the course? A complete round of golf consists of 18 holes. On average, it takes four to four and a half hours to complete. Nowadays, who has that much extra time to spare? Chances are you might be swamped with work at the office. While the thought of hitting the course after work has crossed your mind, you’re pretty sure it will cause some friction when you get home. Well, a lot of you do get the nerve to do it. But ofcourse playing a full round takes alot longer than playing 9 holes of golf. 

If you can relate to this, then you should consider playing 9. Professional golfer Rickie Fowler figured in a 2014 advert of the USGA to promote the concept. This shortened form of the game can be played by golfers of any age and skill. By now you’re thinking to yourself, “How long does it take to play 9 holes of golf?” Since it is half the number of holes, then you might assume two hours or a little over that. It is possible. However, a number of factors do come into play that could shorten or lengthen the time. 

Let’s answer your question of how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf, shall we? 

How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes of Golf

Time to Play 9 Holes of Golf

Playing 9 holes of golf is also known as an executive course. It also has a combination of holes with par-3, par-4, and par-5. Logically, you can assume this shortened form of the game to take two hours and fifteen minutes to complete. The basis for this is the average number of minutes played per hole. These figures would apply to both pros and average golfers. 

  • Par-3 hole – 9 to 10 minutes
  • Par-4 hole – 12 to 13 minutes
  • Par-5 hole – 15 to 18 minutes

However, there are instances when 9 holes of golf time can be shorter. This happens as various country clubs require players to wrap up in 90 minutes.

How Long is 9 Holes of Golf Actually?

Now let’s get realistic about the time to play 9 holes of golf. A lot of factors can affect your pace of play.

Skill Level

Not everyone who plays golf is a professional. Chances are golf is a hobby to you. At best you hit the course several times a year when your time permits. If so, then a casual game of 9 holes would suit you. Now, your skill level will affect the length of time you play. To benchmark this, a pro golfer with average experience could finish playing in one and a half hours. 

Do keep in mind; there is no hard rule that you have to finish within a certain time. You can consider playing nine holes of golf as a chance to get started in the sport or rekindle your passion. 

Number of Players

The size of your group matters unless you are playing alone. On average a solo player could take 75 minutes to play 9 holes. This is assuming you walked the course while playing. For two golfers playing on a not-so-busy day on the course, then 80 minutes would be expected. If the two decide to ride a golf cart and don’t run into any obstructions then the time could be less. 

How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes of Golf

How long does 9 holes of golf take for 4 players, you ask? If you are playing in a group, the average time would be two hours and 15 minutes even if you are riding a golf push cart. The game will take longer if you decide to walk the course from one hole to the next. But if you and your playmates happen to be high-speed swingers, then you can finish the course faster. 

The typical 9 hole golf course measures over three miles. If you decide to walk the course, that will take you half an hour. It would take a senior golfer a longer time given their slower pace. 

Playing a Course

Golf courses vary in size. If you are playing a 5,500 to 6,000-yard golf course, then you might expect to finish in two hours. You can add a half hour to your playing time if you play a 7,000-yard golf course. The distance you have to walk or ride from of one hole to another can affect your playtime also. 

A course with various obstacles can slow you down. Likewise, the condition of the green like severe slopes will too. Your familiarity with the course comes into play also. If you play at your regular course then you would move more comfortably. Otherwise, you might play a bit awkwardly as you to familiarize yourself with the terrain. 

Golf courses also have slow and busy days. If it is not crowded or there is no one else on the course, then it will take you less time to play. But on a busy day with groups consisting of average skilled players on the course, then it could take up to three hours. 

Choice of Golf Clubs

Golf clubs

It is always a good idea to play with the best golf clubs for your skill level. You will have a better time playing as you get more hits than misses. Being comfortable with the clubs you use will improve your swing and possibly shave off a number of minutes from your game. 

Thinking along the same lines, keeping your golf bag organized makes it easier to pick out the club you need. You won’t have to turn your bag inside out and end up delaying the game.   

Can You Play the Fastest 9 Holes of Golf?

Would you care to pick up the pace of your game? You can speed things up without breaking any USGA rules and still have fun. 

Play Smart

While it might be a casual golf game, make it a point to be punctual. In addition to being on time, be sure your things are in order. You are wearing the proper Golf Shoes and outfit to play.

You have the Best Golf Clubs, Golf Balls plus other equipment like GPS Watches, Golf Rangefinders, or Ball Retrievers you need to get started. You wouldn’t want to be the cause of delay just because you forgot something.

