|Two clocks, one showing 1pm and another showing 5pm, meaning 4 hours have passed, the average time to play a round of golf|
|Is golf timed?||Golf is an untimed sport|
|What's the average time it takes to finish a round?||Roughly 4 hours, but can vary|
The short answer is roughly 4 hours, which is about 13 minutes a hole. A golf club in Florida tracked the playing time of its golfers for two years, and found the average was 4 hours and 11 seconds.
However, the time can depend on a number of factors, which we'll go over below.
If you are playing on a Par 3 course, where the holes are shorter (and easier, typically), you can expect the round to take less than 4 hours. A competent golfer could reasonably expect to finish a Par 3 course in about three hours. On the flip side, if you are playing on a more challenging golf course, and/or you happen to be a not so great golfer, it may take you more shots to finish the round, and therefore more time.
Golf is usually played in a "foursome" in which four golfers play together on the same hole. However, there is nothing wrong with playing in a pair or even individually. Playing with a larger group will obviously take more time to finish, especially if one or more members of your group isn't a great golfer. Even professionals will hit shots in the rough or out of bounds, but taking time to help find your friend's ball can make a round of 18 take up to five hours.
A group of golfers playing together. When playing in a group, golfers wait for other players to shoot, which can add time to a round.
Let's go back to that golfer that can finish a Par 3 course in three hours. He/she can brisk through the course, but the golfer can only go as fast as the group in front of them. Even if an individual is an outstanding golfer, they could be playing behind a foursome that takes 15-20 minutes a hole. It is an unfortunate circumstance that all golfers have faced before, but it is another aspect that should be taken into consideration for how long a round should take.