Municipal courses usually do not make profits, so local governments fund them through taxation. Cities exempt municipal golf courses from property taxes and subsidize their losses, a combination which allows them to charge even lower prices than private courses .
A municipal golf course is a golf course that is owned by a governmental authority. Typically that authority is a city — a municipality, hence the term ” municipal golf course .” But courses owned by a county or a state or province might also be referred to as municipal courses .
The majority of golf course though are privately owned and do not allow access to the general public unless they are paying to play golf . In general though, golf courses are not like public parks and can be pretty dangerous places for non golfers to just wander through.
Public courses are host to a variety of golfers ; first time players, amateurs and pro golfers . It has also been said that the exclusive and sometimes elitist attitudes from golfers at private courses makes new and amateur players feel intimidated and put off. Public courses are generally more relaxed.
According to information company Sageworks, golf courses and country clubs are losing money . This may have to do with high membership and admission prices, as well as an over-supply of courses . But it also reflects the fact that running a golf course is expensive.
The closures are a result of “a continued correction in supply and demand after an unsustainable 20-year period of growth in which the U.S. golf market added more than 4,000 new facilities and increased overall supply by 44 percent,” the NGF said.
Europe : numbers of golf courses in 2018, by country In 2018, England was the leader in number of official golf courses in Europe with 1,888 out of 6,859 golf courses. Second and third come Germany and France with 730 and 607 official golf courses.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Open is mostly played at private clubs such as Merion — you can’t play on these courses unless you’re lucky enough to be or know a member. However, six public courses already have or will host the U.S. Open . Tiger Woods won the first U.S. Open held at Bethpage Black in 2002.
Golf is dying, many experts say. According to one study by the golf industry group Pellucid Corp., the number of regular golfers fell from 30 to 20.9 million between 2002 and 2016. Unless the golf industry can change its ways, the decline will mean a lot of empty greens across the country.
The study — titled ” Golf Around The World” — said there are 34,011 golf courses in the world, 45 percent of which are in the United States . The current total of 15,372 courses in the U.S. is down from a peak of 16,052 following a “gradual, but steady, market correction,” the report said.
19 golf courses
Private Courses . At a private golf course , non-members are typically allowed to play only at the invitation of members. As noted, though, a semi- private course does allow members of the general public to play its golf course without needing to be the guest of a member.
The biggest difference is in the culture of the club . Members at country clubs enjoy numerous events that do not involve golf . Golf clubs have a member base that is more focused on playing golf and developing their game.