The fourth largest country in the world by area and the third most populous, the United States of America comprises the forty-eight contiguous states between Canada and Mexico, along with Alaska in the north west corner of the continent and the island state of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, which became the 50th and most recent state to join the federal republic in 1959.
It’s thought that golf may have been played in several states along the eastern seaboard soon after the American Revolution but another hundred years would pass before the first organised golf clubs were formed. Scotsman John Reid is generally given credit for introducing golf to America around 1888, when he and several friends laid out a very primitive 3-hole course near his home in Yonkers, New York.
In 1895, the year after the United States Golf Association was formed, it’s said that there were 76 golf clubs in the United States, a total that would increase ten-fold within the following three years. Looking at today’s figures, an R&A report entitled “Golf around the world 2015” believes there are now 15,372 golf facilities nationwide, a figure that represents approximately 45% of the total number throughout the world.
We currently showcase over 1150 American layouts in our various charts, with just under half of the courses in our US Top 100 rankings (as detailed lower down this page) also appearing in our World Top 100 standings. We maintain comprehensive Best in State charts for every state, headed by Florida, where we first introduced a Top 100 table for the Sunshine State in 2013.
We also promote Top 50 tables for half a dozen of the most important golfing states, namely California, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and South Carolina. Of the remaining forty three states, seventeen boast at least a Top 20 chart (Illinois, Michigan and Ohio actually have Top 40s) and twenty-five states feature at least a Top 10. Alaska, the largest but least densely populated state, is the only state to have a Top 5 chart.