It is one thing to ask about the most golf courses by state, but what people are really asking is what state has the most golf courses. Okay, that sounds like the same question, but to be fair, comparing an area the size of Texas versus a state like Rhode Island, for example, isn't exactly fair. This perspective also prompted another question that led to some rather surprising data.
Asking, what state has the most golf courses also isn't necessarily an accurate depiction of which states actually have the most golf courses by area. That was also the question that one of the leading golf authorities, The Golf Channel, asked that very question. In some way, they also leveled the playing field by asking not only, what states had the most golf courses, but which state had the most golf courses per square mile.
# Courses 🔽
The state with the most golf courses is unsurprising, Florida. The Sunshine State is known for its tourism and the number of retirees that come south for the winter, domestically and internationally. Golf is usually a sport that is most associated with wealth and prestige, meaning that the equipment is marked up because of this. Also, Florida has some of the country's prime real estate for gold courses, namely housing over 1250 golf courses throughout the state. Pam Beach County is an area with the most densely populated number of golf courses, with popular names being TPC Sawgrass, PGA National Gold Club, and Streamsong Resort.
New York may not have the most desirable landscape for golf courses, but is home to some of the wealthiest citizens in the country. This has brought about a huge demand for the sport in the state, even outside the Greater NYC area. New York has around 1000 golf courses, with some of them being the most popular in the world. New York golf courses are often found on the PGA tour, which many can discern from watching the sport on television. New York has plentiful and quality courses, with Oak Hill Country Club leading the charge.
California is the country's largest state by the number of residents, making golf an extremely lucrative business that attracts the state's top talent, as well as golfers from around the world. California has a pristine climate that makes it great for resorts to stay open year-round, unlike some states that are found in the north or east. California has around 920 courses in the state, with key names such as Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, and Spyglass Hill.
The combination of excellent climate, unique landscape, and increasing yearly demand will have the Californian golf scene exponentially trending upwards in the years to come.
Texas comes in 4th with 900 golf courses. It is not unusual to see this state at the top of the list, as it has some of the largest land mass in the country, and attracts top talent and businesses year-round. Texas golf courses can be open throughout all seasons as Texas rarely sees inclement weather, save for a few situations. The famous courses in Texas are the Dallas National, Whispering Pine Course, and Cordillera Ranch. The open landscape has the opportunity to house some of the largest golf courses in the country for the right entrepreneur.
Home to Muirfield Village and the Inverness Club, Ohio may not be the largest by volume, but it certainly is one of the largest by size. At almost 800 courses, Ohio is a strong contender for the top 5 positions as the sport is extremely popular outside of urban areas. Central Ohio has received some scrutiny in the last few years for weakening demand, but thought-leaders in this space claim that there is still extremely healthy competition and desire for the sport in this area.
Courses per Square Mile
Best Golf Courses
|California||968||0.01||Pebble Beach Golf Links|
|Texas||861||0.00||Black Jack’s Crossing|
|New York||857||0.01||Bethpage State Park Golf Course (Black Course)|
|Pennsylvania||697||0.01||Mystic Rock at Nemacolin|
|Illinois||658||0.01||TPC Deere Run|
|North Carolina||549||0.01||Pinehurst No. 2|
|Indiana||460||0.01||French Lick Resort|
|Georgia||423||0.01||Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters)|
|South Carolina||348||0.01||Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course)|
|Missouri||335||0.01||Big Cedar Lodge (Payne’s Valley Course)|
|Virginia||330||0.01||The Omni Homestead Resort (Cascades Course)|
|Arizona||323||0.00||We-Ko-Pa Golf Club|
|New Jersey||311||0.03||Atlantic City Country Club|
|Tennessee||287||0.01||Sweetens Cove Golf Club|
|Colorado||265||0.00||The Broadmoor (East Course)|
|Alabama||256||0.01||FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms|
|Kansas||254||0.00||Firekeeper Golf Course|
|Arkansas||201||0.00||Mystic Creek Golf Club|
|Maine||139||0.00||Sunday River Golf Club|
|Utah||128||0.00||Sand Hollow Resort (Championship Course)|
|South Dakota||122||0.00||The Golf Club at Red Rock|
|North Dakota||115||0.00||Hawktree Golf Club|
|Idaho||113||0.00||Circling Raven Golf Club at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel|
|New Hampshire||112||0.01||Omni Mount Washington|
|Montana||100||0.00||The Wilderness Club|
|Hawaii||91||0.01||Manele Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort|
|New Mexico||85||0.00||Paako Ridge|
|Vermont||65||0.01||Spruce Peak (Mountain Course)|
|Rhode Island||59||0.04||Newport National Golf Club (Orchard Course)|
|Alaska||24||0||Moose Run Golf Course|
|District of Columbia||3||0|
|Florida||1,154||0.02||TPC Sawgrass (The Players Stadium Course)|