Whether you’re a new golfer or you keep your clubs in the back of your truck, having the right green for your tee time can make all the difference. You want to have a combo of good golf retail, mild weather and various nearby golf courses to choose from. You’d be surprised once you find out the best cities for golfers in the U.S. And many of the best cities for golfers in the U.S. are in Arizona.
Finding the best cities for golfers
To determine the best golf cities, we looked into golf courses per density (50 percent), weather (25 percent) and golf practice and equipment locations per density (25 percent). Like having the right club to swing with, these factors combine to help any golfers stay put in their city when looking for the best golfing experience.
After looking at the best cities for golfers from coast to coast, we found a few key takeaways in the data.
• California and Florida take the lead for best golf cities, followed by Arizona in third place.
• One of the best golf cities, Salinas, CA, saw an almost 50 percent increase in rent, year over year for its one-bedroom apartments. At $1,999 a month on average, this is more expensive than the national average.
• The average temperature of the best golf cities is a cool 80 degrees, perfect for spending the day outside with 18 holes.
The top 10 cities for golfers
While some dream of a beach vacation, others dream of green as far as the eye can see, perfect mild weather and just the right wind direction to nail that hole in one. Beyond Augusta, GA, home to the Masters tournament, explore this leaderboard of the best cities for golfers in the U.S.
10. Lakeland, FL
To the east of Tampa, you can find Lakeland’s many lakes — 38, if you’re counting. The city’s most famous resident is the swan. After their near-extinction in the 1950s, a resident wrote to Queen Elizabeth II, and she donated two of their royal flock to Lakeland.
The city has more than two dozen golf courses and country clubs to grab your tee time during the weekend, with an average maximum temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
One-bedroom apartments in the city average $1,119 per month and have decreased 1.41 percent in price over the last year.
Every time you hear San Francisco, you think tech, Silicon Valley and expensive rents. But golf? Not often.
San Francisco takes the No. 9 spot in our best golf cities list because of its low average rainfall and ideal 69-degree weather on average. You can also pick up all your equipment needs at one of the city’s specialty stores.
In the past year, San Francisco’s one-bedroom rents have decreased 45 percent. You can find a unit for $3,137 a month on average. You can then visit Chinatown for lunch and walk along Fisherman’s Wharf on the weekend following your golf course visit.
8. Salinas, CA
Less than an hour south of San Jose, Salinas has exploded in popularity in the last year. The Salinas Valley provides excellent weather, little rainfall and ample opportunity to work on your swing.
With one golf course for nearly every two miles of land area, you can find green as far as the eye can see. The Corral de Tierra Country Club, for example, offers a private experience as part of their membership, including a fully-stocked shop and 6,536 yards of golf.
Salinas’ one-bedroom rents have skyrocketed with a 40 percent increase at $1,999 per month on average.
West Palm Beach is truly the ultimate resort town with vibrant arts, music and golf communities. The self-proclaimed “Golf Capital” of Florida offers dozens of world-class golf courses and country clubs, including the PGA National Resort & Spa with five 18-hole courses. In fact, this city has the best ratio of golf courses and driving ranges per square mile of anywhere in the country.
At a toasty 84 degrees, afternoons on the fairways can get hot but not too unbearable. Just watch out for an unexpected afternoon storm.
West Palm Beach mainly held steady when it came to one-bedroom rents but remains above the national average. You can find a one-bedroom for $2,201 per month on average, only a 2 percent increase from last year.
Orange County’s Santa Ana offers nearly a dozen golf courses to its 332,318 residents within its city limits. River View Golf Course, for example, offers incredible views as you play 18 holes with quick stops near the Santa Ana River.
Rents have gone up 9 percent in the last year. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $2,340 per month on average.
The city is not as well-known as other California hubs, but it packs a ton of charm.
5. Orlando, FL
Orlando is the happiest place on earth, and no, we’re not just talking about Disney World. The city is at the top of the list for many golfers thanks to its expansive golf courses and country clubs — you’ll have nearly 70 to choose from!
Many of the golf courses are actually inside the theme parks. The area also has excellent weather at 84 degrees on average (even if the humidity is oppressive), and rainfall remains at a minimum with plenty of year-round sunshine.
Due to the high level of tourism, it is hard to find a spot that a short-term landlord hasn’t captured in Orlando. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,492 on average per month.
4. Mesa, AZ
With half a million residents, Mesa is 20 miles to the east of Phoenix, and it’s the third-largest city in Arizona.
It’s also one of the best golf cities in the country with several dozen golf courses and country clubs, many of them championship level, and top-notch practice ranges. The city’s original golf course, Mesa Country Club, was founded in the late 1940s.
For those that also share a passion for baseball, Sloan Park operates as the Cactus League spring training home of the Chicago Cubs. You can also visit the Mesa Grande Ruins nearby, along with the Mesa Arts Center and the Mesa Historical Museum.
If this sounds good to you, you can nab a one-bedroom apartment in the city for $1,142 per month on average. While lower than the national average, the one-bedroom rents did increase 10.55 percent in the last year.
Located in the Sacramento metro area, Roseville took a spot in Money’s Best Places to Live in 2020. The thriving city has good, high-paying job opportunities and many city amenities like Folsom Lake, a large reservoir with beaches and boats. Blue Line Arts also offer exhibitions by local artists to the community.
And of course, there’s plenty of golfing to take a swing at. There are more than a dozen golf courses for the city’s 141,500 residents — those are pretty good odds of getting a tee time. The average maximum temperature hovers around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a little more lovely once you’re out on the green.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,942 per month on average.
Taking our No. 2 spot, Scottsdale and its expansive 84 golf courses and country clubs.
The weather can get a little hot — 90 degrees on average — but the options for golfers are endless. The peak season for golfing in Scottsdale is between January and March, with coveted tee times priced high due to demand.
You can also attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, one of the largest golf tournaments in the world.
While Scottsdale is a favorite among active seniors, the city is anything but boring. You can visit Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and studio, hike Camelback Mountain or shop in Old Town Scottsdale, where you can find handmade jewelry and gifts from local makers.
A one-bedroom unit in Scottsdale goes for a monthly average of $1,988, a decrease of 6.49 percent from last year.
And for our top spot, Las Vegas shows that it’s not all about neon lights. Las Vegas has nearly 70 golf courses and country clubs within city limits for golfers to enjoy before spending some time in the casinos. You can also grab equipment at one of the city’s specialty stores before heading to your tee time.
Thanks to its desert environment, Las Vegas provides excellent year-round golfing weather, even if it gets a little too hot sometimes.
Beyond the casinos, Las Vegas is a great place to get outside. Add a trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Hoover Dam Bypass to your weekend itinerary.
The area has seen its one-bedroom rent increase by 25.32 percent in the last year. A one-bedroom apartment costs $1,589 on average per month nowadays.