Golf Courses Per Capita

February 5, 2011

The study has been concluded and the results are in. The most golf-mad state in the union, based on per capita golf courses is ....

North Dakota.

With one course for every 5,468 people, it is far and away the best served state in terms of course availability.

The most golf-impoverished state, on the other hand, is California, with one course for every 32,679 people. I find it funny that USGA Headquarters, is in Far Hills, NJ, a state which is in the bottom five most golf-impoverished.

Michigan is just out of the top ten.

So I’ve just created a new statistic: Golf Wealth. That’s the number of golf courses per capita. For this “study,” I used the number of courses for each state as listed by, and the 2010 census data, as listed on wikipedia.

A table showing all the states, and their Golf Wealth is below:

Golf Courses Per Capita
StateCourses Population Per capita (Golf Wealth)
North Dakota 123 672,591 5,468
South Dakota 132 814,180 6,168
Iowa 441 3,046,355 6,908
Wyoming 70 493,782 7,054
Nebraska 249 1,826,341 7,335
Vermont 76 608,827 8,011
Montana 119 989,415 8,314
Maine 150 1,328,361 8,856
Minnesota 575 5,303,925 9,224
Wisconsin 604 5,686,986 9,416
Michigan 1,047 9,883,640 9,440
South Carolina 462 4,625,364 10,012
Kansas 273 2,853,118 10,451
New Hampshire 123 1,316,470 10,703
Florida 1,481 15,982,378 10,792
Indiana 527 6,483,802 12,303
Idaho 126 1,567,582 12,441
Ohio 901 11,536,504 12,804
Arkansas 223 2,915,918 13,076
Hawaii 104 1,360,301 13,080
Kentucky 315 4,339,367 13,776
West Virginia 133 1,852,994 13,932
North Carolina 664 9,535,483 14,361
Arizona 421 6,392,017 15,183
Alabama 311 4,779,736 15,369
Oklahoma 241 3,751,351 15,566
Pennsylvania 811 12,702,379 15,663
Mississippi 189 2,967,297 15,700
Massachusetts 408 6,547,629 16,048
Colorado 306 5,029,196 16,435
Illinois 777 12,830,632 16,513
Oregon 231 3,831,074 16,585
Delaware 53 900,877 16,998
Missouri 336 5,988,927 17,824
Rhode Island 59 1,052,567 17,840
Connecticut 200 3,574,097 17,870
Georgia 523 9,687,653 18,523
Tennessee 329 6,346,105 19,289
Virginia 414 8,001,024 19,326
New Mexico 106 2,059,179 19,426
New York 976 19,378,102 19,855
Nevada 133 2,700,551 20,305
Washington 327 6,724,540 20,564
Utah 134 2,763,885 20,626
Louisiana 194 4,533,372 23,368
Texas 1,041 25,145,561 24,155
New Jersey 360 8,791,894 24,422
Maryland 231 5,773,552 24,994
Alaska 25 710,231 28,409
California 1,140 37,253,956 32,679
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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  • So what’s the point? That people should be building more golf courses in California? An analysis like this might be appropriate for grocery stores, because everyone eats. Or doctors, because everyone needs one. But analyzing golf based on courses per capita, when just 9% of the population plays golf, means absolutely nothing.

    Posted by H.M. Silverman on 02/05

  • It’s all in fun, my friend. All in fun.

    Posted by The Original Golf Blogger on 02/05

  • Interesting to the 9% of us (less 1) who play golf.

    Golf courses per square mile, who beats Rhode Island?  One course per 20.6 square miles.  North Dakota is 1 course per 574.8 square miles.

    Posted by bkuehn1952 on 02/05

  • I should pump that into my spreadsheet next ...

    Posted by The Original Golf Blogger on 02/05

  • I was thinking of the golf course per sq. mile too.  What good is the availability of tee times in ND if you have to travel 45 miles to the nearest course?

    Posted by martin on 02/06

  • Many of California’s golf courses of the 1900s were either bulldozed for freeways or fell to the pressure to build houses. Many of the ones left, however, are gems.

    “So what’s the point? That people should be building more golf courses in California?”

    No, though that might help its economy.

    It’s that statistics is a game anyone can play. Even the humorless.

    Posted by Pappy on 02/06

  • Can you imagine people actually getting upset because of a survey that is nothing more than a little unimportant information.  I wonder what they do when there is a really important survey.  Probably wrap themselves in ashcloth and beat their chests.

    Posted by Dick on 02/07

  • Your next chart should show the average cost of a round of golf per state.  That would be interesting.

    Posted by mediaguru on 02/10

  • You should be using the number of golfers per state, not the population.  Granted, that is a hard number to get, but you could maybe look at the number of registered USGA members by state or annual golf club sales per state as your numerator to get some kind of reasonable metric.  I guarantee I would have an easier time getting on a golf course in California than North Dakota.

    Posted by Chris on 06/22

  • I would have assumed that Florida had the most golf courses per capita. Although five of the top ten are states with less than 1 million people although Iowa has a pretty impressive number. Florida isn’t too far out of the top ten and it does have the most courses of any state.

    Posted by golf apparel on 10/17

  • Please come to Hot Springs Village AR if you want to luxuriate in golf heaven.  We have 8 1/2 courses and 14,000 residents!  We have wonderful private homes with 2 - 5 bedrooms in all price ranges for your comfort during your stay.  And you will have full access to all golfing facilities as well as lakes for fishing, mountain trails for hiking and lush forest foliage to enjoy on the side while you’re here.  Especially for the ladies there’s pampering galore available in Spa City USA, Hot Springs, AR only 20 minutes away.

    Posted by Cathy Rudder on 11/18

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