America’s Best Cities for Golfers

Published January 6, 2021

Map of the 5 Best Cities for Golfers on the West Coast

Golf is a popular pastime in the United States, with an industry study finding that over 34 million Americans played golf of some kind in 2019. Over 5 million of those golfers were people aged 55 and up, with this older generation of golfers playing an average of 36 rounds per year. That amounts to more than a round every other week during the course of a year!

Golf being popular among older players makes sense, as it is a more casual sport that can be played at a leisurely pace, and one that players can continue to enjoy for decades past what is typically considered to be a person’s physical prime. For these reasons and more, golf is a favored pastime of retirees across the country, and a beloved way for older Americans to remain active while enjoying the outdoors, regardless of whether they are still active in the workforce or not.

Of course, some places are better than others when it comes to getting out and playing a round, with factors such as climate and golf course availability making it easier for golf enthusiasts to hit the links in certain parts of the country compared to others. Knowing how popular the game of golf is to people around the country, our team was interested in determining which cities are the absolute best places for golfers to live across America. After comparing factors focusing on climate, cost of living, golf course quality, and more, we were able to compare 100 of America’s largest cities against one another to create a leaderboard of the best cities for golfers in the United States!

Methodology

We collected data on each of America’s 100 largest cities (based on population size) for the following factors (links lead to data sources for all factors):

Cost Of Living

Quality of Life

The Average Temperature Difference From 70 Degrees Fahrenheit 

The Number Of Days Above 70 Degrees Annually

Days Of Precipitation Annually

Hours Of Sunshine Annually

Number Of Days Above 90 Or Below 32 Degrees Fahrenheit

The Number Of Golf Courses Per 100,000 People

The Number Of Highly Rated Golf Courses (4+ Stars) Per 100,000 People

Average Golf Course Rating

Cities were assigned a score of 0-10 for each factor, with a mathematical formula formulating each score relative to the other cities in our analysis. Factor scores were then added together to give each city a final score on a 0-100 scale, with higher scores indicating better conditions for golf enthusiasts.

Results

Map of the 25 best cities for golfers in the United States

Once we had finished the evaluation, we decided to map out the 25 best cities for golfers across the country. These rankings are good news for golfers in the western part of the country, especially those in Arizona. The Grand Canyon State boasts seven of the top 25 cities, including each of the top three overall. Common threads among these Arizona cities include high rankings for quality of life, hours of sunshine, days of precipitation, and the number of highly rated golf courses.

California also features seven of the top 25 cities, with three more calling Nevada home. All told only one city east of the Arizona border, St. Petersburg, Florida, finished in the top 15. For any golf enthusiasts looking to take a golf vacation or even make a permanent move, we would highly suggest taking a look out west!

Top Cities For Golfers In The Northeast

Map of the 5 Best Cities for Golfers in the Northeastern part of the United States

Of course, we know that not everyone can live in or travel to the American west, especially in the current climate. For that reason we also created distinct rankings for each of four American regions-the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. For these rankings cities were only scored against other cities in their specific geographic region, meaning that scores for these regional breakdowns will be slightly different from the national evaluation. We did this because we wanted to find the five best cities for golfers in different parts of America to live and visit if significant travel is not an option.

In the Northeast, the top three cities are all in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area, each with overall scores in excess of 60. While the two biggest cities in the region, New York and Boston, round out the top five here, their scores are significantly lower than the top three, coming in at just 52.5 and 45.

Top Cities For Golfers In The Midwest

Map of the 5 Best Cities for Golfers in the Midwest

While the best cities for golfers in the Northeast were clustered together, their counterparts in the Midwest are spread out much more, with Missouri being the only state with multiple cities in the top five. It is also worth noting how much temperature played into these rankings, as colder states located farther north such as Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were completely shut out of the top five.

Top Cities For Golfers In The South

Map of the 5 Best Cities for Golfers in the Southern Part of the United States

Florida has a reputation as a haven for retirees, so it comes as no surprise that three of the five best cities for golfers in the American South are all in the Sunshine State, with the top spot in the region easily going to the Sunshine City of St. Petersburg. Nearby Tampa and the theme park mecca of Orlando are the other Florida cities that made the list here.

Top Cities For Golfers In The West

Map of the 5 Best Cities for Golfers on the West Coast

Finally we come to the region that dominated the overall nationwide analysis. Interestingly, by limiting this analysis to just cities in the West scores changed just enough for Arizona’s dominance to become even more pronounced. Four of the top five cities for golfers out West are all in Arizona, with the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada, being the only non-Arizona city to crack the list.

Golf is such a popular sport that no matter where you live in America there are bound to be quality courses that you can access and enjoy, but for those looking to travel or move to better feed your passion for the game, we hope this analysis has provided plenty of inspiration. And remember, no matter what your passion is in retirement, the experts at Coventry Direct can help you finance it!

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