How Many Holes are there in a Full Round of Golf?

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Kristen Ellis

Whether you’re a novice golfer or a professional, everyone in their life comes to this point where you surely need to know how many holes are in a full round of golf. It can be 18, 9, or 20, but the exact answer is 18. There are 18 holes in a full round of golf. Players sometimes go for fewer holes to finish the game, but the exact number is 18.

How Many Holes are there in a Full Round of Golf

In tournaments, the 18-hole format is divided into front nine holes and back nine holes. Modern clubs have separate lops for back and front holes to make it more convenient for players. This way, players find the holes more accurately and can rest between conquering the two loops. But this condition is applied in modern clubs only; some old golf courses with forward and backward holes are still in the same loop as St. Andrews. 

Similarly, you may ask, do all golf courses have 18 holes? The answer is ‘NO.’ Many golf courses consist of 9 holes considered for novice golfers. 18-holes are generally regarded as the standard length of a golf course and are played professionally. 

How Many Holes Are There in Mini Golf?

The mini-golf course is another debate, but you should know how many holes it consists of. As the name suggests, this course is mini, and so is the number of holes. It consists of 9 holes, and golfers must cover a shorter distance.

Besides distance, there is much other logic behind a nine holes golf course. Also, the mini-golf club will not cost you a fortune to play; it’s less expensive than an 18-holes golf course. Let’s not forget; it covers less area. 

Why are there 18 Holes in a Golf Round?

Before 1700, golf courses had 5, 7, or sometimes 12 golf holes. In 1764, the 18-holes golf course came into being. This rule began with standard golf clubs of that time, i.e., the Royal and Ancient golf clubs of St. Andrews. They were the first to think of an 18-holes golf course, so they combined the first four short holes into two to make a round of 18 holes.

Being the standard and royal golf clubs, the world started following them. And it almost took them 100 years to become a global standard.

By 1857, St. Andrews decided to redesign the whole golf course. They created two holes on each green, left the first, and returned one empty. Together, all holes together counted 18. This way, the golfers started the 18-holes concept. But they didn’t disturb the game of 9 holes.

To differentiate the holes, incoming holes are marked by red flags and outgoing holes by white ones. 

The concept spread, and by 1882, all famous golf clubs adopted the 18-holes concept. And it was from 1993 onwards when tournaments adopted the idea. The 18-hole concept brought consistency among players and allowed them to play against each other in a standardized way.

How much time does it take to play 18 holes?

According to the golfer’s skills, a full round of golf requires 6 to 7 hours or more. Of course, it will take time if you choose the full length of the golf course. Many golfers experience distance issues in their game that will take them some extra hours to complete.

Besides distance, accuracy is another issue that can delay your game. But if you’re a regular and professional golfer, you can finish your game before deadlines. 

How much time does it take to play nine holes?

The 9-hole golf course takes less time than an 18-holes golf course because it is a half-round game. Competing in the half-round golf course will take 4 to 5 or maybe less than that. But if you’re a novice, the time can be increased. But, the standard time to play this game is 4 hours maximum because of half-length than a full-length golf course.

Benefits of Playing a Full Round (18-holes) Golf Course

After knowing how many holes a full round of golf course contains, you will undoubtedly want to know its benefits too. Of course, the concept of an 18-holes golf course back in 18 century had some specific ideas. Let’s discuss the benefits of an 18-holes golf course. 

Number of Holes 

The addition in the number of holes indeed increased the interest of golfers. With the increased number of holes, the passion for playing this game rises too. Undoubtedly, the 18-holes concept saves both time and space. In the early years, the game even had 22 or 25 holes that lost golfers’ interest, and it became boring. After reducing the number of holes, the game got its special place back. 

A Special Design 

The latest green design of golf clubs has made a positive impression on golfers. As discussed above, the 18-holes golf course takes 7 to 8 hours less than earlier courses. The modern lengths of golf clubs for 18-hole courses are perfect for a golfer’s health.

The old design of golf clubs was challenging to walk in, but the new design made it easier for golfers to walk between the holes. And the entire look of the green color has a natural and positive impact on the golfers, which develops a sense of interest. So it has a positive effect on their health. 

Position of the Holes 

A full round of golf has 18 holes, but the holes are located in different positions; front holes and back holes. According to the game rule, the golfer starts from the front holes and covers them all one by one. This makes the whole process easier and quicker while maintaining the fun. 

The rule for mini-golf or 9-hole course golf is slightly different as it contains loops. The golfer has to play the loops twice to complete the full round.