Which country has the most golf courses?

Golf has established a prominent presence across numerous countries, but which one has the most golf courses in the world?

As of the year-end 2021, there are golf courses in 209 of the world’s 249 countries, according to the latest “Golf Around the World” report, a publication by the esteemed R&A. This extensive report, backed by comprehensive research from the National Golf Foundation (NGF), offers a comprehensive exploration of golf’s global reach, focusing on the worldwide supply of golf courses, both existing and under development.

The fabulous North Country Golf Club in Hokkaido, Japan.
The fabulous North Country Golf Club in Hokkaido, Japan.

The R&A, a renowned authority in the world of golf, disseminates this report to its members worldwide and often references its content in presentations, conferences, and speeches addressing global supply and development trends.

This meticulous study catalogues a total of 38,864 golf courses worldwide—an inventory diligently curated and maintained by the NGF. It also scrutinizes trends across six major regions worldwide, such as the emergence of Vietnam as a prominent market and the role of golf courses in driving local development in countries like Argentina, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

The Judge Course at Capitol Hill on the RTJ Trail in Alabama, USA

However, when looking at the distribution of golf courses on a global scale, it becomes evident that the majority of these facilities are concentrated in a select few nations.

The report reveals that out of the 38,081 golf courses distributed across 206 countries and dependent territories, a staggering 80% are clustered within the top 10 golfing nations. These nations include the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, Australia, South Korea, and China, reflecting the sport’s significant popularity and infrastructure in these regions.

As golf fans and industry professionals seek to gain insights into the worldwide golfing landscape, particularly after its rise in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic, it is pertinent to examine which countries boast the most extensive golf course networks.

The following list ranks the top 20 countries by the number of golf courses they host, providing a glimpse into the global distribution of this beloved sport:

Top 20 Countries with the Most Golf Courses:

  1. USA – 16,156
  2. Japan – 3,140
  3. UK – 3,101
  4. Canada – 2,564
  5. Australia – 1,584
  6. Germany – 1,054
  7. France – 811
  8. The Republic of Korea – 810
  9. Sweden – 650
  10. China – 617
  11. Spain – 493
  12. South Africa – 477
  13. New Zealand – 416
  14. Ireland – 365
  15. Netherlands – 350
  16. Argentina – 348
  17. Denmark – 347
  18. Thailand – 317
  19. Italy – 312
  20. India – 298

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