The Best Time of Day to Play Golf

Despite what you may think, golfing at anytime of the day is awesome. However, I will admit that certain times that offer a more rewarding experience than others. This is purely subjective and who am I to tell you when is the best time for you. As for me, I have two times I enjoy the best and for different reasons.

Before I ramble on about my favorites, it is important to outline what yours are:

This is completely different than one year agoe:

It appears that almost half of the respondents this year enjoy playing golf in the morning. I did not specify exactly what time, but I would assume between that teeing off between 8 and 11 am would hit the mark. It just goes to show that there is no right answer to this question; it is purely subjective.

I, on the other hand, have specific times I enjoy playing golf more.


Tranquility on the golf course during early birds. Picture from Osprey Links Golf Course.

My favorite time to play golf is early birds. I love hitting the course between 6 and 6:30 am because the course is empty. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, the air is fresh and there is very little ambient noise from the grounds crew. It is a very special time of day to play. Playing early birds is great for my mental state and always leaves me refreshed after 18 holes. Early birds is the time I like to play when I am out for a fun round with nothing on the line.

However, playing in the afternoon is when I shoot my best scores. I am not sure what it is, but when I tee off around 1 pm, I seem to play better than any other time. I am not sure if it because I am fully awake or the conditions are just right, but I seem to score very well in the afternoon. This is a bit strange because generally in the afternoon the wind blowing harder and the conditions are a bit drier. I guess those are the best conditions for my game.

So there you have it: golfing for fun – early birds rule; for scoring – the afternoon it is.

Does your game change depending on the day? What is your favorite time to play?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

8 thoughts on “The Best Time of Day to Play Golf

  1. Another advantage to playing at sunrise.
    There are times when my local gets a bit lazy and does not whip the greens of the morning dew. If you are in the second or more foursome of the day you get a free read from the puttouts of the group playing ahead.
    Some days I need all the help I can get LOL


  2. I like the two ends of the day: the early bird scenario and finishing in growing twilight both have their own charms. I like starting early if playing with companions, which means there is still lots of time for other things when the round is finished, and I find playing a solo 9 holes late in the day rather special. Cheers, Rob.


    • Rob

      I too like to finish early to have time to do other things. A while back, I would leave my house at 0:530 am, tee off at 6 (as a single) , play 18 holes in 2 hours and 15 minutes, drive home, pick up coffee for me and my wife, and be back in my by 9 am ready for the day. I loved those days. Early birds are great for sure.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. While I do enjoy playing in the morning, I tend to play more often in the late afternoon for three reasons.
    1. The price is enough cheaper that I can play twice for the same money as an early morning tee time
    2. Here in Florida, playing in the afternoon gives you temperature decreases as you play rather than temperature increases which helps keep us from tiring as easily.
    3. Most of the courses I play allow you to just keep playing until dark when you start after 2. I stayed out many times last year until 9 PM and got in as many as 40 holes. That helped me groove the new swing changes after my lesson changed everything much quicker than I think I could have at the range.

    And while I don’t get to do as often as I used to because the closer of the two courses that offered it closed about 3 years ago, but I love to play at night. I actually learned to play on a par 3 course after dark that was only 20 minutes away. Today I have to travel just over an hour away to get to the last course around here that has lights so you can play after dark. It’s also a short course but has both par 3’s and 4’s and the greens are really nice. I count it a special treat to be able to play after dark.


    • When I said morning, I meant sunrise. Like you, I find it a beautiful time of day to play. And I have a question for you I forgot to ask. Do you think playing in the afternoon gives you your best score because the greens are more consistent as there is no dew as you start so they don’t speed up as you go through the game? Or maybe because the grass has grown a bit over the course of the day and play just a tad slower than the do at 8 AM or so? I generally hate mornings, but never if we are playing golf early. As to scoring, I don’t see any real difference, though while dew is still on the green (morning or night), seeing the line is certainly easier when you aren’t the very first group out. But for me, the speed difference from the water negates the advantage visible lines left from earlier putts give.


      • Kevin

        That is a great question. It very well might be that the course is playing more consistently and once dialed in, I seem to play well. The dew in the morning does not bother me much, I just hit the ball a bit harder. It is interesting to see the foot prints around the cup in the morning, how many players do not pay attention to trying not to stand near the edge. Thanks for the question.



    • Kevin

      You points are valid. Depending on your time availability, playing until dark, or later, is perfect. I do not mind playing in the evening, but here the bugs become some bad until July, it is tough to concentrate.



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