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How Many Holes Are On A Golf Course?

golf course
golf course

Golf is an awesome sport & game played on huge plots of lands with many holes to conquer.

With how big golf courses really are, you may wonder: How many holes are on a golf course?

In this article, we will tell you exactly how many holes are on a golf course, and justify what that number is.

How Many Holes Are On A Golf Course?

Most golf courses across the world have a standard number of 18 holes. However, some golf courses only have 9 holes in order to fit in smaller plots of land and to respect construction & maintenance budgets.

Most golf courses have a total number of 18 golf holes, but a few of them have 9 holes.

Golf courses with less than 18 holes usually exist because they could not fit 18 holes on the plot of land on which the golf course was meant to be built.

Another reason for golf courses with less than 18 holes is that smaller golf courses cost less money to build & maintain.

If you look at how many golf courses there are in the world and the number of holes in the world, you can see that the number of holes in the world is not a multiple of 18. This implies that not all golf courses have 18 holes.

Before golf courses started to follow the standard of 18 holes, golf courses could be found with wildly varying numbers of holes. For example, you could find golf courses with 12 holes back in the day!

Why Do Golf Courses Have 18 holes?

Golf courses usually have 18 holes because of the standard set by the Old Course at St.Andrews, in Scotland, which used to have 22 holes, but was modified to have 18 holes. Playing 18 holes is not too long, but still long enough to prevent fluke golfers from winning.

A very long time ago, golf courses did not have a standardized number of golf holes.

Some golf courses had 12 holes, others had 22 holes, and everything in between!

However, one day the Old Course at St.Andrews, in Scotland, dubbed the Home of Golf, decided to modify their course. The Old Course went from having 22 holes to only 18 holes, and many golf courses followed suit.

After the modification, the Old Course had 9 holes in front of you if you walked out from the club house, and 9 other when you walked in. This is why some golf scorecards have “in” and “out” on them for the first and last 9 holes, although not all golf scorecards feature this.

18 holes also makes sense to have as the number of holes on a golf course because it is a good length, but not too long. Having less holes would reduce the likelihood of the best golf player emerging champion, as it would favor flukes.

A bad golf player can beat the best golf player on 4-5 holes, but it is a lot less likely over as many as 18 golf holes. PGA Tournaments even play multiple rounds of 18 hole golf to prevent fluke golfers from winning a tournament.


There you go! After reading this article, you learned exactly how many golf holes are on a golf course.

You also learned the reasons behind why golf courses usually have 18 holes.

If you could choose any number of holes as the new standard for golf courses, which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments down below!

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