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How long should it really take to play a round of Golf?


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According to Google, a normal golf hole will, on average, take a group of professional golfers around 10 minutes and a group of average amateurs around 15 minutes. This equates to an 18-hole round of golf taking anywhere from 3 to 4 1/2 hours.

 

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They state that a round of golf, on average, is expected to take about four hours to play for a group of four golfers.

Even with just 73 players in the field at a PGA Tournament, the circuit average for a player to hit a shot is 38 seconds, although that number varies for specific shots (42 seconds to hit a tee shot, 32 seconds for a putt).

 

Can We be a Bit More Realistic

 

For starters, let us assume we have an empty golf course, and it is just you in your foursome, playing in the first group out.

 

Let us forget about the slope and rating of the course, which have been shown to have a negligible impact on how quickly players get around.

 

When we say that you are an average golfer, we mean “average” according to the numbers: a 15-handicap, destined to take around 90 shots over 18 holes.

 

As an average golfer, you drive it an average of 208 yards (that is according to a 2017 USGA study). Given the distance you hit the ball, you should be playing a 5,400-yard course (that is according to PGA of America recommendations).

 

But knowing your ego, we recognize that you are probably not going to tee it that far forward. So, let us assume you are playing from 6,000 yards instead. Still with us? Off we go.

 

Six-thousand yards = 18,000 feet = 3.4 miles. That is how long your golf course measures, assuming that you walk it in a straight line. But since we cannot assume that (you are going to miss some shots), let us increase that number by 50 percent to account for all the zigzagging you are going to do.

 

With that adjustment, we expect you to walk about 5 miles over 18 holes. Assuming a gentle walking pace of 3 miles per hour, that is a distance you should cover in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

 

Along the way, you will be taking 90 shots. Once you’ve gauged the distance and chosen a club (which is something you should be doing while you’re playing partners are assessing and hitting their shots), you’re going to need some time to play your shot.

 

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But not too much time. Dallying over your ball is not just bad etiquette. It is bad strategy. The longer you take, the more you scrutinize a shot, the worse you are going to hit it. Do not believe us? Play a round of speed golf and see how dramatically your ball-striking improves.

 

Anyway, 15 seconds is plenty of time to waggle and swing. That is how long Brooks Koepka says he takes over his shots, and it seems to be working well for him.

 

So, 90 shots at 15 seconds per shot. Over the course of your round, that amounts to 1,350 seconds, or 22 minutes and 30 seconds. But since we are feeling generous, we will give you extra time and round that number up to 25 minutes.

That is nearly half an hour! You can watch a sit-com in that span. It is plenty of time to hit 90 shots.

 

So, 25 minutes per player, and four players in your group. That is 1 hour and 40 minutes in shot-preparation.

Add that to the 1 hour and 40 minutes it takes to walk the course, and we are now at 3 hours and 20 minutes.

 

Allow for Extra Activities

 

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We understand that you are not robots. You will be doing other things aside from walking and swinging. You’ll be taking bathroom breaks (we’ll allow 1 minute per player per round for that); watching the wild animals, lighting cigars (15 seconds per player per round); and telling bad jokes (30 seconds per player per round; if it takes you longer than that to tell your jokes, you should not be telling them).

 

Which gives us:

—4 additional minutes for bathroom breaks;
—1 additional minute for cigar-lighting;
—2 additional minutes for joke-telling.

 

Add that to our total, and we are at 3 hours and 27 minutes.

 

Where is my Ball?

 

You are also going to lose some balls. Studies have shown, in fact, that the average golfer loses 1.3 balls per round. So, we will give you time to ball-hawk: 5 minutes per player per round should do it. Tack on another 20 minutes.

Which brings us to our grand total. It should take your foursome 3 hours and 47 minutes to play 18 holes.

 

Without rushing.

 

And if we are playing behind you, we are probably going to ask you to pick it up.

Now all this does not take into consideration you are playing behind a group of six Thais gambling and eating their way round the course. Under these situations you should get back to the clubhouse in the dark!!!

 

Naturally it will depend on what day you book a round, and if the marshal's at that club is moving groups along.

 

Anyway, do please tell us about your average or longest round of golf?

 

 

 

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