How Many Acres is a Golf Course?

How many acres is a golf course

Ever wonder how many acres is a golf course?

Golf courses can range in size depending on the number of holes, design elements, and surrounding landscape. This post will delve into the average acreage of an 18-hole golf course and what to expect from smaller 9-hole courses. Finally, we’ll dive into the sizes needed for a practice facility.


What is the Average Acreage of an 18-Hole Golf Course?

An 18-hole average golf course typically requires between 100 and 300 acres of land, depending on the size and layout of the course. This range may seem broad, but there are various factors that contribute to a typical golf course”s acreage requirements. Some courses feature more challenging layouts with longer holes, while others have shorter distances between greens and tees.

Golf courses can be found in many different environments – from coastal areas to mountainous regions – which also impact their overall size. For example, a seaside links-style golf course architects, might require less acreage than one built within a heavily wooded area due to differences in terrain and vegetation density.

A well-known example is Pebble Beach Golf Links, located along California’s coastline; it covers approximately 110 acres despite being an iconic championship-level course known for its breathtaking views and challenging playability.

Most golf courses also need addition land beyond just the golf course for the driving range, practice greens and chipping area (some include sand traps).


Different Types of Golf Courses:

  • Parkland: These courses are characterized by lush green fairways surrounded by trees, often set within parks or residential communities. They generally require more land due to tree-lined boundaries creating natural barriers between holes.
  • Links: Often found near coastlines, these courses have fewer trees and utilize natural sand dunes as hazards instead. The open landscape allows for smaller acreages compared to parkland designs.
  • Desert: Built within arid landscapes like those found in Arizona or Nevada, desert golf courses use minimal water resources through careful landscaping techniques such as xeriscaping (using native plants that require little water). These courses can be more compact due to the lack of vegetation.


Key Takeaway: An 18-hole golf course generally necessitates between one hundred and three hundred acres, varying depending on the layout and kind of course. The size can vary due to factors such as terrain, vegetation density, and water resources.


How Many Acers is a 9-Hole Golf Course?

For those seeking to enjoy the game in a more compact environment, a 9-hole golf course may be the perfect option. These courses are typically smaller in size compared to their 18-hole counterparts, requiring between 40 and 80 acres of land depending on the layout and design.

9-hole golf course comes in all shapes and sizes. Some courses have both Par 3 and Par 4 holes, while others may just be a Par 3 course.

These courses can be found in a variety of settings, such as urban parks, coastal regions, or mountainous areas, each presenting unique challenges and stunning scenery. Despite their smaller scale compared to 18-hole courses, nine-hole golf courses still provide an engaging and enjoyable round of golf that can be played in a shorter amount of time, making them an appealing option for those with busy schedules or for beginners looking to develop their skills in a more manageable environment.


What Factors Affect the Size of a Golf Course?

Factors Affect the Size of a Golf Course

The size of a golf course can vary greatly depending on several factors that influence its design and layout.


The terrain on which a golf course is built has an impact on its size, with courses laid out over flat land typically requiring less acreage than those featuring hills and uneven ground.

Courses constructed on flat land generally require less acreage than those with rolling hills or uneven ground, which demand more space for fairways and greens to accommodate elevation changes. For example, Pebble Beach Golf Links, located along California’s rugged coastline, spans approximately 170 acres due to its dramatic cliffs and oceanfront setting.



The climate in which a golf course is situated also plays a role in determining its size. For example, in regions with abundant rainfall or high humidity levels, courses often need more land for proper drainage systems and water features like ponds or lakes that help manage excess moisture while adding aesthetic appeal.

On the other hand, desert courses such as TPC Scottsdale are typically designed with fewer water hazards and thus require less acreage overall.


Soil Type

Different soil types have varying effects on how much land is needed for a successful golf course layout. Sandy soils drain quickly but can be challenging to grow grasses suitable for fairways and greens; therefore, they might necessitate additional acreage dedicated solely to turf management practices like irrigation systems or specialized grass varieties.

Conversely, clay-based soils retain moisture well but may require more extensive drainage systems to prevent flooding and waterlogged playing surfaces.



The presence of natural vegetation on a golf course can significantly impact its size requirements. Dense forests or wetlands often need to be preserved for environmental reasons, which might limit the available space for fairways and greens while increasing overall acreage needs.

Additionally, incorporating existing trees and plants into the course design can create unique challenges that make each hole memorable and enjoyable for players.


Water Availability

Access to water sources is important to determine the acreage needed for a golf course.

Courses and practice areas with limited access to fresh water may incorporate fewer lakes or ponds into their design, reducing overall acreage requirements. However, these courses must also invest in efficient irrigation systems that minimize water waste while maintaining optimal playing conditions throughout the year.


Environmental Considerations

Golf courses are increasingly being designed with sustainability in mind, which means considering factors like wildlife habitats, erosion control measures, and energy-efficient maintenance practices when planning layouts.

These environmentally-friendly initiatives can sometimes necessitate additional land allocation; however, they ultimately contribute towards conserving resources and preserving natural landscapes for future generations of golfers to enjoy.


Wrapping It Up

The size of a golf course can vary greatly depending on the number of holes, design elements, and surrounding landscape. The average acreage of an 18-hole golf course ranges between 100 and 300 acres, while 9-hole courses typically require between 40 and 80 acres.

Factors such as terrain, climate, soil type, vegetation, water availability, and environmental considerations all play a role in determining the size of a golf course. Golf course designers must balance these factors while creating enjoyable and challenging courses that cater to the needs of the players and the environment.

We hope you found our article How Many Acres Is a Golf Course helpful. If you’re an avid golfer like us, subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest tips, reviews, and guides from Humble Golfer. Plus, you’ll be automatically signed up for our free monthly giveaway!



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Amir is a passionate weekend golfer with a love for the sport. He's always testing out new gear and exploring new courses, while also constantly learning and improving his game. As a true student of the sport, he's dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences with other golf enthusiasts.

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