More Than A Thousand Courses In Michigan

For some years, I have been citing “more than 800” as the number of golf courses in Michigan. That was based on an article I saw some years ago citing the number of public courses in the state. But a recent article elsewhere had me heading to GolfLink to see just how many courses that site has listed. The scoop: 1047. There also are apparently another hundred or so private courses. That puts the total number of Michigan golf courses at more than 1,100. **Correction: it seems that GolfLink includes both private and public. Mea Culpa**

California has 1,140 public courses. Florida has 1,481. Texas, 1041.

South Carolina has 462.

What’s most remarkable about Michigan’s total is that we have perhaps a seven month playing season, and a much smaller population than either of those other three big golf states. On a per capital basis, California has one course for every 32, 422 people. Florida, one for every 12,517. Michigan, one for every 9,522. Texas, one for every 23,806.

Michigan is a golf mad state, indeed.

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4 thoughts on “More Than A Thousand Courses In Michigan”

  1. I think Minnesota can beat that. Divide a population of 5,266,214 ( by 575 courses and you have one course for every 9,158 people. The Land of Cheese is also more “golf-crazy” than Michigan: one course for 9,362 people.

  2. I’m not sure why the numbers I gave “don’t jive.” I think they correlate very well. While the numbers I relied on (—use either “QuickFacts” or “Population Finder” from the left column) are from 2009, there isn’t much difference from year to year. In both the case cited by BKUEHN1952 and me, Wisconsin has a relatively low number, and Minnesota’s number is lower yet.

    What I didn’t do is dig out a population number for Michigan. Instead, I relied on what GolfBlogger put out there.

    Just now I went back to and looked at 2009 numbers for Michigan. That gives a population of 9,969,727. Now what do you divide into that? If it’s 1047, the result—9,522—is higher than the one I calculated for Minnesota or Wisconsin.

    If you use “1,100” (since GolfBlogger said “more than 100” private clubs exist in Michigan), the number for Michigan drops to 9,063, which does give Michigan a lower number than those other two states. But I don’t know where that number of private clubs comes from, and if GolfLink omits private clubs in Michigan, presumably it omits private clubs in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

  3. First of all, I believe the number includes private clubs.  When you look at their detailed listings, private clubs are listed.  Still, I think Michigan may have the most public courses per capita based on a very sketchy recollection of some golf publication citation.

    Second, the population numbers cited by @Northern Buckeye do not jive with the 2010 census that I reviewed (MI-9,884,000, MN-5,304,000 and WI-5,687,000).  Each of these states has a pretty good course per population ratio (MI- 1:9,440; MN- 1:9,220; WI- 1:9,420).

    If the title “Most Golf Crazy” were awarded strictly on this ratio, then Vermont might win with a ratio of 1:8,283.  However, having lived in New England and played in VT, they are defintely NOT the most golf crazy state.

    Ultimately, if I were going to award the title, it would go to Florida just because of the sheer numbers of courses, retirees, and rounds played per year.


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