If you’re new to golf to thinking about becoming a golfer then it pays to know as much about the sport as possible and one key thing is knowing everything you need to know about golf course sizes.
Golf courses range in size and no one is the same. They are all designed by course architects and have features and environments unique to them to make the game of golf a little more challenging and to ensure you’re playing it in beautiful surroundings, getting that hard-earned peaceful break from the office.
Since you’re going to be trying to sink a golf ball into a hole hundreds of yards away, it pays to know everything about the distances you’re up against so there are no surprises when you hit the course.
How long is the average golf course?
When you head out for a round of golf, how long is the course likely to be? These days, we’re all counting our steps, and knowing just how long a golf course is can be a great excuse for getting some solid exercise, plus it pays to know how far you’ve got to hit that ball over 18 holes.
The average length of a golf course is 7,200 yards which work out to be about 4.09 miles, 6.58 km, and 9870 steps. So if you’re trying to hit that 10,000 steps a day goal, playing a round of golf with have you covered.
Golf courses have actually been getting longer and longer as pros are now driving 300 yards when they used to hit just 260 yards. As golf club and ball technology get better and better, we are likely to see golf courses get longer and longer to keep them challenging enough.
How long is a PGA golf course?
A PGA golf course is on average 7,200 yards as well but of course, there are longer and shorter courses in amongst the tour. The average length of an LPGA golf course (the ladies version) is 6,500 yards.
What is the world’s longest golf course?
Oddly enough, there are two answers to this question and the first is the Dragon Mountain Snow Golf Course. This golf course measures in at a huge overall length of 8,548 yards and is only a par 72, so how could this be?
The Dragon Mountain Snow Golf Course sits in the Chinese Himalayas and at a whopping 10,000 feet above sea level, making it the second-highest championship graded golf course in the world, and this is why it’s just a par 72.
When playing golf at high altitudes, the air is much thinner and therefore you can drive a golf ball a lot further. The thinner air creates far less drag when you drive it off the tee and even an ok golfer can make a par 5 of the 711-yard 5th hole – the longest par 5 in the world.
To give you some context, the par 3 on this course is 236 yards, and the average par 3 around the world is 150-175 yards, so the altitude really does make a big difference and you’re likely to hit the longest drive of your life at Dargon Mountain.
The second answer to what is the world’s longest golf course is the Nullarbor Links course in Australia. This golf course runs a whopping 150 miles across the Nullarbor Plain and crosses the border between Western and Southern Australia.
The course can be played in either direction from the mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to the coastal town of Ceduna, in South Australia, and is a great way to break up a long drive and see some awesome bits of Oz.
The course is actually quite short at 6,750 yards but you’re going to have to drive 41 miles on average between holes, so bring a car…
What is the world’s shortest golf course?
Finding the shortest golf course in the world is not easy, and it’s probably lurking at a school somewhere and not being used much. But, when we talk about the world’s shortest golf course that is renowned, then the clear winner is the Kobe golf course in Hyogo, Japan.
This course is a tiny 4,049 yards long and is found at what is probably Japan’s most exclusive golf club, and don’t get suckered in by the short distance, this golf course is immensely challenging.
Pros have described this golf course as the longest 4,049 yards you might ever play on a golf course, and the walking part is not easy too. This golf course was literally carved out of the side of a mountain top, so the walk is strenuous, so much so that the caddies have their own special canvas bags to hold your golf clubs that make walking around it easier.
For reference, the shortest golf course on the PGA tour is Pebble Beach in California, which has a length of 6,816 yards, a lot further than Kobe but probably easier to play.
What’s the average acreage of a golf course?
The average acreage of a golf course stands at 150 acres approximately 100 acres of which is maintained with 51 acres going to the rough, 30 acres to fairways, and 19 acres to the greens. That is one big chunk of land and it requires constant looking after to ensure the greens are top quality, the fairways trimmed and the rough not too rough.
What is a regulation golf course?
A regulation golf course is a course that consists of 18 holes with a par rating of 70 or over. There will be a mixture of different holes across the course and generally, a regulation golf course has; 4 short holes of around 150-200 yards which are par 3s, tend average holes of 350-400 yards which are par 4s, and four long holes of 450-550 yards which are par 5s.
These golf courses are often known as championship golf courses even if a championship has never been played there. They have excellent surfaces that are maintained to the extreme and are usually a par 72 on average.
What are tee lengths and how do you choose one?
