The Cheapest Golf in America

Daniel Boone probably never played golf, but if he did, he lived in the best possible place for doing it on the cheap.

Pack your clubs, and don’t bother stopping at the ATM!

Every year the National Golf Foundation does a survey of greens fees across America and then ranks states by their average cost of golf.

What do you think the cheapest state to play golf in is?

My first thought was maybe South Carolina, thanks to the huge abundance of cheap golf in Myrtle Beach, but the Palmetto state is buoyed by the higher priced courses of Kiawah and Hilton Head.

Then I thought, maybe the Plains states. After all, who goes to play golf in South Dakota or Nebraska?

I was wrong. What do you think?

According to the NGF, the least expensive place in America to play golf is….Kentucky or West Virginia!

It was a dead heat with greens fees in both the Bluegrass State and Mountain State averaging just $34.20 for 18 holes. That’s less than $2 a hole, or about the same amount it costs some of us to play to a round of golf – just in balls!

It’s less than a fourth of round at most good courses, a tenth of around at many
“marquee” courses, less than a 12th of round at Pebble Beach, less than a 14th of round at Wynn Las Vegas.

But Kentucky and WV won by a surprisingly small margin – just $2.60. Coming in third at $36.80 a round was Alabama. Rounding out the top five was Indiana at $37.20 and Tennessee at $37.40.

Now, I have to admit that despite having played hundreds of golf courses around the world and in the good old US of A, I have never played golf in Kentucky. In fact, I have never set foot in Kentucky. In WV, the only golf I played was at the Greenbrier, and I can absolutely guarantee that you will not find any $34 greens fees at that luxury resort. Alabama makes more sense to me for the traveling golfer, thanks to the one of a kind Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has produced more top quality courses than you can play in one visit, at great prices, a feat that several other states have tried to copy – all without success. Indiana is also very notable, the home of Pete Dye and home to more Pete Dye designed courses than any other state. It has some real standouts, from a public PGA Championship venue (one of only 8!) in French Lick, Larry Bird’s hometown, to the truly one of a kind Dye layout around and inside the Indianapolis Motor speedway, Brickyard Crossing.

Remember, golf is supposed to be fun, not expensive.

NEXT: America’s 5 Most Expensive States to Play Golf. Start Guessing!

One Response to “The Cheapest Golf in America”

  1. Brandon Tucker

    Having lived in Myrtle Beach, I can tell you that while it might seem affordable for golf travelers, green fees for locals aren’t really any better than a lot of cities. I have an easier time finding cheap green fees in Austin, especially thanks to last-minute outlets that get you on solid courses for $40 easy. The place is so seasonal that in April, it’s tough finding much decent under $60 and any of the great courses want three-figures – which locals don’t want to pay.

    The one asterisk to Myrtle Beach however, is most residents seem to be tied to golf/tourism in some way and the place is so back door that no local ever really pays for green fees – or cover charges in clubs – or damn near anything. It’s a handshake and “I’ll get you back” kinda place.

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