or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › How long should a 4 ball take to play 18 holes?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How long should a 4 ball take to play 18 holes? - Page 2

post #19 of 43

I agree that it all depends on the course.  Living within the city of Chicago, the courses there are short and full of people who can't play or just take their sweet time, but once you start getting to the outer suburbs the pace starts to get faster.  Within the city, on a busy day (on a public course) expect around 5 hour rounds if not more. The longest round I've had within the city was some holiday weekend... the round took 6 and a half hours!!!! Geez, i mean you had 3 groups on every tee.

 

Anyway, a round should take 15 minutes per hole on average, so 4:30 hours.  This is more than enough time for 4 people to finish a round of golf.  On my home course, it was empty one day, so a couple guys and me played as a 5-some, all carrying our clubs, we finished in 4 hours 10 minutes.  We were all decent players, but still, if a 5-some can do it, so can a 4-some regardless of skill level.

post #20 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmiller View Post

I too (as someone stated above) am curious where this "you gotta play in under 4 hours" crap came from. You got somewhere else to be, get off my golf course!  ;)

 

Having said that, most rounds I play (except occasionally during peak Snowbird season) are completed in less that 4.5 hrs. And I play every Sunday morning, with other rounds added when I can. Last time I played by myself was New Year's day, no one was on the course except a twosome I played through on 15, and I finished 18 in 2hrs 20min. Cleaning my clubs, putting my head covers back on, drinking my coffee, etc., etc.. Wasn't hurried at all. Except that it was too short! Ended up going around again, because two and a half hours of golf wasn't close to being enough!

 

Maybe I'm different, but when Sunday rolls around, I want to spend most of the day at the course. I'll eat breakfast, hit some balls, putt, play a round, maybe hit some more balls...

 

I'm in NO hurry to get home. It's my one day to relax, and by God, I'm going to enjoy it! If the round takes 5 hours, so what? If I have good company on the course, it's no biggie.

 

But then my wife is always telling me I'm different...  :)

 

I'm really wondering this myself.  I took up golf as a teenager, played through high school, then took about 10 years off since life got in the way.  I started reading this and other forums and apparently slow play has become a HUGE deal since I was a teenager.  I played 18 alone a couple weeks ago, and felt like I was racing against the clock the whole time since I had the "gotta be done in 4 hours" mantra stuck in my head.  I took all sorts of shortcuts to make the round faster.  If I hit out of bounds I didn't play a provisional, I just walked up to the general area and took a drop.  I never pulled my pins or removed my glove when putting, nor did I really take any time at all to line up putts.  On the back I actually started jogging from shot to shot (when no one was looking).  Mind you, I was alone, so ready golf, chatting, counting strokes while on the green, and other such "slow play" behaviors weren't even possible.  I was literally playing "hit and run" golf.  Even with all that, it took me 3:46 to play 18 holes.  And it certainly wasn't a relaxing round like I would have preferred.  When I was younger I used to love getting stuck behind a slow group.  It gave me a chance to actually socialize with my friends on the tee box, maybe even grab a snack from my bag.  I don't understand what the rush is these days. 

post #21 of 43

I think one of the main causes of slow play is tee times. Why do munis, that are played by high cappers, insist on putting only 7-9 minutes in between tee times? By the 3rd hole, you have 3 groups waiting. Spread it out. I guess it's all about the money. More tee times means more money.

post #22 of 43

We pretty much already know the correct answer to the O.P.'s question for any course in the United States that has a USGA Pace Of Play rating. The system has been in place since the early 90s and is based on sound principles. The sad thing is that most courses never had the nerve (or maybe the incentive) to take the steps necessary to bring round times nearer to where they should be. A quick recap:

 

Quote:

Pace Ratings are objective measures of how long it “should take” average “bogey” golfers to play eighteen holes on a course that is full of foursomes. The USGA did extensive research and data gathering and created formulae used to calculate the time to play each hole, the hole’s “Time Par.”

