• Golf Popularity by State

    Kent Ashby  •  December 26, 2016

While doing some reasearch for the upcoming 2017 golf season, we came across something interesting. Using the tool Google Trends, we can see the popularity of "golf" related searches within each state and how they compare. The results suprised us.

This data was pulled using all of 2016's Google searches (to date: 12/26/2016) for "golf" related keywords. The most popular searches in this catagory or "golf courses", "tee times", etc.

In order to further understand the results below, here are a few words from Google, the provider of the data:

"Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular, and a value of 0 indicates a location where the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak.

A higher value means a higher proportion of all queries, not a higher absolute query count. So a tiny state where 80% of the queries are for "bananas" will get twice the score of a giant state where only 40% of the queries are for "bananas"."

How does your state compare?

Rank State Search Popularity
1 Minnesota 100
2 South Carolina 99
3 Michigan 96
4 Wisconsin 93
5 Nebraska 93
6 Hawaii 92
7 North Dakota 89
8 Massachusetts 83
9 Iowa 83
10 South Dakota 81
11 Arizona 81
12 Colorado 80
13 New Hampshire 80
14 Ohio 77
15 Florida 76
16 Rhode Island 75
17 Idaho 73
18 Vermont 73
19 Illinois 72
20 Utah 72
21 North Carolina 71
22 Connecticut 71
23 Montana 70
24 Delaware 70
25 Nevada 70
26 Pennsylvania 68
27 Indiana 68
28 Wyoming 66
29 Kentucky 64
30 Georgia 62
31 Maine 62
32 Missouri 62
33 Tennessee 59
34 Oklahoma 58
35 New Jersey 56
36 Washington 55
37 Alabama 53
38 Virginia 52
39 District of Columbia 52
40 West Virginia 51
41 Maryland 50
42 New Mexico 49
43 New York 46
44 Texas 45
45 California 43
46 Louisiana 43
47 Arkansas 42
48 Mississippi 42
49 Alaska 34
50 Kansas 34
51 Oregon 26

We found it interesting that the Midwest has the largest presence on this list, taking up 7 of the top 10 results. Equally as intriging is the fact that states with weather that allow play year-round, such as Florida, California, and Arizona, haven't even made it into the top 10. Because this chart is showing the percentage of all searches that pretain to golf, rather than absolutely total quantity of searches, it makes it even more mind blowing. California is ranked in 45th! To me, this shows that the amount of golfers per capita in these states is suprsigly low. Lower than many of us would have guessed, if we're being honest. Then, on the other hand, you have states that are snow-covered for a large portion of the year that have a higher percentage of "golf" related searches.

There are a number of possible reasons as to why the outcome is this way. Maybe golfers in the Midwest are more likely to travel for golf during the colder months, boosting the popularity of "golf" searches. Another possiblity is that there are more sports fanatics in the Midwest, so while they may not be able to play all year long, they still loyally follow the sport. 

It could be that the states in warmer regions, that we expected to be higher on this list, are being searched more by people outside of the state, in northern regions. While there clearly seems to be more demand for golf in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and California, these states also rely heavily on tourism. My thoughts are that traveling golfers are increasing their home state's ranking on this list, because they are researching for golf courses in another destination. Of course, this is just a theory. I will need to dig deeper and gather more information to make any real conclusions.

If nothing else, we hope you've found this data interesting. If you have deeper insight or possible ideas as to why this list is the way it is, shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We ecourage thoughtful discussion!

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