Golf course closures
Golf has been in a constant state of transition since the turn of the century. The recession of 2009 brought financial hardship to the game, impacting both course owners/operators and customers. The result is golf courses closing on an unprecedented scale. We began charting course closures in 2014. Every demographic has been impacted by this trend. High-end private clubs, public courses, nine-holers, par 3s, driving ranges and municipal courses in almost every state have been shuttered.
According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of course closures has outweighed new openings every year since 2006. Closures first exceeded 100 "18-hole equivalents" in 2006 and at least 150 from 2011-2020, statistics that are seen as a "market correction". Since 2006, the cumulative reduction in the number of U.S. golf courses is roughly 8%. That counters the 44% growth in facilities during a golf course building boom from 1986 to 2005. The pandemic's golf boom has greatly slowed the number of closures and probably saved hundreds of facilities, pumping in much needed cash for reinvestment.
This page is dedicated to understanding why the closures are occurring, tracking the news when they happen and celebrating the memories of the playgrounds that so many golfers enjoyed.