In this article, you will learn how many acres an 18-hole golf course is with a few real-life examples.
If you like to play golf, you are familiar with how big the average golf course is. But chances are you don’t know how many acres an 18-hole golf course really is.
Most people refer to the size of golf courses in terms of yardage as the distance between holes is measured in yards.
But there are many other areas of a golf course that need to be taken into consideration when determining the actual acres of the course.
How Many Acres Is An 18-Hole Golf Course?
Although golf courses can vary with respect to size, the average 18-hole golf course is between 120 – 200 acres in size. Professional golf courses can be larger than 350 acres in size. This number depends on a number of factors which include the length or distance of each hole, the size of the practice areas, the clubhouse size, and more.
If the golf course does not have any practice areas like the driving range or putting greens, then the course will cover a smaller area and the total acres will be less.
On average, each hole on a golf course will cover close to 10 acres. This is for a par 4 hole. A par 3 hole can be smaller and a par 5 hole can be larger.
The average size is 10 acres per hole. This is a great way to remember how many acres a golf course is.
Just take the number of holes and multiply it by 10 to determine how many acres a certain golf course is.
An 18-hole golf course would be close to 180 acres. A 9-hole golf course would be close to 90 acres in size. Remember these numbers are just estimates as there are too many variables involved to be 100% accurate.
Factors that affect how many acres a golf course is
There are several factors to take into consideration when determining how many acres a golf course is.
Not all golf courses have all of the following factors. If a course does not have a driving range, practice area, or clubhouse, the total number of acres will be much smaller than a course that includes them.
On average, a driving range will cover around 5-7 acres which can be anywhere from 10%-30% of the total acres of the course.
The main factors are:
- Driving range size
- Putting green size
- Number of holes on the course
- Distance between holes – par rating
- Size of the clubhouse area
- Number and size of water hazards
- Out-of-play areas including Wooded areas and rough
- How many sand traps and size
- Course complexity and design
How much land would I need to build a golf course?
To determine how many acres of land you would need to build a golf course, you need to consider the factors mentioned above.
If you are considering a private build on your own property, you can get away with using less land area than the average size of most public or professional courses.
You don’t need to include large areas for a driving range or clubhouse, etc.
Most people who have large areas of land or property can build a small 9-hole golf course for recreational use in under 50 acres of land. Even 30 acres would be sufficient if you made each hole to cover 3 or 4 acres each.
A more complex design or if you are looking for professional use would require around 50 – 90 acres.
If you wanted to build an 18-hole golf course, you would need between 60 to 100 acres for a basic design and between 100 – 150 acres for an executive and more advanced layout.
Golf course yardage
Most measurements used in the sport of golf are based on yardage. If a course is built on 200 acres of land, every hole is designed within that space and given a specific distance measured in yards.
On an average 18-hole golf course, the distance between holes can vary between 120 yards to over 500 yards. The shorter holes are par 3 with the longer holes being par 5.
An 18-hole course will generally have 4 short par 3 holes, 10 par 4 holes, and 4 par 5 holes to equal 18 holes in total.
The total yardage of an 18-hole golf course ranges between 5000 to 7000 yards.
Professional golf courses used on the PGA tour can be larger.
For example, the home of the world-famous Masters tournament, Augusta National Golf Course is 7475 yards. Pebble Beach Golf Course is 7075 yards.
Public golf courses tend to be shorter and not as difficult to play as professional courses.