How Long Does 9 Holes of Golf Take for 3 Players?

Mark Crossfield
9 Min Read

Ever wondered how long does 9 holes of golf take for 3 players?

If you’re an avid golfer or planning a day on the greens with two other friends, you’ve likely pondered this question. After all, you don’t want to find yourself rushing through the last holes as the sun sets, nor do you want to spend an entire day for just half a round.

On average, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hours for 3 players to complete a 9-hole round of golf.

Intrigued? Stick around. I’ve spent years analyzing the pace of play, skill levels, and even the impact of using a golf cart versus walking. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll not only get detailed insights into the average golf playtime for 9 holes with 3 players, but also tips on how to manage your time efficiently on the course. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this article is your go-to resource for all things related to golf time management.

Key Facts:

  1. On average, it takes 2-2.5 hours for 3 players to play 9 holes of golf.
  2. The pace of play is influenced by several factors like skill level, course difficulty, and weather conditions.
  3. Using a golf cart can speed up the game.
  4. Playing with beginners or on a crowded course can extend the playtime.
  5. The average golfer can complete a Par 4 hole in about 12 minutes.

What Determines the Pace of Play in Golf?

Understanding the pace of play is crucial for anyone who wants to enjoy a round of golf without feeling rushed or causing delays. The pace at which you complete your 9 holes is influenced by a variety of factors.

How Does Skill Level Affect Golf Playtime?

Skill level is a significant factor. Experienced golfers tend to play faster because they make fewer mistakes and are more familiar with the nuances of the game. Beginners may take longer due to more frequent mishits and a general lack of familiarity with golf etiquette.

Tip: If you’re a beginner, consider taking a few lessons to improve your skill level and understanding of the game, which can help you play faster.

How Does Course Difficulty Impact Time?

The difficulty of the golf course can also impact how long it takes to play 9 holes. Challenging courses with lots of hazards can extend playtime. More difficult courses require more strategic plays, which can take time.

Key Takeaway: Before booking a tee time, research the course difficulty to gauge how long your round might take.

Weather Conditions and Their Effect on Golf

Weather conditions like wind and rain can slow down the game. Wet grounds can make the ball travel less distance, and strong winds can make it challenging to control your shots.

Tip: Always check the weather forecast before heading out and prepare accordingly.

How Crowded is the Golf Course?

The number of players on the course can significantly affect how long it takes to play 9 holes. A crowded course will naturally slow down the pace of play as you’ll often have to wait for other groups to finish a hole before you can start.

Key Takeaway: Try to book your tee times during off-peak hours to avoid delays.

Golf Carts vs. Walking: What’s Faster?

Using a golf cart is generally faster than walking. A cart can help you cover the distance between holes more quickly, saving you time.

Tip: If you’re looking to speed up your game, consider renting a golf cart.

The Average Time to Play 9 Holes of Golf with 3 Players

On average, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hours for 3 players to complete a 9-hole round of golf. However, this can vary based on the factors mentioned above, such as skill level, course difficulty, and weather conditions.

How to Speed Up Your 9-Hole Game

To play more efficiently, be prepared before you hit your shot, have your club selected, and address the ball quickly. Also, don’t spend too much time looking for lost balls. If you can’t find your ball after a few minutes, take a provisional ball.

Key Takeaway: Being prepared and mindful of your actions on the course can significantly speed up your game.

How Does Playing with 3 Players Compare to Other Group Sizes?

Playing with 3 players is generally faster than playing with a foursome but slower than playing with just one or two players. The more players you have, the longer it will take to complete each hole, especially if each player takes multiple shots.

Is It Faster to Play Alone?

Yes, playing alone is generally the fastest way to complete a 9-hole round. A single player can finish in as little as 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

FAQs About How Long Does 9 Holes of Golf Take for 3 Players

How long does it take to play 9 holes par 3?

It takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to play a 9-hole par 3 course with 3 players.

Can you play 18 holes in 3 hours?

It’s unlikely to complete 18 holes in 3 hours unless the course is empty and you’re playing at a very fast pace.

How long does it take to play 9 holes pitch and putt?

A 9-hole pitch and putt can take around 1 to 1.5 hours for 3 players.

How long does it take to play 18 with a cart?

With a cart, you can expect to play 18 holes in approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.


In summary, the time it takes to play 9 holes of golf with 3 players can vary, but you can expect it to take around 2 to 2.5 hours on average. This guide has covered all the factors that can affect your pace of play, from your skill level to the course’s difficulty. So the next time you’re planning a day on the greens, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to prepare. Happy golfing!

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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