How Many Acres are Needed for a Golf Course

18-hole golf courses can have different sizes. However, it’s accurate to say that most of these courses may have from five-thousand to seven-thousand yards, considering the distance between each hole.

If you include the whole area, the total size is greater. Therefore, you can expect that the average golf course has from 110 to 190 courses. Additionally, please note that the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America established the standards after obtaining a survey completed in February of 2000.

Overall, the average golf course should have 160 acres. This area includes the practice zone and a reduced version of the typical clubhouse.

As with everything else about golf, the number of acres a golf course needs is affected by multiple factors. That is why most golf courses are different in numerous aspects. It’s safe to assume that par-3 courses take less space than par-5, for instance.

What factors affect the number of acres in a golf course?

Six main factors affect the number of acres in a golf course. Let’s explore each one in-depth.

Course Length – How many yards has each hole? The total measurements of each one significantly affect the total acres of the golf course.

Difficulty – The course’s specific features can either add or subtract space from the area. Therefore, the golf course’s overall difficulty is a factor to consider for the total number of acres it should have.

Practice Range Area – It is vital to take into account the putting green area and its range.

Clubhouse Size – Don’t take for granted the clubhouse. It is part of the golf course, and therefore, it occupies a determined space. Some courses may have a small clubhouse with what’s necessary, while others are more “luxurious” and can take too much space.

Design – Different golf courses will have a distinctive design. Some may have water bodies throughout the area, while others may be much more about the greenery. Therefore, some golf courses can be compound, and that requires more space.


There are some standards to consider. Let’s start by saying that the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America reported that, averagely, an 18-hole golf course might have from 150 to 200 acres. This area includes water bodies, out-of-play areas, and other constructions.

The same report revealed that the total acres were between 110 to 120 acres for urban golf courses. On the other hand, resort areas can be more prominent, consuming 170-190 acres.

What about the rough area?

It is crucial to consider the rough area, as it takes up to sixty percent of a golf course’s area. Hazards and out-of-play zones are included in this category, and it is estimated that 66.8 acres are needed for this purpose.

About the Fairways

According to the GCSAA, the fairways take up to 31.9 acres. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that an estimate of 29 percent of the golf course is solely for the fairway.

Driving Range

On the other hand, the driving range may consume about six percent of the golf course’s area. Therefore, a total of 7.1 acres are required.

Tees and Greens

Most people consider this area as the most essential in any golf course. It may consume up to five percent or six acres of the total golf course.

How long does it take to build a golf course?

This question can be tricky. Depending on how much personnel and effort is put into the construction, it can take a couple of years to be completed. It would help if you also considered other factors you can’t control – such as the weather and others that depend on your budget, such as the equipment.

However, in the modern-day, getting all the permits and approvals for the construction may take up to two years. To summarize, at least three years may pass before you can see the golf course of your dreams finished.

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