2021’s Best Cities for Golfers in the U.S.

Golfer putting, ball approaching hole, sunset in the background

Every golfer has their favorite local venue. Whether they go there to play 18 holes, practice their short game, or watch the world’s best, these places can be like a second home to the avid golfer. 

But some cities score better for golfers than others. Factors like weather, number of golf courses, and access to equipment make some places more golfer-friendly. 

Is your city up to par?

LawnStarter compared the 200 largest cities in the U.S. to find out which are the best for golfers. We evaluated 13 key metrics, including number of courses, number of golf specialty stores, monthly precipitation, and average temperature.

Table of Contents

  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Methodology

City Rankings

See how your city and others fared in our ranking:

OVERALL RANKCityOverall ScoreClimate RankGolf Courses RankSpecialty Stores RankPractice Facilities Rank
1Scottsdale, AZ65.9846116
2Los Angeles, CA55.3767115
3New York, NY50.741782177
4Anaheim, CA49.8773851
5Las Vegas, NV48.663935585
6Phoenix, AZ46.87461848
7Mesa, AZ44.254628713
8Gilbert, AZ43.6146221118
9San Diego, CA42.811432019
10Glendale, AZ42.654636816
11Newark, NJ41.851729209
12Garden Grove, CA40.817492526
13Atlanta, GA40.6212583530
14Yonkers, NY40.2918748456
15Dallas, TX40.289132911
16Boston, MA39.56164511472
17San Bernardino, CA39.5716122
18San Francisco, CA39.23311510289
19Glendale, CA38.9274213129
20North Las Vegas, NV38.883912102140
21Tempe, AZ38.6346262755
22Columbus, OH38.31139671112
23Peoria, AZ38.1246761020
24Irvine, CA38.027792527
25Salinas, CA37.89312111495
26Long Beach, CA37.8430504459
27Escondido, CA37.411555076
28Fullerton, CA37.377644141
29Santa Ana, CA37.267486570
30Huntington Beach, CA37.157773631
31Paterson, NJ36.73176192012
32Orange, CA36.26740128119
33Aurora, CO36.2381203833
34Chandler, AZ35.9846443362
35Irving, TX35.7489245025
36Denver, CO35.7281273329
37Henderson, NV35.383925144136
38Orlando, FL35.08111145540
39Palmdale, CA34.93719494
40Chicago, IL34.71159293017
41Naperville, IL34.67159109464
42Oxnard, CA34.5671122328
43Torrance, CA34.5676594106
44Philadelphia, PA34.24127176534
45Bridgeport, CT33.7813211128115
46Pasadena, CA33.687927149
47Grand Prairie, TX33.4789622714
48Minneapolis, MN33.4157165046
49Oceanside, CA32.8611025566
50Honolulu, HI32.7758365147
51Houston, TX32.74153374423
52Lakewood, CO32.3881328470
53Ontario, CA32.2871273639
54Austin, TX32.277357178
55Arlington, TX31.8689541858
56Lancaster, CA31.6771961410
57Moreno Valley, CA31.5671423142
58Fremont, CA31.53311081483
59Jersey City, NJ31.371872311435
60Tucson, AZ31.03605694133
61Pomona, CA30.7571188468
62Tampa, FL30.4686742345
63Plano, TX30.489614836
64Jacksonville, FL30.26128335089
65Fort Worth, TX30.2589596544
66Detroit, MI29.83110515552
67San Jose, CA29.82311178453
68Joliet, IL29.65159891615
69San Antonio, TX29.6367607186
70Pittsburgh, PA29.351313912854
71Washington, DC29.311004612875
72Riverside, CA29.371553847
73Port St. Lucie, FL29.251293065147
74Indianapolis, IN29.24155349482
75Santa Clarita, CA29.1671646163
76Arlington, VA28.841005350102
77Hayward, CA28.7131108114107
78Frisco, TX28.6489737948
79Pembroke Pines, FL28.62112714238
80St. Paul, MN28.4115731128126
81Santa Rosa, CA28.2971524867
82Alexandria, VA28.231005712880
83Cincinnati, OH28.21150475580
84Oakland, CA28.23112071103
85Chula Vista, CA27.72115612878
86Garland, TX27.5589807157
87Corona, CA27.197144144128
88Seattle, WA27.12711063851
89Portland, OR27.174867973
90Providence, RI27.061964115769
91Cape Coral, FL26.791744579130
92Miramar, FL26.67112884242
93Rancho Cucamonga, CA26.637148128135
