in Northern America
- Currency and Currency Code:
- Dollar - USD
- Spoken languages:
- English, Spanish, French
- Local electricity:
- 120 V - 60 Hz (plugs: A, B)
- Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
- 850 MHz, 1900 MHz, 3G, 4G
- ISO 2-Letter code:
- Internet top level domain:
- Country phone prefix:
- Local Time (capital):
- UTC/GMT offset: hours
Playing Golf in United States
If you are a serious and passionate golf player or you simply want to combine your next holiday with the opportunity to swing the club or to learn how to do it, the USA is the first country that is worth looking into. Homeland of golf superstar Tiger Woods and a vast country with various climate zones, topography and landscapes, it offers all kinds of golf possibilities throughout the year. The country is also the host of three of the four most important golf tournaments and attracts media attention and viewers from all around the world. Last but not least, the golf industry in the USA in its various aspects is definitely attractive for investors and entrepreneurs.
Golf in the USA in retrospect
Taken as an elitist sport even nowadays, golf developed in America at its fastest rates between 1950s and 1970s of the 20th century when the number of courses more than doubled growing from 4900 to approximately 10 200. A person who played a crucial role in bringing golf from the elite to the masses and had the status of a golf rock star was Arnold Palmer, also known as the King of Golf. This four-time consecutive winner of the prestigious US Masters Tournament attracted the attention of the ordinary TV viewers to golf and created a golf audience and hence – an increasing popularisation of the sport among its viewers. Due to its increasing popularity that yet managed to retain its slightly elitist taint, golf industry in America experienced all kinds of globally trend-setting developments in the late 20th century that spanning from the architecture of the golf courses to the design and the material of the golf equipment.
USA golf now
Nowadays golf is the USA is not only a sport, but also an industry and an entertainment for millions of people. Not Only does USA give some of the world’s most talented golf champions, but with its varying climate and landscape it offers perfect golf environment for golf-breakers throughout the year. The interest to the sport and its media broadcasting and respectively viewing are also particularly wide-spread in America, where golf has its avid adherents. Golf has taken such a degree in the USA that the country’s national golf association United States Golf Association (USGA) is now setting the rules for golf globally. There are 13 nationwide US golf championships organized under the credo of the USGA, among which the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. The branch organization also holds various charities and grants money on involving disadvantaged people with golf.
In economic terms, golf in the USA is a multi-faceted industry which generates and turns over billions of dollars annually. It encompasses not only tourism, entertainment and tournaments, but also private properties, branch organizations and memberships, charities, golf equipment manufacture, broadcasting rights, etc. The US National Golf Foundation (NGF) claims that the numbers of golfers in the US is about 29 million, their percent of the population ranking at about 9.6%, and their average age – middle, or about 46. Not surprisingly, golf-players in the US are usually well-educated people with an above average income. Another statistics of the same body suggests that the gender ratio is 77.5% to22.5% male – female. (All data based on the 2010 census). Another curious fact – according to the NGF the total number of golfers in the US in 2011 was 25.7 mln, a decline compared to the 1993-registered peak of 30.6 mln. The public-access golf courses in the country are estimated at about 11 500 with 90% of the American golfers attending this kind of courses.
To enter some additional trivia, according to the site golfblogger.com, the USA state with the biggest number of golf courses per capita is North Dakota. The concept is called “golf wealth’’ and is estimated based on the 2010 US census. A table posted on the site makes it clear that among the states with the biggest number of golf courses, which is to say above 1000 (with an average number under 500), are Florida, Texas, California, Michigan and New York (scoring at the time with just under 1000 courses). The climate and the landscape of the states are usually definitive to the general golf wealth, but not necessarily so. According to the same 2010 census, the most golf-poor states, meaning states with the least number of courses, are Vermont, Wyoming, Rhode Island and Delaware and of course Alaska.
Apart from the public golf courses, the US keeps coming up with increasingly attractive golf resorts that spread over acres of land and offer not only premium conditions for the sport itself, but also all kinds of luxury holiday entertainments to their guests. Due to the growing number of golf resorts, it is next to impossible to come up with an adequate ranking for their quality. According to Golf Digest, a distinguished paper and online edition on golf, there are golf resorts worth visiting in almost all the states in the USA.
Nowadays for the golf players and tourists interested in striking a shot on US ground, there is abundant well-structured and user-friendly information available on the Internet. A quick glimpse into a random site listing the golf courses in the USA could provide you with all the necessary information for a golf-trip. There are maps, directions, descriptions, contacts and general information on the golf-courses, and paraphernalia, such as whether or not the course in question requires a certain dress code. Most of the web pages of the courses or resorts list the terms of membership and their price lists and fees, which is quite helpful for the financial planning of a golf break.
Though during the financial crisis of 2008 and the post-recession years the golf investment and the construction of new golf properties in the US sharply decreased, with some courses and resorts even going bankrupt or simply closing down, the country remains the global leader in terms of the overall state and development of golf as both sport and industry. What is also unique in the US is the extent to which golf has become part of the popular culture as a preferred leisure sport or media entertainment. The scope of the country itself is also a factor that ascertains that everyone could find a golf escape of their choice in the USA.