When you’re playing on a golf course you’ll notice that every hole has different tee-off pints for you to choose from and these include;
- Championship Tees
- Pro tees
- Combo tees
- Men’s Tees
- Ladies tees
- Junior Tees
Each tee-off point is a different distance from the hole, the championship tee being the furthest from the hole and the junior the closest to the hole. The reason they exist is so that players of all levels can reach the hole in par. So which one should you pick?
There are two ways to work out which tee to use either with your handicap or by the distance you can drive a golf ball. Don’t go for a tee too long for your skills as you will slow down the game, and too short you’ll be frowned upon and the gossip with fly around the club.
Golfers with a low handicap should play for tees further from the hole while players with a high handicap should play from tees closer to the hole. Here are the numbers so you can see where you sit.
- 0-5 handicaps play from the Championship Tees
- 5-12 handicaps play from the Pro tees
- 12-18 handicaps play from the Combo tees
- 18-25 handicaps play from the Men’s Tees
- 25 and above handicaps play from the Ladies tees
- Junior Tees are for golfers under 14 years of age
By Driving Distance
If you don’t have or know your handicap then yardage is a great way to work out which tee to play from but you’ll need to know the Tee box yardage for each course you play on.
- If you can drive 300 yards pick a tee box yardage between 7100-7400 yards
- 275 yards pick 6700-7100
- 250 yards pick 6,400-6,700
- 225 yards pick 6,100-6,400
- 200 yards pick 5,700-6,100
- Under 200 yards pick the closest tees to the hole
How long does a round of golf take on average?
We all know golf is a time-consuming sport but how long does it actually take to play? A normal golf hole will take pros about 10 minutes and amateurs about fifteen minutes, so an average round of golf takes about 4.5 hours.
If you’re shooting like a pro then it might take you around 3 hours to complete a course. The fastest round of golf ever played, not counting the walking between strokes, is 26 minutes and 37 seconds and was achieved by a South African playing in Pretoria.
It’s impossible to say what the longest round of golf ever played is as it’s not something anyone would like to measure or brag about… if you’re taking 5 hours or more to get around the golf course, then something is wrong and perhaps it’s not the game for you.
What’s the longest golf hole ever played?
The longest golf hole ever played was not actually a regulation golf hole at all but it counts. one crazy scratch golfer, Adam Rolston, and Ron Rutland, and adventurer acting as his caddy and mule dragging all the supplies a long, set of in Mogonlia to play the longest golf hole ever.
It took them 82 days and they covered a whopping 1850 kilometers taking between 160 and 180 shots per day to make it a par 14000.
Mongolia is incredibly flat and they played across the plains and actually finished up putting on the 18th hole of the only golf course in Mongolia.
Types Of Golf Courses
You pretty much know everything there is to know about golf course sizes so let’s discuss their types based on the landscape and distances as this will help you to choose a course to play on in your preferred surroundings.
Links Golf Course
Golf actually originated in Scotland and so did links golf courses. A links golf course is built on a narrow piece of land between the sea and farmland, integrating the cliffs, slopes, and other hazards into the course.
Links courses can be beautiful to play on if the sun is out as you get a view over the sea whilst doing so but they can have fierce winds to contend with, especially on the links golf courses of Ireland and Scotland.
Parkland Golf Course
Parkland golf courses are the most manicured golf courses around and feature careful landscaping with a bunch of old trees and super smooth fairways. These golf courses are usually found inland far from the sea and are one of the pleasant types of courses to play on. Most of the golf courses in the USA are parkland golf courses.
Desert Golf Course
A desert golf course is found, well in the desert. They are quite magical to play on as you feel like you’re walking through an oasis of green surrounded by ancient sands. Which technically you are, except they are man-made and require a lot of irrigation to be sustained.
These courses integrate sand dunes and loads of bunkers, and you find the best of them in places like Dubai or Qatar.
Executive Golf Course
An executive golf course is one you can play 9 or 18 holes on quickly and is designed for people who need to rush back to the office from the green. The majority of holes are a par 3 and there is one or two par 4 and 5’s thrown in. An 18 hole executive course will be no longer than a par 65.
Championship Golf Course
A championship golf course will be around a par 72 and consist of a majority of par 4 holes with a few par 3s and 5s thrown in along the way. These are the golf courses the PGA or masters tour play on and they are designed to be challenging and take a while.
That is pretty much everything you could want to know about golf courses, I hope you found it useful, know what you’re up against, and have a sense of the type of golf courses you’d like to play on.
One of the best things about golf in my eyes is being out in nature and by playing a diverse range of courses, you can see some of the most beautiful parts of the countryside or seascape.