Did you know that about 20 million people play golf regularly in the United States alone? This fact may get you wondering whether there are enough golf courses to accommodate this immense number of golfers.
The United States has the most golf courses in the world. But how many golf courses are in the United States?
If you’re curious about the answer, you’re not alone! We’ll provide you with everything you need to know about the number of golf courses in the United States. So, stick around!
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How Many Golf Courses Are in the United States?
According to the National Golf Foundation, there were about 16,000 golf courses made available through 14,000 facilities in the U.S. in 2021. With the world being home to about 38,081 golf courses, the USA prides itself on having 42% of the golf courses in the world.
And yet, the number of golf courses fluctuates because of the frequent closures and openings.
Surprisingly, the United States has witnessed a decline in golf courses of 0.7% from 2021. You need to note that this decline has been ongoing over the past five years.
Why Was the Number of Golf Courses in Decline?
The decrease in the number of golf courses started in 2017 due to the drop in the number of golf players. An estimate of 6.8 million golf players has dropped out of the game.
In addition to this, the number of golfers in 2011 was 25.7 million, which plunged from 30.6 million in 2003.
Undoubtedly, this drop was consistent from 2006 to 2018 for several reasons, such as:
1. The High Cost of Playing Golf
It’s not an exaggeration to say that golf is by far the most expensive sport. As a beginner, you may pay around $150 to start your golf lessons and execute a consistent golf swing. As you level up, the amount gradually increases until you pay about $1000.
2. The High Difficulty of Golf Courses
Golf courses have difficulty ratings based on slope ratings, which range from 55 to 155. A standard golf course has a rating of 113, which might be too tricky for a beginner.
3. The Hectic Lifestyles
The average American person hasn’t got a healthy work-life balance. Consequently, the average golfer wouldn’t have enough time to do anything after work. If you’re a nine-to-fiver, you’re one of the few lucky ones.
4. The Smartphones Generation
With the advent of smartphones, fewer kids are taking up sports. This young generation would rather play a virtual golf game than go to a golf course to learn to swing. Mostly, they don’t have enough patience to practice for years to master a sport like golf.
Nonetheless, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the tide because it acted as a stimulus for golfers to get relief from the lockdown. The flourishing golf business in 2020 made the industry group call it “a year of resurgence.”
Proof of this, 6.2 million golfers joined or rejoined the game in 2020, which marked the most noticeable increase in 17 years.
David Maher, CEO of Acushnet, has noted that the company achieved extraordinary gains in 2020. He also added, when reflecting on 2021 and 2022, “I think the golf landscape is going to have more energy, more momentum, more golfers.”
How Many Public Courses Are Available in the United States?
Broadly speaking, 90% of golfers prefer to play at public golf courses.
Based on the National Golf Foundation statistics, 75% of golf courses in the U.S. are open to the public. That means approximately 11,000 courses are available, whereas more than 4,000 courses, give or take, are private.
As for public golf courses, they’re either municipal or require daily fees. There are approximately 2,500 municipal golf courses that a city or township runs. Added to this, we have 7,800 daily-fee golf courses that you or anyone can access.
This high accessibility made it easy for 3.2 Million people to play for the first time on a golf course in 2021. Moreover, 3.1 million youngsters practiced golf in 2021 as well.
However, that doesn’t mean they would evolve into committed players.
How Many Golf Courses are in Florida?
As of 2022, the State of Florida has the most golf courses per capita, with 1,100 golf courses. Not only does it have the finest golf resorts, but also facilities and shops.
In case you’re more interested in knowing all about the top public golf courses in Florida, it would be a walk in the park to do and choose one.
Even though Florida has been nicknamed “the Golf Capital of the World”, Myrtle Beach is competing for the title. With more than 80 award-winning golf courses designed by golf icons, Myrtle Beach is believed to have earned the nickname.
Which is more worthy of the title? We’ll leave this to golfers and golf lovers across the United States.
How Many Countries Have Golf Courses?
According to the National Golf Foundation, about 82% of the world’s countries are home to golf courses. In other words, you can play golf in 206 countries out of 251.
To put it clearly, 80% of the golf courses around the world are located in the top ten countries listed below:
- The U.S. (42%)
- Japan (8%)
- United Kingdom (8%)
- Canada (7%)
- Australia (4%)
- Germany (3%)
- France (2%)
- South Korea (2%)
- Sweden (2%)
- China (2%)
The remaining 20% of golf courses are scattered around the rest of the world.
A Final Takeaway
In case you’ve forgotten how many golf courses are in the United States, they’re around 16,000 golf courses. Plus, if you’re curious about the prices, municipal courses will charge you roughly $10 more than a daily-fee course.
On average, an 18-hole public course may cost $36 per round, including a cart. Besides, the average green fee at a private facility that’s open to the public is $40 per round.
The price range also depends on the age of the golf course. Simply put, the newer the course, the more you’ll be charged.
Finally, you should be cautious, as this information may talk you into taking up golf!