Golf Popularity by State

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!