How Many Acres For A Golf Course? [Quite A Few]

Golf courses come in all shapes and sizes. From 9-hole pitch and putts to resorts with 10 different courses.

But how many acres is a golf course and how much space would you need if you wanted to build your own golf course? Let’s have a look.

How Many Acres Do You Need For A Golf Course?

How Many Acres Is A Golf Course?

Golf courses need approximately 20 to 200 acres of land for construction, but this can depend on a number of factors such as how many holes, the length, layout design, geographical constraints and buildings.

Obviously, the greater the acreage the more golf course can be built and the more it’s likely to cost. This means that holes can be longer and more spread out, with larger hazards and features.

The number of acres required will vary from a 9-hole par 3 golf course to a venue with multiple courses such as Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, UK, which has three 18-hole courses.

Although there’s no official golf course size in acres, it’s generally a good idea to have an understanding of how much land is required for a typical golf course, so that the golf course architect can create the plans.

It’s also important to mention that those acres needed for golf course need to be a usable land area, which can be turned into a golf course.

How Many Acres Is A 18-hole Golf Course?

The average acreage of a golf course with 18 holes is around 110 to 200 acres of land area.

Golf courses in the UK tend to have a smaller acreage of between 110 and 150, whilst courses in the US will have approximately 150 to 200 acres of land in use.

A standard 18-hole golf course is likely to be about 150 acres in size and will have 18 holes, practice facilities such as practice greens and practice areas, as well as parking lots and a clubhouse.

In the 150 acres, golf course architects are usually able to design a course that’s got an average par of 72 and an average length of between 5000 and 8000 yards.

The size of the golf course doesn’t necessarily determine the length or the quality of the golf course. I’ve played some amazing golf courses which are still long that have a fairly low and other golf courses spread across huge areas of land which aren’t very good at all.

Acres Used On A Golf Course

According to the GCSAA, out of the 150 acres of land used for most golf courses, 67% of that is maintained turfgrass. These 100 acres comprise of the following:

51 acres of rough

The rough counts for around a third of the average golf course acreage, which isn’t overly surprising as it will line both sides of every hole on the course.

Courses will usually have a range of rough lengths from a first cut to thick rough.

As 33% of the total course acreage, the rough is an area that can easily be reduced or increased, depending on what the course designer feels is a good fit.

30 acres of fairways

It’s the place we’re all looking to find from the tee box, but as it’s almost half the acre size of the rough – it’s not always the easiest to hit.

Most courses will have a range of fairway sizes, with some predominantly tight and narrow and others with far more width.

7 acres of practice areas

The practice area of a golf course are a hugely important factor use of land. Golfers need a place to warm up, so driving ranges are the most common, as well as a practice putting green.

Some golf courses may also have a whole area for short game practice, with various practice greens and surrounding sand traps.

3 acres of tees

Tee boxes are an important, but very small in comparison, area of the golf course.

Without good tees, it’s very difficult to hit good tee shots. Therefore it’s an area which needs constant maintenance, repairing divots and keeping them in good condition.

3 acres of greens

Similar to tee boxes, greens are only a very small land area on the golf course, but they’re probably the most important and most scrutinised.

A golf course might be in amazing condition and a great test of golf, but without good quality greens, golfers won’t be happy.

Therefore, greens require plenty of upkeep, with yearly maintenance and regular conditioning.

3 acres of clubhouse grounds

Areas around the clubhouse aren’t in use while playing golf, but they’re very important for the overall visual appeal of the golf club.

Well-manicured turf and clubhouse gardens are a great first impression for visitors of the club.

1 acre of turfgrass nurseries

Some golf courses will have their own turfgrass nurseries, used for replacing any poor turf out on the golf course.

It’s only a small acreage but provides a great source of pristine turf for whenever it’s required.

50 acres of non-turfgrass

The remaining 50 acres are made of non-turfgrass, which basically makes up the rest of a golf course which isn’t grass.

These include the following:

  • 24.0 acres of non-turfgrass landscapes
  • 11.0 acres of water bodies
  • 6.0 acres of buildings
  • 4.5 acres of bunkers
  • 4.5 acres of parking lots

How Many Acres For A Championship Golf Course?

A typical championship golf course will be on the larger side of 150 to 200 acres of land.

Although a championship golf course is more known for its difficulty rather than its size, for it to hold a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour or European Tour it’s likely to be larger than average.

This is so that it can accommodate crowds of fans, as well as TV crews, manufacturer tour vans and much more.

Some courses are built specifically for holding large golf events, with large areas for fans to walk and stretched-out holes.

TPC Sawgrass for example was a course built for hosting the best players on the PGA Tour every year in the “5th major”, The Players Championship.

Final Thoughts

If you’re planning on building a successful golf course or perhaps you’re just interested in golf course architecture, it’s very important to understand how many acres are required for a golf course.

Usually, this will vary greatly, with many factors affecting what size of land is needed. If you’ve got fewer acres to work with or the only usable land area is small, then building a 9-hole course or a short par 3 course might also be a great option for the average golfer or avid golfer to enjoy.


How many acres is a golf course UK?

Most 18-hole golf courses will be roughly 110 acres in size, but this will depend on how long and open they are. Most courses will all have other facilities such as a driving range, which will increase the acreage required.

How many acres of golf courses in the US?

The US has 2,244,512 acres of golf courses, based on the findings from the GCSAA, with the average 18-hole course using bout 150 acres.

How many acres is the smallest golf course?

For a small par 3 golf course, the total acreage can be between 15 and 30 acres. Most 18-hole par 3 courses will be about 30 acres.

How many is a 9-hole golf course?

A 9-hole golf course will use between 60 and 100 acres of land, depending on several factors such as length and course design.

How many acres in a golf course?

A golf course has between 20 and 200 acres of land, but this depends on many factors such as the type of golf course and where the golf course is located.

How many acres to build a golf course?

A golf course will need approximately 20 to 200 acres of land for building on, however, how many acres needed for a golf course can vary depending on the size of the golf course which is being designed and built.

How much land do you need for a golf course?

Golf courses need a large amount of land to be built on, usually between 20 to 200 acres.

How many acres is an 18 hole golf course?

An 18-hole golf course is usually between 110 and 200 acres of land, but the acreage of this type of golf course can be different depending on its location in the world, with courses in the US tending to be larger than other countries.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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