average golf course length

How Long is the Average Golf Course?

What is the Average Length of a Golf Course?

A golf course is measured in yards rather than feet. The average golf course length from the back set of tees is 7,200 yards which is calculated by looking at the lengths of the top 100 golf courses in America. 7,200 yards equates to about 4.09 miles which would burn a lot of calories if you walked the golf course.

The average length of a golf course from normal sets of tees (not the back set of tees) is about 6,600 yards (3.75 miles or 6 kilometers).

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Choosing Yardages to Play From

When you schedule a round of golf at a golf course, you’ll have different sets of tees to choose from for your tee shots. Each set of tees is colored coded and represents a different total yardage for the golf course.

For example, if you choose to tee off from the white tees, the total yardage for the 18 hole golf course might be 6,700 yards. This might differ from the red tees which play 6,000 yards or the blue tees which play 7,300 yards.

Check the scorecard to see the different sets of tees and their respective yardages if you are trying to stay within a certain yardage range.

If you’re not very long on your tee shots, you might enjoy your round of golf better by playing from a shorter distance set of tees.

Lower handicap golfers who can hit the golf ball farther tend to play from the longest set of tees that a golf course offers.

PGA Tournaments usually play from long distances as well to make the game more challenging for the pro’s.

Why Are Golf Courses Playing Longer Today?

Golf club technology has improved significantly and this has helped golfers hit the ball further with their golf clubs. As a result, golf courses have had to adjust by making the golf course longer in length to maintain difficulty.

This is known as the Tiger Woods effect on the PGA Tour.

golf course distance

Many courses had to get longer to make the golf course more challenging when Tiger Woods arrived on the PGA Tour since he was destroying the field and winning tournaments at a high rate. He was one of the longest drivers on Tour and the game was almost unfair to the other players who didn’t hit the ball as far.

Back in 1980 the average driving distance on tee shots was just 257 yards! Today in 2022, the average driving distance on the PGA Tour is 296 yards. That’s nearly 40 yards longer.

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How Are Golf Course Total Yardages Calculated?

The total distance of a golf course is calculated by adding up the distances of the 18 individual holes.

Golf course developers and designers determine how to best develop the land when building a golf course and this plays a role in determining the different lengths to make each hole for the golf course.

The USGA has some guidelines:

  • A par 3 can be up to 250 yards in length for men and 210 yards for women.
  • A par 4 can be between 251 yards and 470 yards for men, and between 211 yards and 400 yards for women.
  • A par 5 can be between 471 yards and 690 yards for men, and between 401 yards and 575 yards for women.

It’s an art to decide how to layout the holes, determining the pars for each hole, and in what sequence they’ll be played.

At most golf courses, the par is 72 for 18 holes. The front 9 par is 36 and the back 9 par is 36. Some golf courses deviate from this and are played as Par 71 or Par 70. It’s very rare to see a Par 69 or Par 73 golf course.

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What is the Longest Golf Course in the World?

The longest golf course in the world belongs to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club in Lijiang, China.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain golf course plays 8,548 yards and is still a par 72 golf course. This means you can expect some long par-4’s that will feel like they should be played as par-5’s.

However, it is mountain golf, so you’re playing at a higher altitude and your golf ball should fly farther as result.

average golf course length

In Australia, Nullarbor Links is the longest golf course in the world by mileage distance and land space. This course spans 150 miles and must be driven by car to complete each hole…

The average distance between each hole is 41 miles, which again is driven by car, not golf cart.

The actual golf course is 6,750 yards long, but it’s a very unique golf course since you have to drive from hole to hole for 150 miles.

What is the Longest Golf Hole in the World?

Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club, no surprise, also has the longest golf hole in the world. This longest hole is #5 on the scorecard and it is a Par 5 that spans 711 yards.

If we deviate away from traditional golf, there is a Par 7 hole at Gunsan Country Club in South Korea that is over 1,000 yards. The total distance of this hole is an astounding 1,097 yards!

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