How Many Golf Courses in the World? (2024 Update)

Photo of author

Over 80% of countries in the world have golf courses — golf is truly a global sport!

In this article, you’ll learn how many golf courses there are in the world. Also, you’ll discover which countries and states have the most courses.

So, if you’re planning your next golf trip — or simply feeling inquisitive — read on!

How Many Golf Courses in the World?

There are around 38,081 golf courses in the world, distributed throughout 206 of the world’s 251 countries. However, 82% of these golf courses are concentrated across 10 countries: the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, South Korea, Sweden, and China.

So, what’s the spread of courses across these countries? Read on to find out!

which country has the most golf courses

Countries With the Most Golf Courses

Did you know that 82% of countries in the world have golf courses? That equates to 206 out of 251 countries, with more seeing golf development every year.

However, around 80% of the almost 38,081 golf courses worldwide are located in just 10 countries: the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, South Korea, Sweden, and China.

Here’s a full breakdown of the data:

RankCountryGolf CoursesSquare MilesCourses Per Square Mile
1United States16,1563,618,7830.004
3United Kingdom3,10194,0580.033
8South Korea81038,6910.021
Sources: National Golf Foundation and Worldometers

The majority of worldwide golf courses are situated in the western hemisphere, with the United States dominating the global list total at over 16,000 golf courses.

However, the course density in the U.S. is fairly low at just 0.004 courses per square mile — indicating that the golf courses are widely spread throughout the country.

Conversely, the UK is the most golf-centric nation in the top 10 list, with a course density of 0.033 per square mile. Specifically, England’s 2,213 courses are distributed across 50,346 square miles of land mass — one course every 22.8 square miles.

One major outlier in the global list is Japan, which has the second-highest total number of golf courses in the world. It’s the only non-English-speaking country in the top 5.

Which Country Has the Most Golf Courses?

The United States has the most golf courses in the world — home to approximately 42% of the world’s supply, according to NGF.

Map illustrating the spread of golf courses worldwide.

How Many Golf Courses in the United States?

Currently, there are around 16,156 golf courses in the United States. As such, the U.S. has long been regarded as one of the top golf locations in the world.

“There are more than 16,000 golf courses in the U.S. That’s more golf courses nationwide than Starbucks or McDonald’s stores.”

National Golf Foundation

However, this number is constantly evolving. Each year, there are a number of closures, renovations, and new golf courses being built — a process that takes several years.

In fact, the number of golf courses in the United States has declined by 1.8% per year, on average, for the past 5 years, according to IBIS World.

This marginal downshift shows that the relative balance of power is shifting overseas to an extent, as the U.S. becomes less of a dominating force in the golf world.

how many golf courses in the united states

Most Golf Courses By State

Typically, larger states with a greater population will have the highest number of golf courses. However, other factors come into play — such as wealth per capita.

Check out the states with the most golf courses below:

RankStateNumber of Golf CoursesCourses Per Square Mile
3New York8330.015
9North Carolina5460.010
Source: World Population Review

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Florida has the most courses out of any state in the U.S. The state is home to an affluent population and a large number of retirees, which equals a high demand for golf courses.

Secondly, California is the most populous state and has fantastic weather for golf all year round. As a result, the state holds around 940 golf courses.

Interestingly, Ohio has the highest course density out of the top 10 list — with the equivalent of a golf course every 59 square miles.

south florida golf coursejpg
Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the U.S.

Least Golf Courses By State

So, we’ve analyzed the most golf-centric states in the nation, however, which states feature the fewest number of golf courses?

RankStateNumber of Golf CoursesCourses Per Square Mile
48Rhode Island560.036
44New Mexico850.001
Source: World Population Review

The state of Alaska tops the list with just 23 golf courses, despite having over 665,000 square miles of land mass!

Here’s a fascinating video following the world’s smallest U.S. Open Qualifier in Alaska, showing the challenging conditions in the cold, windy environment:


In summary, there are 38,081 golf courses in the world. However, over 80% of these courses are distributed across just 10 countries.

The United States is the country with the most golf courses, featuring 16,156 courses across all 50 states — Florida, California, and New York being the most golf-centric.

However, the United Kingdom has the highest course density out of the top 10 — with a golf course situated every 22.8 square miles in England.

Share This Article:

Photo of author

Hailing from the South West of England, Jake has been playing golf for over a decade. He founded Pitchmarks with the aim of helping everyday golfers like himself learn more about the game, through instructional content and honest gear reviews. He has a degree in Architecture and a passion for golf course design, along with a lofty goal to play the world's top 100 courses.