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What State Has The Best Golfers?

Updated: Apr 10

The debate of which state has the “best golf” is complex and subjective due to a multitude of factors. The most frequent response often cites Florida due to its abundant array of courses. The climate, which remains warm year-round, also enhances accessibility by permitting golf to be played throughout the year. However, regarding the quality of the course, New York has the most courses inside the Top 10 and Top 100 rankings of best courses. This article examines the top golfing states in detail, as well as which state holds the crown for the best golf.

Florida, often referred to as the “Sunshine State”, is frequently identified as the prime destination among golfers when they're deciding where to play, no matter the time of the year. The climate in Florida is one of the most important factors that has contributed to their high ranking. With a warm climate year-round, Florida houses over 1,500 golf courses across the state. Cities like Naples, Jupiter, and Boca Raton are known as "hotbeds" for golfers to spend months at a time in the winter. However, Naples, Florida has more golf courses than any other city in Florida and ranks as one of the highest cities for quality of life.

California, another state known for its climate, also ranks high on the list right behind Florida. California boasts the second-highest number of golf courses, second only to Florida. However, California has the highest number of professional golfers coming from their state. The climatic conditions of California permit year-round golf, similar to Florida. Yet, it experiences about twice less rainfall as Florida. The ease of golfing in California can be directly attributable to the presence of professional stars in pro golf from the state such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and World Long Drive’s 2023 Accuracy Leader: Averee Dovsek.

Aside from Florida and California, numerous states within the United States garner significant recognition within the golf world. Cities like Scottsdale (AZ), Myrtle Beach (SC), and Long Island (NY) have established themselves as having some of the best courses across the country. Bethpage Black, which is on Long Island, will be the next host of the Ryder Cup in September 2025. All three cities have hosted PGA majors & events as well as having multiple courses surrounding those cities that are consistently ranked in the Top 100 courses in America. Beyond California and Florida, each of these states merits consideration as the next premier golfing destination within the United States.

During the past five years, golf has gained popularity in the United States as the number of people playing has skyrocketed. In 2022, approximately 1 in 7 Americans played golf, whether on a course or off. Throughout the last few years, off-course golf entertainment has exploded, such as Topgolf, FiveIron, and Driveshack. Although golf courses in states like Florida and California do not close in the winter, off-course entertainment fills that void for golfers during the cold months in those states where snow prevents them from playing outside throughout the year.  The ability to play golf has become increasingly easier for anyone, no matter where they live. As the popularity of the sport continues to spread states like Florida and California will be challenged to remain on top.

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