Also, make sure you have your Golf Hats with you if you are going to play in the sun.

Follow Ready Golf Rules

This is one time you can set aside conventional golf rules. Following the Ready Golf concept can save half an hour per round. Traditionally, it is the player whose golf ball is farthest from the hole who should play first. In this case, whoever is ready can play ahead. 

Adopt Gimmies

You can also consider implementing gimmes to speed up the pace. This is provided everyone agrees to it. A gimmie or gimmie putt refers to a short put that a golfer cannot miss. Rather than putt, it is counted as a hole when the player concedes to another. By not putting everything down, then you could save two minutes per hole. 

Bear in mind, gimmies are only allowed for recreation when playing among friends. It is not approved under golf rules. 

Take a Ride When Possible

If you have a chance to ride an electric cart then by all means do so. You can even make the ride more efficient when playing in a group. Use it for pickup and drop off from one golfer’s ball to the next. In this way, you can cut down on the amount of time between golfers’ shots. As a result, you can proceed with the Ready Golf system. 

Play the Correct Tees

It is important that you choose the right tee box suited to your skill and ability to drive. If you can’t hit long to hit even a 100-yard drive then you shouldn’t play from the back tee. Use this formula to find out the correct length of the course for you. Multiply your average driving distance by 25 to get the relative course length best for you. 

How Long Does It Take To Play 9 Holes of Golf

Pass Up on Mulligans

While it can be frightening to take that first shot, do avoid do-overs. Redoing your first shot will add more time to the game. Can you imagine if everyone else did it? Then your playtime could extend even more. A mulligan will only slow down the pace. Furthermore, it can make keeping score tricky. 

Limit Pre-Shot Rituals

Many golfers tend to have a pre-shot routine. This is acceptable and important as it helps a player focus and be centered. Quite often this involves taking a few practice swings in the air. Some golfers would go behind the ball to visualize their line of play. No matter what your pre-shot routine may be, remember to keep short. No longer than twenty seconds so you don’t delay the game any further. 

FAQs about 9 Holes of Golf

Q. What is a good score for 9 holes of golf?

When playing 9 holes of golf, you can consider 45 as a good score. This is realistic for most players to achieve. Getting a score less than 40 is outstanding and only pros can get this score. Average players should aim for a score below 50. 

Q. What is a good handicap for 9 holes of golf?

For a 9-hole golf course, a good handicap for men golfers is 18.2. For women golfers, a good handicap is 20.2.

RELATED: How to Calculate Golf Handicap

Q. Is playing 9 holes of golf cheaper?

It is more affordable to play 9 holes of golf than 18. This makes it more accessible to those who want to play but are on a budget. 

Is Playing 9 Holes of Golf Worth Your Time?

Yes, it is. Golf might not be everyone’s game. But if you have a chance to take it up or get back to playing, then you should be taking up an executive course. The game offers numerous advantages that can be hard to achieve when you play a full round of golf. 

First, playing 9 is more accessible. Jumping straight to a round of 18 holes can be intimidating for a beginner. A short course of golf can be more casual. In most cases, recreational players do not stress about the outcome of their scores. Since it’s less serious, it could be a good time to experiment with new shots you’ve been eager to try.

Also Read: How to Play Golf for Beginners

For them, the chance to be on the course without having to complete 18 holes is enough of a reward. What’s more, it can also serve as a good introduction to the game for a player of any age or ability. 

Second, playing 9 gives you flexibility. Given the short amount of time it takes to play 9 holes of golf, it is possible for you to get as much as two hours of playing time in the morning. You can even play after work without getting into so much trouble when you get home. It is one of the best ways to unwind after a hectic day at the office. 

Third, anyone can play 9. 9 holes of golf can also be a good family activity. This is your chance to show your better half and your kids just how much fun golf can be. You never know, someone else in your family might pick up the sport too. It might be a good way for the kids to put their cellphones away even for a couple of hours. Then your chances of hitting the golf course more often could improve. 

Fourth, playing 9 is good for your health. Any opportunity to get out and exercise is always a smart choice. Plus, would you rather walk 18 holes instead of nine? 

So are you still wondering how long does it take to play 9 holes of golf? My answer is, does the time really matter? In my opinion, the opportunity to play again even if you have only a couple of hours free is more than enough reason. Golf may be a complicated game but you can have a lot of fun playing. 

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