how long does it take to play mini golf 9 vs 18 holes

Table of Contents


  • Mini golf is a popular recreational activity that involves navigating a course of obstacles and holes with a putter and golf ball.
  • A mini golf course typically consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each presenting unique challenges and obstacles.
  • The time it takes to complete a mini golf game varies based on the number of holes played and factors such as player expertise, the number of players, and the complexity of the course.
  • On average, it takes about 30 minutes to play a 9-hole course and 1 hour to play an 18-hole course.
  • Factors that can speed up a mini golf game include improving putting skills and understanding the layout of the course.
  • For first-time players, it is important to be equipped with a putter and golf ball, and to follow tips for better gameplay and enjoyment.


Mini golf has always been a favorite pastime for golf enthusiasts and casual players alike. Whether youre a seasoned pro or just looking for some lighthearted fun, tackling the colorful obstacles of mini golf holes is a delightful challenge. But have you ever wondered how long it actually takes to play a round of mini golf? In this article, well delve into the differences between playing 9 holes versus 18 holes of mini golf. As a retired professional golfer, Ive spent countless hours on the course and can offer valuable insights into the time commitment each option entails. So, grab a putter and join me as we explore the exciting world of mini golf and discover just how long it takes to conquer these miniature obstacles.

Understanding Mini Golf

Mini golf is a charming sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, providing an exciting blend of fun, skill, and strategy. This section provides a comprehensive understanding of mini golf, from the history of the delightful game to the basic rules that guide its play.

Brief History of Mini Golf

Miniature golf, also known as mini golf, traces its roots back to the Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, established in 1867. This was the world's first mini golf course, conceived to offer a golfing option for women who desired to play but were constrained by societal norms from playing the conventional 'full swing' golf.

Though the game has evolved over the years, the core objectives remain the same – navigating the ball through a series of obstacles to a hole in as few strokes as possible. The first patented versions of the game in the United States were known as ‘Tom Thumb Golf’ or ‘Thistle Dhu’. The fascination with mini golf exploded during the late 1920s and early 1930s, earning it the nickname "the madness of 1930", before the Great Depression stifled its growth. Modern-day mini golf retains much of its original charm, with creative course designs and innovative obstacles.

Basics and Rules of Mini Golf

In mini golf, players use a putter to hit a ball through a course with several holes, much like traditional golf. Each hole is marked with a par, denoting the average number of strokes the player should ideally take to get the ball into the hole. The player with the lowest number of total strokes after completing all the holes wins the game.

Courses typically contain obstacles such as ramps, tunnels, and bridges to increase the task's difficulty. The use of obstacles strategically can bounce the ball closer to or even directly into the hole, making the game much more interesting.

Overall, mini golf rules are simple but may vary slightly from place to place. Most follow the United States ProMiniGolf Association's guidelines, including aspects like the number of strokes per hole, handling of obstructive objects, and penalties. The accessibility and uncomplicated rules contribute to mini golf's widespread popularity as a family-friendly outdoor activity.

The Structure & Challenges of Mini Golf Holes

Have you ever wondered why mini golf courses are often a wave of windmills, ramps, bridges, and other fun yet challenging obstacles? It's all part of the unique course design that stimulates the critical thinking of the players and adds an extra level of fun to the game. This section aims to understand the structure and unique challenges of mini golf holes.

Distinguishing Between 9-Hole and 18-Hole Mini Golf

The most distinct difference between a 9-hole and 18-hole mini golf course is the length of the game. An 18-hole course offers double the fun and twice the challenge. This makes it perfect for players looking for a full mini golf experience. On the other hand, a 9-hole course provides a shorter game, which can be ideal for beginners, children, or those pressed for time.

From a course structure perspective, an 18-hole course usually presents increasing difficulty levels, with each hole becoming harder than the previous one. Moreover, the course often ends with the most challenging hole, a tradition that commonly exists in professional golf course design.

Unique Challenges in Mini Golf Course Design

Mini golf course design deserves recognition for its creative approach in presenting unique challenges. Designers ingeniously integrate ramps, tubes, moving obstacles such as windmills, and even water features into each hole. These components serve to enhance player experience and add an element of unpredictability to the game.

Creating a course that appeals to a wide variety of players is a challenge. It should not be overly simple, or it would lose its charm. However, it should not be overly difficult either, as this could be discouraging to players, especially beginners. Another essential factor in mini golf course design is ensuring that each hole offers numerous potential play paths, thereby giving room for player creativity and strategic planning.

Navigate through this article to explore more on mini golf course design and how designers plan and create these diverse and challenging courses.

How Long Does it Take to Play Mini Golf?

The duration of a mini-golf game can greatly vary depending on several factors like the number of players, course complexity, player's skill level, and hole count. Getting an understanding of the time it typically takes to play a 9-hole and an 18-hole mini-golf course would be beneficial for planning your day properly.

