How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course? [Not Cheap!]

With the growth in popularity of golf in recent years, demand for good quality golf courses has never been higher.

So perhaps you’re thinking of your next business opportunity and want to know how much it costs to build a new golf course. Or perhaps you’re just interested in what it takes to build a golf course.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much does it cost to build a golf course.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?

A standard golf course costs between $3 million and $25 million (£2.5 million and £20 million), but this will depend on a number of different factors.

One of the best recent developments was the JCB Golf and Country Club in Rocester, England. This was built by the machinery giants JCB and it’s thought to have cost around £30 million.

Of course, the cost of building your own golf course all comes down to what you’re really looking for from the project.

Do you want something that’s fit to hold PGA Tour events and the best players in the world? Or are you looking for a place where golfers of all abilities can come to enjoy a fun and enjoyable game of golf?

Whatever the goal is, you have to have a clear vision from the start of what you want your golf course to be, which will ultimately determine what the cost to build it will be.

The costs involved in building a golf course include land acquisition, design fees and construction costs, all of which can vary depending on location and level of complexity.

Land Acquisition

Acquiring land for a golf course can be very expensive, and how much land you need will vary widely depending on the area and the size. Golf course acreage can range from about 110 to 200 acres for an 18-hole course.

The cost of land is the major expense in a golf course cost and most times will take up about 40% of the total cost, and in some cases even more.

Often it takes years to find and will be a long drawn-out buying process. Finding the right piece of land is important as it will help to shape the course style and setup once it gets built.

Links courses are going to have very different terrain and style from parkland courses, so the type of land being acquired needs to be carefully thought about.

Design Fees

Design costs are also another big factor in the price of a golf course and can vary greatly.

Some owners may decide to design the layout themselves or they might prefer to hire an experienced golf course architect instead.

If a course architect is used, the cost can vary depending on the level of expertise and the scope of the work.

Designing a golf course is much more than just creating 18 holes of golf. Of course, creating the tee boxes, putting greens and everything in between is pretty important. But you’ve also got to think about the cart paths, water features, bridge construction, practice facilities, irrigation systems and many other facilities you’d find at a top-quality golf course.

Typically, a course designer can charge anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million for a golf course design, so it’s vital to incorporate this fee into the overall cost of a golf course build.

Construction Cost

Once you’ve found the land and created a course design, it’s then onto building the golf course.

In a lot of cases, golf course construction will be the largest cost associated with a golf course build.

The build process can take up to 4 or 5 years and cost roughly $50,000 to $200,000 per hole.

From choosing the correct grass seed and soil type to ensuring the right seed prep, there’s plenty that needs to be considered, so using experienced professionals is essential to a successful build.

How complex the construction project is will determine the total construction costs involved. Many golf courses will come with a driving range, practice greens, tennis courts and much more, so these extras will need to be budgeted for in the total cost.

Ensuring the golf course is built to a high-quality standard is important to avoid costly maintenance fees and save money in the long run.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A 18-hole Golf Course?

For an 18-hole golf course, most courses will likely cost between $3 million and $25 million dollars to build.

The total cost will depend on many factors such as how many acres are purchased, whether it’s flat land or quite rough terrain, and the type of style and design the golf course architect proposes.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A 9-hole Golf Course?

A 9-hole golf course will cost in the region of $1 million to $10 million dollars, depending on the cost of land acquisition, architect fees and the cost to build.

A 9-hole golf course is obviously much smaller than a standard 18-hole course, so costs will usually be about half.

With that said, a lot of the associated costs will be similar but just on a smaller scale.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A PGA Golf Course?

A PGA golf course will cost more than a standard golf course to build and will likely to between $15 million and $30 million.

This is usually because of the sheer scale of the operation required to build a golf course that’s suitable for tournament golf.

A golf course on the PGA Tour, for example, will need to be long enough, difficult enough and have enough space for spectators, TV crews and much more.

A course such as TPC Sawgrass was built specifically to hold big tournaments such as The Players Championship, so this greater size tends to costs more to build.

Final Thoughts

Building a golf course is a far from easy job and is one that will take many years of hard work to achieve.

However, a new golf course is an amazing opportunity, with the growth of the game in recent years and can provide a great place for the local community.

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.

Scroll to Top