Have you always had a dream of owning your own golf course? Before the dreams can continue, you need to know the answer to the question, “How much does it cost to build a golf course? “
Building a golf course is a complicated process that requires a skilled designer, permits, approvals, a specific plan, and a lot of money.
Golf course development is an extensive process, and each part of the process has costs associated with it.
We will show you how much it costs to build a golf course, the factors you need to consider, and whether or not a mini golf course may be more realistic for your budget.
In this article, we will cover:
- How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?
- The Costs Associated With A Golf Course Build
- How Many Acres To Build A Golf Course?
- How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mini Golf Course?
- Final Thoughts
Let’s get into it!
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?
The cost to build a golf course ranges from around $5 million to more than $20 million. The higher-priced golf courses are private clubs with impeccable conditions and premium design features.
Lower-priced golf courses could be nine-hole golf courses or even executive courses.
The price to build a golf course will vary considerably based on the location of the course, the type of course, and the plan for future use. Building a 9 hole golf course in a rural area designed for public play may be on the low end of the cost scale.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a project like GroveXXIII (Michael Jordan’s golf course), which cost closer to $20 million to build.
The Costs Associated With A Golf Course Build
If you have never seen a golf course built, it’s really an incredible process to watch come together. One of the courses at my home club recently did an extensive renovation where some holes had to be rebuilt, and I was amazed by the steps involved and the time it took.
When I quoted you the $5 to $20 million to build a golf course, this did not include the land. Before building, you will have to lease or purchase the land, and in many instances, the land is even more expensive than the entire golf course build.
Golf course architects and designers will tell you that not every piece of land is designed to work for a golf course, so the site needs to be inspected first.
With the land in place, the next step is to find someone to build the golf course for you. There are hundreds of different golf course designers out there. You may have heard of names like Pete Dye, Donald Ross, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Doak, and more.
The big names cost a lot more money.
However, plenty of smaller golf course design firms will offer lower pricing.
Environmental regulations are a big part of building a golf course. The permits, experts, and overall fees to ensure you meet the environmental standards will add a hefty price to the entire build process.
Expect environmental compliance to become even more complicated if the golf course build is near the water.
Clearing and Preparation
In most situations, a piece of land is not ready for a golf course. The golf course construction company will come in and prepare the area for its final use. The costs associated with getting the golf course ready include:
- Erosion control
- Topsoil stripping
- Rock blasting
- Topsoil replacement
Obviously, these processes require a large crew and heavy equipment and machinery.
The course layout will increase the cost of your golf course build if it is more complicated or involved. Every piece of the golf course (tees, bunkers, greens) has a cost associated with it.
The golf course builders will stake out and get the entire course setup, and then you will have costs associated with things like:
- Irrigation and pump station
For reference, a single tee box can range in price from around $ 2,000 to $10,000. If your home course has six different tee boxes on each hole, they invested quite a bit of money.
Grassing and Cart Paths
Once the golf course is designed and built, the next steps involve seedbed prep and adding the grass and sod. New golf courses require a growth period, so it will take some time before golfers can play.
The early maintenance periods with new turf are labor intensive. Cart paths and roads to the clubhouses and facilities will also be built during this time, adding a significant cost to the total price.
Clubhouse and Facilities
With some golf course builds, the clubhouse and facilities are included in that 5 to 20-million-dollar price range. However, in others, there are more extensive clubhouse builds that can cost nearly the same amount.
Golf courses need a clubhouse and pro shop; many even have dining facilities.
In addition, golf learning centers and practice facilities will need to be built. Although a driving range may seem like a large field to hit into, the tee boxes need to be built and maintained.
Consultants, Labor, and Materials
Throughout the entire build process, a number of different parties will be involved, all charging their fees to be involved in the build. Consultants will come in and give their opinions on the design, the layout, the playability, problems that come up, and more.
In addition, having skilled laborers throughout the process, which can often take a year or more, is a significant part of the cost of building a golf course.
How Many Acres To Build A Golf Course?
It takes between 50 and 200 acres to build a golf course. The number of acres necessary to build a great golf course depends largely on the type of course and what other facilities are planned as part of the golf course build.
9 Hole Golf Course
The 9 hole course will require anywhere from 25 to 65 acres of land. A 9 hole course build is not as popular as the 18 and championship courses, but they are often added in addition to an 18 hole course at a facility.
18 Hole Golf Course
A traditional 18 hole golf course needs between 100 and 200 acres to be built properly. If the course has a massive tennis facility, swimming pool, and clubhouse, you will see larger land requirements.
Par 3 and Executive Golf Courses
The par 3 or executive golf courses are very similar to the 9 hole courses in the space requirements. Expect a typical par 3 course to need between 25-50 acres. The executive course, if it’s 18 holes, will need a little more space, sometimes nearing the 100-acre requirement.
Championship and Resort Style Golf Courses
A golf resort, a course built into a mountain, or something in a more remote area that becomes a “golf destination” will need much more land. Many of these facilities have 200 or more acres. For example, the Pebble Beach Golf Links has over 18,000 acres on the Monterey Peninsula.
You can see by the layout of this land that not all of it is useable as part of the golf course. Therefore, 200 acres is certainly on the low side; for a really impressive facility, you will need much more.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mini Golf Course?
If the cost to build a traditional golf course is a little out of your league, maybe a mini golf course is something to consider. Learning how to build a mini golf course is a bit of a process, but it’s certainly not as involved as a full-length course.
Building a mini golf course costs range from around $100,000 to over $500,000. These costs do not include the land or the other facilities you may install at the mini golf location.
Great mini golf courses are designed to keep people moving along, make golf fun and enjoyable for any ability, and ultimately entertain.
Mini golf is becoming more and more popular, with more than 100 million people looking to play mini golf every year; it’s no surprise that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have even gotten involved in the mini golf game.
Look for places like PopStroke, Puttery, Top Golf, and Puttshack to have unique and top-of-the-line mini golf courses. Places like Miami, Atlanta, and New York see these mini golf courses placed in areas just outside the big cities to attract tourists and locals.
Whether you are 3 or 93, a round of mini golf is an activity you can participate in, and that is what makes it such a fun game.
Golf course builds take careful planning and a lot of funding. Even though these estimated costs of 5 to 20 million dollars give you a general idea, you never know what you are looking at cost-wise until you find a piece of land and hire a golf course construction company and designer.
If your typical Saturday foursome is looking for something to do for the next few years, bring up the idea of building a golf course together.
Let us know if you get it done, and we will come and play it!