Time to Play A 9-Hole Mini Golf Course

A 9-hole mini golf-course should take roughly 45 minutes to an hour to play. This duration might be shorter for seasoned players and can take longer for beginners or larger groups. This time estimate allows for medium-paced play where participants have ample time to line up their shots and enjoy the game. If you're playing the game for the first time, taking extra time to understand the challenges of each hole can make the game more enjoyable. For more tips on playing mini golf for beginners visit Golfweek's guide.

Time to Play An 18-Hole Mini Golf Course

If you're taking on an 18-hole mini-golf course, estimate your game to last about 1.5 to 2 hours. Again, this is a medium-paced play timeline, which might vary based on the same factors as the 9-hole course. It's advisable not to rush through the course, but rather take time to enjoy the experience. 18 holes offer twice the fun and challenges compared to a standard 9-hole mini-golf game. For a more extensive insight into mini golf rules and playing, check out Mini Golf Guide. This estimate will help you plan your day better, taking into consideration possible waiting times or breaks.

Factors Affecting the Duration of a Mini Golf Game

Playing mini golf can be an exhilarating experience regardless of whether you're a novice or an experienced player. However, the duration of your game can be swayed by several factors, such as your skill level, the number of participants, and the complexity of the course. Understanding these components could help you plan and enjoy your mini golf adventure better.

Player Expertise and Skill

A player's expertise and skill significantly influence the duration of a mini golf game. Experienced players with honed techniques tend to finish the course faster than players who are less familiar with the sport. Additionally, experienced players may have developed strategies to approach different holes, helping them navigate the course more efficiently. Here is a helpful guide by Golf Link on how to improve your mini golf skills, potentially reducing your game time.

Number of Players

The player count also has a significant impact on how long a mini golf game will last. Simply put, the more players there are, the longer the game. This is because each player needs time to set up, aim, and take their swing. Therefore, when planning a mini golf game, it's important to account for the number of players and factor in longer game durations for larger groups.

Complexity of the Course

Lastly, the complexity of the mini golf course can greatly influence the game duration. Some courses are designed with numerous obstacles, rigorous terrain, and sophisticated hole designs which would take players longer to navigate through. On the other hand, simpler courses with fewer obstacles and straightforward designs can be completed more rapidly. Make sure you know what you are in for by researching the course's layout beforehand. Sites like MiniGolfReviews provide detailed reviews on various mini golf courses and might just save you some time.

Strategies to Speed Up Your Mini Golf Game

Playing mini golf is fun, but speed can be an important factor, especially if you're playing in a competitive setting, or simply don't want your game to consume your entire day. Game speed isn't just about rushing; it's about playing efficiently. In this section, we will explore a couple of strategies that can help speed up your mini golf game, including improving your putting skills and understanding the course layout. These strategies can help you minimize make needless errors and increase your overall game efficiency.

Improving Your Putting Skills

The foundation of a good mini golf game comes down to your putting skills. To speed up your game and reduce the number of strokes it takes to get the ball in the hole, you need to improve your putting accuracy and power.

Practice your swings regularly and focus on consistent movement to improve your power and control. It's also crucial to learn how to read the greens and anticipate how the ball will roll. Better putting skills decrease the likelihood of re-takes and hence, speed up the game. There are plenty of online resources available such as The Art of Putting which provide comprehensive guides on how to improve your putting skills.

Understanding the Course Layout

Understanding the course layout can significantly increase your efficiency during play. Familiarize yourself with obstacles such as ramps, barriers, misleading paths, and changes in elevation. This allows you to plan your shots better and make fewer mistakes.

Furthermore, knowing the course layout lets you take advantage of shortcuts that can shave some strokes off your round. Consider walking around the course before starting the game or studying the course's layout map. You can also find a variety of mini golf course design tips on websites like Mini Golf Creations to better understand common course characteristics.

By improving your putting skills and understanding the course layout, you can significantly speed up your mini golf game and enjoy a more efficient play.


In the playfully challenging universe of mini golf, time spent on the course can vary greatly based on a multitude of factors. Whether you're tackling a 9-hole or an 18-hole course, remember that gameplay length can be influenced by player skills, the number of participants, and the complexity of the course. Through improving your putting skills and becoming familiar with the layout, you can surely expedite your game. As beginners in this sport, patience is key, along with acquiring the right equipment and an eagerness to learn and have fun. Keep in mind, mini golf is not just about winning but about enjoying the unique challenges each course offers. Immerse yourself in invigorating greens, transformative landscapes, and revitalize your spirit of play. Remember, every visit to a mini golf course is an opportunity to sharpen your skills, strategize, and most importantly, have a great time. Return frequently to our blog to continue delving into the world of mini golf, for learning never stops, and neither does the fun. Your journey into the boundless world of mini golf holes starts now. Enjoy the game!

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