94Charlotte, NC26.431037510277
95Aurora, IL26.2315952157116
96Akron, OH26.131676610261
97Laredo, TX26671951903
98Miami, FL25.98112826562
99Fort Lauderdale, FL25.8311270114103
100Fontana, CA25.837156144134
101Bellevue, WA25.73711008494
102St. Petersburg, FL25.638681102140
103St. Louis, MO25.53146785591
104Hollywood, FL25.5211271144107
105Overland Park, KS25.4713563114123
106Augusta, GA25.4314958144150
107Elk Grove, CA25.41571633050
108Sunnyvale, CA25.331143157139
109McKinney, TX25.28891224737
110Rochester, NY25.0514268102113
111Milwaukee, WI25.04151908443
112Baltimore, MD25.0314467157117
113Kansas City, MO24.8513569114121
114Pasadena, TX24.831531323022
115Stockton, CA24.735517015732
116Mesquite, TX24.72899514497
117Vancouver, WA24.61741168484
118Worcester, MA24.292001191924
119Hialeah, FL24.07112987188
120Cleveland, OH23.861488511474
121Thornton, CO23.618111514487
122Nashville, TN23.2169878492
123Albuquerque, NM23.1762121182181
124Sacramento, CA23.145715494114
125Springfield, MA22.781641114465
126Newport News, VA22.4110496128183
127Kansas City, KS22.413597114125
128Durham, NC22.3912010394120
129Omaha, NE22.2713391102157
130Louisville, KY22.2316384128160
131Reno, NV22.0966125157173
132Sunrise Manor, NV22.01391965598
133Savannah, GA21.9610911055155
134Salt Lake City, UT21.9579135102118
135Tacoma, WA21.8471134102160
136Greensboro, NC21.59118105128152
137Enterprise, NV21.453919655124
138Richmond, VA21.4513411494109
139Cary, NC21.42120113114132
140Spring Valley, NV21.413919671122
141Paradise, NV21.393919614498
142Lexington, KY21.2115694182160
143Tulsa, OK21.1617393114178
144Toledo, OH21.09140104144142
145Modesto, CA21.0955180128149
146Winston-Salem, NC21.01118128102105
147Bakersfield, CA20.9638190190178
148El Paso, TX20.8659165190175
149Birmingham, AL20.818299144145
150Fresno, CA20.5754176157192
151Des Moines, IA20.56179101128156
152Raleigh, NC19.912014194111
153Oklahoma City, OK19.89108123170175
154Colorado Springs, CO19.8688140175169
155Spokane, WA19.647618417060
156Olathe, KS19.63135124114150
157Buffalo, NY19.49183131114100
158Norfolk, VA19.45104136114165
159Tallahassee, FL19.3619816617521
160Boise City, ID19.2665172128163
161Memphis, TN19.15193107157175
162Lincoln, NE19.0614513384157
163Dayton, OH18.841661475596
164Grand Rapids, MI18.78181129157131
165Brownsville, TX18.5961180190193
166Lubbock, TX18.370168190184
167Fort Collins, CO18.1981173102152
168Syracuse, NY18.16184130190137
169Chattanooga, TN18.11192126170154
170Midland, TX18.0463188182196
171Little Rock, AR17.99180137128142
172Killeen, TX17.9677189102126
173McAllen, TX17.5167178190193
174Knoxville, TN17.5143146157146
175Virginia Beach, VA17.4104159144165
176Madison, WI17.38190139144157
177New Orleans, LA17.36185138157170
178Fayetteville, NC17.35120153157165
179Corpus Christi, TX17.364192182185
180Salem, OR16.8999185128138
181Wichita, KS16.83141149170186
182Rockford, IL16.4517717579101
183Sioux Falls, SD16.45152150175186
184Amarillo, TX16.2480185182196
185Chesapeake, VA15.94104182144165
186Baton Rouge, LA15.81197145182172
187Murfreesboro, TN15.761691917993
188Fort Wayne, IN15.71168159175170
189Eugene, OR15.64126171190173
190Anchorage, AK15.47147162190188
191Clarksville, TN15.1516919284110
192Columbus, GA15.03124174190196
193Montgomery, AL14.94189158190188
194Jackson, MS14.9195151182193
195Macon, GA14.64130185170181
196Metairie, LA14.19185179157178
197Huntsville, AL14.14194169175188
198Shreveport, LA13.75175182182191
199Springfield, MO13.58191176175196
200Mobile, AL13.27199167175196
Infographic detailing best golfing cities by various measures including average monthly precipitation, most golf courses, most golf equipment stores, most driving ranges.