Every hole’s Time Par is uniquely created and includes discrete time values to account for each of the following elements:

  • Length Time: This is the base time for the hole and is calculated by using the hole’s playing length from the most frequently used tees. Length Time accounts for all of the time to play the game from the tee to flag-in. Note: there are separate Length Time formulae for walking and/or riding and for when carts are restricted to cart paths.
  • Obstacle Time: Additional time is allowed for overcoming significant obstacles on each hole. Note: Using the 10 obstacle categories that are rated for each hole when determining the course Slope Rating, additional time is allowed for any obstacle rated as being more difficult than average, except for the obstacle water, which always gets additional time.
  • Green to Tee Distance Time: Additional time is also allowed to account for travelling from the center of the green to the center of the tee of the next hole.
  • Halfway House Time: The USGA allows four minutes to be added to the Time Par of a hole that has a Halfway House stop between it and the next tee.

By adding the time for each element of each hole we get the Time Par for the hole. So, a Time Par represents the total time it “should take” to go from the tee on one hole to the tee of the next hole – a very convenient unit for tracking and monitoring play. And by adding all of the Time Pars, we get the course Pace Rating. Details of the above, as well as additional information are provided in the “USGA Pace Rating System Manual.”

 

The co-creator of the Pace Rating system, Bill Yates, went on to make a successful career out of helping golf courses tackle slow play. His clients include some tracks you may have heard of, such as the Old Course at St. Andrews and Pebble Beach. If you read up on Yates (and you should if you're at all interested in the realities of the slow play issue) you will learn some interesting -- and often counterintuitive -- things:

 

-- Most courses in the US have PoP ratings over 4:00.

 

-- Golfers' perceptions of the pace of play depend very little on how long it takes to complete the round, but rather on how often/long they have to wait to play shots. 

 

-- The main cause of slow rounds is poor management policies, not poor golfer behavior or ability -- although these are contributing factors. Yates often uses the analogy of a rush-hour traffic jam: Absent an actual accident, would you assert that any one particular car was the cause of the whole slowdown? No, the answer is simply that too many vehicles are trying to use the road at the same time. Six-minute tee intervals practically guarantee six hour rounds.

 

-- Thick rough slows play far more than any other hazard. Overuse it on your course at your peril.

 

-- Riding carts neither speed up nor slow down play significantly, unless restricted to cart paths only -- in which case they increase round times by 12 percent, or about half an hour on average.

 

-- Course design obviously matters on several levels. The very worst course setup, from a pace of play perspective, is an opening par 5 followed by a par 3.

 

Two really good articles:

 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/feature-interview/interviewyates/

 

http://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/Article/How-to-beat-slow-play/1430/Default.aspx

post #23 of 43

4-4.5 hours

post #24 of 43
How about an opening par 3? How's that for speeding out the gate?
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

How about an opening par 3? How's that for speeding out the gate?


Generally not a problem from a pace of play perspective. The average par 3 takes about 10 minutes to play, which enforces a reasonable starting interval for any course that opens with one. On the other hand, most players don't like starting that way.

post #26 of 43

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Generally not a problem from a pace of play perspective. The average par 3 takes about 10 minutes to play, which enforces a reasonable starting interval for any course that opens with one. On the other hand, most players don't like starting that way.


That's not true at all according to every course architect I've ever talked to. They try to avoid putting a par three in the first three holes, four if they can, because they're bottlenecks. People will average playing four shots while others wait - on a par four or par five they'll average playing about two shots. You wait longer for a foursome to chip and putt than for a foursome to hit their second shots on any of those holes.

post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

That's not true at all according to every course architect I've ever talked to. They try to avoid putting a par three in the first three holes, four if they can, because they're bottlenecks.

 

I agree, par 3's can be bottle necks when the course is crowded. I play on munis during the week.. On par 3's, maybe half the players hit the green. The other half are taking a second tee shot because the first one is OB or under water or are walking out to hit their 2nd shot. I play one course where #2 is a long par 3, and have finished the first hole only to see two foursomes waiting on the second tee. On another course, I've seen three foursomes waiting for a par 3. Twelve golfers! Course doesn't seem to care. They put a snack bar there and sell a lot of food.

