Golf course closures

ISLAND OF HAWAII, USA - NOVEMBER 06: A typical Hawaiian sunset from the 3rd green on the Mauna Kea Golf Course on November 06, 2004 on the Kohala Coast on the Island of Hawaii, Hawaii, USA. (Photo by David Alexander/Getty Images)

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.

Course closure videos

The trend of golf course closings continued in 2019. Is your favorite course next?
Jason Deegan looks back on how 2020 affected golf course closures in the U.S. and discusses his yearly top 10 list.
Course closure trends
Ten telltale signs that your favorite place to play might close.
Even if you design a great golf course, it doesn't make it immune from difficulty or closure. Tom Doak and other architects have found that out the hard way.
Many century old and even 19th century courses in America are closing or their futures are in doubt.
Municipal golf courses are battling the struggles of the golf industry, developers, aging infrastructure and government budget shortfalls to stay open and serve their communities.
Individual stories of prominent course closures
After years of speculation, the affordable ASU Karsten course in Tempe will officially close in May.
Riddell's Bay Golf and C.C. has closed. Still, with its pink-sand beaches and year-round temperate climate, Bermuda remains a premier island getaway.
Empire Lakes G.C. in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. closed at the end of June. Its demise is a familiar tale -- one where the land is more valuable as something other than a golf course.
The pending closure of the Thornapple Creek Golf Club in Kalamazoo in November has already been offset by this summer's opening of Stoatin Brae, a new course in Augusta that is part of the Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort.
When Evergreen Point in Baytown, Texas opened in 1996, it was a dream come true for Tim Hazelwood and his family. Unfortunately, the dream is over.
Long-rumored closing of a popular 27-hole course paves way for resort expansion and future Nicklaus Design golf plans.
A popular 36-hole public course in the Cincinnati area is set to close for good. Weatherwax Golf Course, designed by Arthur Hills, will shutter its doors Nov. 9.
The 27-hole Silverstone Golf Club in Las Vegas, opened in 2001, has reportedly closed.
Amelia Island on the northeast coast of Florida no longer has a course with five holes on the ocean thanks to the closing of the Ocean Links Course at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort.
After 114 years, Chicago's Joliet Golf Club has closed for potential redevelopment.
California's drought has pushed many once-proud golf facilities to extinction. Water costs and competition are high. Participation is low. That equation doesn't add up for owners.
California's water woes continues to wreak havoc on golf course owners and operators. The latest victim is Roddy Ranch Golf Club in Antioch, which closes for good after Aug. 11.
The Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Ill. plans to close its 27-hole Blackhawk Trace course at the end of the 2016 golf season.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Donald Ross-designed golf course has been sold and will likely be closed for development, MLive reports.
The city's historic FDR golf course is set to close, but another, Cobbs Creek, has a potentially very bright future.
Golf course closures have outpaced new course openings for the last several years. Certain areas are being hit hard. Here's where they are.
Another Texas course is set to close, and it's another one with historic relevance: The Pioneer Golf Course at Texas Women's University in Denton, which opened in 1939.
Golfers in Hawaii should play the Prince at Princeville Resort while they can. The Prince reportedly will close for renovation in 2015 and re-open as a private course.
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