12 Stats About Golf to Make You Look Smart Around the Water Cooler

Ever been out on the course while everyone is spouting interesting golf facts and you wish that you had a couple to add to the conversation?

Well, even if you haven’t, here are some fun golf facts to hold on to!

  1. According to the New York Times an estimated 300 million golf balls are lost in the United States each year. Some quick math tells us that is 15,189 tons of golf balls or roughly 54 olympic size swimming pools worth of golf balls.
  1. The odds of a regular golfer making a hole in one is estimated by actuaries to be roughly 12,000 to 1. This means that the incredibly long list of events more likely to happen than you scoring an ace include; bowling a perfect game (11,500 to 1), being accepted to be an astronaut (1 in 1525), being ambidextrous (1 in 100), and your house burning down (1 in 336).
  1. According to data from the National Golf Foundation and analysis by GolfBlogger.com, only 55% of golfers shoot under 100. While score is certainly not the most important part of golf, it is eye-opening that so many golfers enjoy the sport without needing to master it. 
  1. The USGA has approved over 23,500 individual golf clubs in accordance with their regulation and conforming rules. This immensely large number also happens to be nearly the exact number of species of mammals, reptiles, and birds combined (23,700+). I’ll admit I’m not sure what this means, but I’m certainly prepping my tinfoil hat. 
  2. According to Game Golf the average golfer uses the putter 41.3% of the time. This figure truly exemplifies the importance of short game as it makes up such a long percentage of all of our shots. 
  1. According to the National Golf Foundation, California has the most golfers of any state at 2,327,000. Florida was second with 1,588,000 active golfers in the state, followed shortly by Texas and then New York. 
  1. Currently over 77% of golfers are male. While this percentage is extremely large, it is rapidly decreasing as young womens’ interest in golf grows and young mens’ interest declines in comparison to other sports. 
  1. There are over 15,000 golf courses in the United States alone. While this is a large number, the number peaked at over 16,000 before the 2008 market crash. Possibly now one of the most famous golfers, Donald Trump owns 0.073% of those 15,000.
  1. According to studies done by Golf Digest, the percentage of nine-hole rounds played has more than doubled since 1998. In 1998 only 30% of rounds played were nine-hole. However, by 2011 that percentage had grown to over 70%. It appears the modern golfer is more time constrained than the golfers of the past.
  1. Most golf balls have between 300 and 500 dimples on the surface. This number is much greater than humans, who are usually limited to just two. In reality, these dimples help to reduce the drag coefficient on the ball and create a straighter flight path.
  1. According to the National Golf Foundation over 34.2 million Americans over the age of 6, played golf in 2019. This analytically works out to roughly 11% of Americans over the age of 6 played golf.
  1. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the golf industry employs over 307,000 americans. This means that 0.0935% of Americans work in the golf industry. 

Are there any other facts that you find interesting that you think should be added to this list?

Let us know in the comments below!


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