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How Long Does it Take to Play 36 Holes in Golf? – How To Up Your Pace!

how long does it take to play 36 holes in golf
how long does it take to play 36 holes in golf

How long does it take to play 36 holes in golf? A 36 hole golf course is huge, and needless to say, it is quite a big time commitment. That being said, logistics wise, it can be quite useful to know how long such a big golf session will take you.

Look down below for an in-depth explanation on how long playing 36 golf holes might be for you, based on a few factors, as well as tips to improve your golfing pace.

How Long Does it Take to Play 36 Holes in Golf?

How long does it take to play 36 holes? On average, a round of 36 golf holes will take about 8 hours. However, golfing through 36 holes can take more or less time for you, depending on the factors below.

Which Factors Affect Playtime Length on a Golf Course?

Amount of people on the course

The more people there are on the golf course, the more you will have to wait for your turn. In addition, the fact you have people behind you waiting on you to play can generate anxiety within you, and lead to golf mistakes. Making more golf mistakes means you will need more shots to pot a ball, thus lengthening playtime.

Your Skill Level

If your skill level is high, you will require fewer shots than a weaker player to finish any single hole, lowering your playtime.

Golf Course Difficulty

If a golf hole or golf course is more difficult, you will be prone to making more mistakes and require more shots to finish any single hole. Increasing golf course difficulty will generally result in a longer playtime to finish a round of golf.

Walking VS Riding a Golf Cart

After shooting golf balls very far, like off the tee with your driver, it will take a good amount of time to get to your ball to take your next shot. Riding a golf cart can help reduce your travel time a little relative to simply walking.

If all of the above factors are in your favor, you can expect to finish golfing through 36 holes in about 4 hours. If all of the above factors are against you, expect about three times as long, 12 hours.

How Do You Increase Your Golfing Pace?

Use a Golf Cart

First of all, using a golf cart after you shot the golf ball very far will save you some precious minutes.

Pick the Tees appropriate for your skill level

Some golf course feature up to 3 sets of tees per golf hole. The tees closest to the hole are for beginners and high handicappers.  The middle tees are for more intermediate leveled players, average handicappers. Finally, the back tees, called championship tees, are for good players and low handicappers. If you are a beginner and you pick a tee position designed for someone of a higher level, you will make more mistakes and lengthen your playtime.

Arrive Prepared and On Time

Arrive on time at the golf course. Have all your gear and equipment prepared. Have all the proper golf clubs in your bag, enough golf balls, and wear your golfing outfit before you arrive.

Set a Time Limit for Each Shot You Take

Before you start your round of golf, set a realistic time limit you cannot go over, applicable for every shot you take. For example, aim to take each of your shots within 30 seconds. This will train you to improve your pace dramatically. However, do not make your time constraints too slow the first time you attempt this because you will play too fast and make mistakes. Ease into a faster pace.

Final Notes

Completing a 36 hole golf course in a single day requires a lot of stamina. Be prepared, carry extra balls, and arrive in good shape. Sleep 7-9 hours the day before your 36 hole course and do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours prior to game time. Although you can always quit if you get too tired, make sure you bring lots of water. Drink before you feel thirsty, drinking small amounts of water regularly. In addition, an extra set of clothes will keep you fresh and clean to play long hours.

Protect yourself. Bring sunscreen. Wear very comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking.

Furthermore, riding on a golf cart can lower the burden on your stamina greatly. If the golf cart has a roof, it can provide you with some shade as well if it is warm and sunny out.


There you go! Depending on your tendencies, whether you walk or use a golf cart, and other factors described above, golfing 36 holes might take you 4 hours to 12 hours, with an average of 8 hours. If golfing 36 holes in one day sounds too exhausting for you, do not hesitate to break up the course over the “course” of 2 days! Get it? In addition, you can use the tips in this article to improve your pace! Happy golfing!

If you wish to know how long golfing 9, 18, 54, 72, or 90 holes would take you, take a look at our articles:
How Long Does it Take to Play 9 Holes in Golf?
How Long Does it Take to Play 18 Holes in Golf?
How Long Does it Take to Play 54 Holes in Golf?
How Long Does it Take to Play 72 Holes in Golf?
How Long Does it Take to Play 90 Holes in Golf?

Have long do you usually take to Have you ever tried a 36 hole golf course? Have long do you usually take to play 36 holes? Let us know down below in the comments!