 

Now a par 3 is not a bottleneck  when it's a water hole with a local rules enforced drop zone. Then if you screw up, your ball is under water and there's no 2nd shot to mull over. You sigh and head straight for the drop zone which is usually a chip shot onto the green. I know one course where #1 is a par 3 like this. The groups go off like clockwork. 

 

 

post #28 of 43

I have to agree, majority of all par three's i have been on have been bottlenecks. 

post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmiller View Post

 

Maybe I'm different, but when Sunday rolls around, I want to spend most of the day at the course. I'll eat breakfast, hit some balls, putt, play a round, maybe hit some more balls...

 

I'm in NO hurry to get home. It's my one day to relax, and by God, I'm going to enjoy it! If the round takes 5 hours, so what? If I have good company on the course, it's no biggie.

 



Yes! Tottaly agree with this, why put yourself in a rush when you pay the same rate.  I am alright with slow pace if the course is crowded, but all golfers should be educated to let faster groups go ahead at appropriate times.

post #30 of 43

I like having a breakfast burrito and a coffee the course, play 18 stopping to pick up a hot dog at the turn (I do need to eat better), and grab a Pepsi after the round.

 

I'd really like to be able to leave the house at 6:00 am, do all that stuff I just said, and still be home by 10:00 am. I realize this isn't completely realistic, but I like spending time with my family on weekends and don't want to be in the sun between 10:00 and 14:00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #31 of 43

Not really sure how a foresome putts everything out, and has a legitimate score, and can play under 4 hours. I really don't know how.

 

I play pretty fast. My Dad and I, in a cart, can play 9 holes in about 1:20 with no one in front of us. If you're looking over everything, putting everything literally out, it's impossible to have a foresome finish in under 4 hours. 4 hours is a really quick eighteen for a foresome. You can do it if you play fast, and don't put everything out.

 

But I'd say for players that are putting everything out it's going to be around 4:15-4:30.

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 


That's not true at all according to every course architect I've ever talked to. They try to avoid putting a par three in the first three holes, four if they can, because they're bottlenecks. People will average playing four shots while others wait - on a par four or par five they'll average playing about two shots. You wait longer for a foursome to chip and putt than for a foursome to hit their second shots on any of those holes.

He asked about starting with a par 3. If it's Hole 1, the fact that people wait on the tee box is a) an advantage, because then the groups are well spaced from Hole 2 onwards and b) easily manageable with realistic scheduling.

Otherwise, yes, par 3s are where the sad results of general overcrowding are most obvious. As mentioned previously, the very worst way to start is par 5 then par 3, as you go from a hole that can accommodate three groups to a hole that can only accommodate one. Don't think a guaranteed wait on the second box is anyone's idea of a great time.
post #33 of 43

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

He asked about starting with a par 3. If it's Hole 1, the fact that people wait on the tee box is a) an advantage, because then the groups are well spaced from Hole 2 onwards and b) easily manageable with realistic scheduling.

 

I know man! :-) The problem is they still take way too long to play and require more than 10-minute gaps in starting times. I think 10 is reasonable. Go to 15 and the course is not putting many groups out there at once.

post #34 of 43

Any string of holes could be a bottleneck on any given day, but some stretches are worse than others. You just have to brace yourself, play ready but patient golf, then be prepared to go quickly once you're through it.

 

post #35 of 43

If there is nobody in the way... 4 hours, maybe 4.5.

 

Too many variables though... weather, how good you are that day, age, people in front of you.


And yes I have seen a 5 ball, it was on a city course which wasn't a big deal.

post #36 of 43



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ochmude View Post

 

I was literally playing "hit and run" golf.  Even with all that, it took me 3:46 to play 18 holes. 

 

if it took you that long then youre doing something wrong.  or youre shooting 120+

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › How long should a 4 ball take to play 18 holes?