How Long Does a Golf Tournament Last? A Comprehensive Guide

As a professional golfer, I’ve often been asked, “How long does a golf tournament last?” 

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The duration of a golf tournament can vary greatly, depending on various factors. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details and provide you with a clear understanding of the typical duration of different types of golf tournaments.

Understanding the Duration of An Amateur and Professional Golf Tournament

The tournament format, the field’s size, and the competition level all play a role in determining how long a tournament will last. For example, a local club tournament will differ significantly in length from a major championship event. 

Let’s break it down further.

Club Golf Tournaments

Club golf tournaments are typically played over a single day, covering 18 holes. However, the duration can extend over a couple of days for more prestigious events, such as the Club Championship. These tournaments may involve multiple rounds of golf, varying from stroke play to match play. 

The decision on the duration and format of club tournaments ultimately rests with the club itself.

Amateur Golf Tournaments

Club tournaments tend to be more compact and concise in their scheduling. Unlike their amateur counterparts, which often span several days or even weeks, club tournaments are designed to fit within a shorter timeframe. This condensed format allows participants to experience the thrill of competition without requiring an extensive time commitment.

By keeping the duration of these events relatively brief, organizers ensure that golf enthusiasts of all skill levels can participate and enjoy the camaraderie of the game without sacrificing too much time away from other commitments.

So, whether you’re a seasoned player or just beginning your golfing journey, club tournaments offer an accessible and engaging way to test your skills on the course.

Pro-Am Golf Tournaments

Pro-Am tournaments offer a unique opportunity for amateur golfers to play alongside top professional golfers. These tournaments typically last for a single day, covering 18 holes. 

However, some Pro-Am tournaments span over four days, such as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Dunhill Links Championship.

Professional Golf Tournaments

PGA tournaments, such as those on the PGA Tour, typically last for four days, with 72 holes played. Major championships like The Open Championship, The Masters, US Open, and PGA Championship follow the same format. 

However, in the event of a tie at the top of the leaderboard after the regulation play, a playoff is held to determine the winner.

Special Golf Tournaments

Special tournaments like the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Solheim Cup, and World Match Play tournaments have different formats and duration. 

These tournaments are typically played over three to five days and involve a mix of four-ball, foursomes, and singles match play rounds.

Additional Factors Influencing the Duration of a Golf Tournament

While we’ve covered the main factors determining how long a golf tournament lasts, these elements can also influence the duration of a golf outing or tournament: 

Golf Courses

Courses with challenging features such as water hazards, bunkers, and long distances between holes can slow down the pace of play. 

Weather Conditions

Additionally, the weather conditions on the day of the tournament can also influence how long a golf tournament lasts. 

Adverse weather conditions, such as wind or rain, can make the course more challenging and slow down play.

Number of Golfers Playing

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A tournament with a large field of players will take longer to complete than a smaller one. This is because each golfer or group of golfers needs to complete their round before the next group can start on the same hole.

Golf Tournament Formats

From stroke play to match play events, the format can significantly influence how long golfers will be on the course. For instance, match play events, where golfers compete hole by hole, can potentially end earlier if a player has won more holes than there are left to play.

By understanding these factors, you can better understand how long a golf tournament lasts. 

The Impact of Golf Tournament Duration on Players and Spectators

The duration of a golf tournament can significantly impact both players and spectators. 

  • For players, longer games require more stamina and strategic planning. 
  • For spectators, longer tournaments offer more opportunities to watch their favorite players in action but may require a greater time commitment.

Takeaway: So, How Long Do Professional Golf Tournaments Last?

So, how long does a golf tournament last?

As you’ve seen, the duration of a golf tournament can vary based on multiple factors. Nevertheless, the world of golf offers a wide range of experiences for both players and spectators. 

Besides, golf is not just about the duration of the game; it’s about the experience, the competition, and the love of the sport.

For more insights into the world of golf, check out our other articles on golf equipment and golf techniques.


How many rounds is a golf tournament?

Most professional tournaments last four rounds, with a cut after the first two rounds.

How long does a PGA Tour event last?

A PGA tournament typically lasts four days, with 72 holes of golf played by about half of the field.

How long does a pro golf game last? 

A professional tournament round usually takes between 4.5 and 5.5 hours to play 18 holes of golf. The pace of play on the golf course can be quite slow in professional golf because there’s so much at stake for the professional golfers.

Each golf tournament varies depending on the number of rounds, players, weather, and the golf course’s layout. These factors provide insight into how long a tournament may last and what to expect during the event.

About the Author

Jared Tangir