Highlights and Lowlights

Sunny with a Chance of Birdies

Climate is one of the most important factors in determining a city’s golfability. If the place is too hot, too cold, or too wet too often, playing the game becomes untenable.

Five of the top 10 best cities for golf are in Arizona, where rain is a rarity. California boasts three of the top 10 cities for golf, two of which are in the top five.

Climate isn’t everything, though. New York City is ranked third overall, but scored a bogey on climate, ranking 178th. That’s the second-worst in the top 50, behind only Yonkers, NY.

Drive for show, putt for dough

Even on the most beautiful days, you can’t swing the sticks without a course, driving range, or practice facility.

From private clubs to resort courses to your local muni, more courses means more options and a greater capacity for golf. Of the top 20 cities on our list, only one ranked outside the top 50 for the number of golf courses. The three cities with the most golf courses (Scottsdale, New York, and Las Vegas) all ranked in the top five overall. 

For context, Scottsdale has 100 golf courses within a 20-mile radius and “more than 200 golf courses in the Scottsdale area,” according to Experience Scottsdale.

Practice makes perfect. And the number of practice facilities makes a difference on our list, too. Indoor and outdoor driving ranges are a haven for golf-hungry loopers. They’ve even become a fun place for non-golfers, especially with the rise of venues like TopGolf.

Sporting the tools of the trade 

Unless you’re Roy McAvoy, you’ll need clubs to play golf. And balls. And shoes. And an extra pair of socks in case you get a hole-in-one. An abundance of golf stores means a strong community of golfers to support them. Even with the prevalence of online shopping, there’s still no substitute for a place where you can test drive your gear before you buy it.

The best of the best come to town

Having a PGA Tour event brings a big boost to a city’s golfiness. For example, six of our top 10 cities for golfers host a PGA Tour event. TPC Scottsdale is the home of the Tour’s rowdiest and most attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego hosts both the annual Farmers Insurance Open and the 2021 U.S. Open.

Methodology

We ranked the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on their individual score totals in the metrics listed below. The city that scored the highest ranked No. 1, or “best city for golfers.”

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. Value
Annual Mean Number of Days with Minimum Temperature 32 Degrees F or Less10192
Annual Mean Number of Days with Maximum Temperature 90 Degrees F or Higher12169
Average Daily Mean Temperature13777.7
Average Monthly Precipitation in Inches25.3765.28
Climate Category Total5
Number of Golf Courses22100
Number of Prized Golf Courses2025
Number of Awards2071
Number of Preferred Golf Courses1013
Presence in the Top 100 Golf List20517
Number of Courses Included in the PGA Tour; 2020-2021102
Golf Courses Category Total10
Number of Golf Equipment Stores1173
Specialty Stores Category Total1
Number of Driving Ranges21128
Number of Venues Offering Golf Lessons21109
Practice Facilities Category Total4
Overall Total20

Sources: GolfLink, Golf Tournament Association of America, GOLF.com, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, PGA TOUR, and Yelp.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ryan Plank

Ryan Plank

Ryan Plank is a freelance writer and journalist in Orlando, Florida. He studied at Florida State University and is an avid golfer.