The size of 18-hole golf courses can vary, sometimes drastically, but most courses are between 5,000 and 7,000 yards. But that's just the distance from hole to hole. It takes a large area when you factor in the rough, fairways, tee areas, clubhouse, driving range and practice greens. Most golf courses are spread across 110 to 190 acres. The number of of acres required was determined during a February 2001 survey by the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America.
Urban Versus Resort Setting
Based on a report from the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America, an 18-hole golf facility, which includes bodies of water, hard structures and out-of-play areas, averages about 150 to 200 acres. Typical urban golf courses are about 110 to 120 acres, while courses in resort areas may be 170 to 190 acres.
The rough areas on most golf courses take up about 60 percent of the total space of a course. This includes all out-of-play areas and hazards. The average area needed for the rough areas is 66.8 acres.
About 29 percent of a golf course is dedicated to the fairway. The Golf Course Superintendent Association of America estimates that 31.9 acres is needed for fairways.
The driving range on most courses takes up about 6 percent of the total space, and requires an average of 7.1 acres. Not all courses have a driving range. If space is limited, the driving range may not be an option.
Tees and Greens
Arguably the most important part of golf courses, the tees and greens take up about 5 percent of the total space. On average, these areas require about 6 acres.
After everything is accounted for, course must provide room for areas such as the clubhouse, storage and parking.