The Top 10 Best Golf States

In a preview of our spring issue cover story on the golf ranking of all 50 states, here’s a sneak peak at the first 10. How do you define best? Ultimately, the answer came down to one elusive word: ‘golfiness.’

We also took into consideration a number of benchmarks gleaned from statistical information obtained from the National Golf Foundation and elsewhere: where each state ranks in terms of percentage of estimated golfers, number of facilities, total rounds and rounds played per estimated golfer, in addition to the somewhat more amorphous measurement of passion which the NGF has posited on a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 the highest. Weather and golf history were also factors.

Let the 19th-hole debates begin.

TPC Sawgrass

1. FLORIDA (top photo)
You are my sunshine. Not the only one, just No. 1.

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MICHIGAN

2. MICHIGAN
The state where Hogan brought the Monster to its knees.

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OHIO

3. OHIO
Giving us Jack Nicklaus is reason enough to be in anyone’s top five.

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CALIFORNIA

4. CALIFORNIA
And if Jack had just one more round to play, it would be at Pebble Beach.

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SC

5. SOUTH CAROLINA
The Lowcountry is where golf washed ashore in America.

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TEXAS

6. TEXAS
Hogan, Nelson, and Babe Zaharias alone make it a six-shooter.

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ARIZONA

7. ARIZONA
Holy Leaping Cactus, it’s a dry heat and prickly good golf.

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8. WISCONSIN
A Midwestern state on the ascendency: Whistling Straits, Erin Hills.

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GEORGIA

9. GEORGIA
In April there is no golfier place on Earth. One out of 12 ain’t bad.

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ILLINOIS
10. ILLINOIS
Like the Western Golf Association, once more major than it is now. 
 
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 Click here to see the full ranking of all 50 states.

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