Fun Golf Facts from Tell Me More Golf Instructors and Coaches with Expert Advice

In this article, the coach team here at Tell Me More Golf looks at some of the fun facts about the wonderful sport of golf. 

As the leading golf instructor with over 50 years of golfing experience, I’m here to share some fun and interesting facts about this great game. 

Golf and excitement may not go hand in hand in many people’s minds, but as those who’ve spent any length of time playing the game will know, it can be thrilling. There’s always something fun to learn, so let’s get into checking out some fun golf facts. 

In The Beginning

There is some debate over when golf formally started being played, but we know it was a long, long time ago, and we know that golf was invented in Scotland. It is generally accepted that golf, in its most simplest and earliest form, was first played at some point during the late 1400’s. 

St. Andrews in Scotland is widely considered as one of the most prestigious golfing venues in the world. Golf was first played at St. Andrews way back in the 1500’s. All these years later and the world’s best players walk the famous fairways once or twice every decade when the Open Championship is hosted at the famous golf links. 

Here are some facts about the early days of golf

  • The Old Links, which is located in Musselburgh, Scotland, is credited, according to the Guinness Book Of World Records, as the oldest golf course in the world. 
  • 18-hole rounds were first played at St Andrews in the 1700’s when the course expanded to ten holes, eight of which were played twice to extend the round to 18 holes.
  • It is said that the first golf to be played outside of Britain came in Bangalore, India in 1820. 


The Early Days Of US Golf 

Golf is now huge in the US, both in terms of the professional game, with the PGA Tour standing as the biggest, most prestigious golf tour in the world, and the amateur game, which is widely popular stateside, but how did things get started? 

Here are some fun facts about the early days of golf in the US:

  • Golf reached the US in the late 1800’s when it was first played at St Andrew’s of New York in 1888. 
  • The United States Golf Association, otherwise known as the USGA, was formed in 1894. 
  • By 1900, the US was home to over 1000 golf clubs, and thanks to serious funding through sponsorship, the USA was on a fast track to becoming a powerful golfing nation. 


US Golf Now

The landscape of US golf is now vastly different to what it was back at the turn of the 19th century.

Now, golf is everywhere.

Go to any state and you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of golf courses, while the number of people now interested in the sport of golf is astronomical. 

According to the National Golf Foundation, in 2021, over 25 million played golf at a course in the US, while an extra 12 million people took part in some form of golfing activity, such as attending a driving range or using a golf simulator. Golf is now very much up there with America’s favorite sporting pursuits.  

In 2022, golf increased in popularity in the US. According to the National Golf Foundation, 119 million people over the age of five, played some form of golf or followed golf via television and the internet. That’s over a third of the American population. 


US Golf Facts

  • In 2022, 41.1 million people in the US (aged six and above) either played at a course, used a driving range or used a golf simulator. 
  • In 2022, 3.3 million American citizens visited a golf course for the very first time, which was a 12-month record, surpassing the 2.4 million that was previously reported back in 2000. 
  • 6.4 million female golfers in the US played on a golf course during the year 2022.
  • 3.4 million junior golfers took part in some form of on-course golfing activity during 2022, and 34% of those juniors were female.  

I hope you enjoyed those fun facts about golf in the US: 

US Golf Course Facts

Here are some fun facts about golf courses in the US: 

  • At the end of 2022, there were no fewer than 16,000 golf courses in operation across the United States of America. 
  • Florida is home to more golf courses than any other US state. There are currently just over 1,100 golf courses in operation in the Sunshine state., 
  • Michigan is the US state with the highest number of publicly available, daily-fee, golf courses. There are over 500. 
  • Augusta National in Atlanta, Georgia, has hosted more major golf championships than any other US course, hosting 76 majors. 
  • The Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania has hosted more US Opens than any other course, hosting the prestigious event on nine occasions between 1927 and 2016. 

The USA is home to a large number of golf courses and that number is steadily rising.

Believe it or not, there are now more golf courses on US soil than there are McDonald’s restaurants. 


Fun Facts About Pro Golf 

As golf grows, so does professional golf. The world of professional golf now has a larger spotlight on it than ever before, with more spectators, more television viewers and more youngsters aspiring to become pro golfers

As recently as late February, 3.42 million US viewers tuned in to NBC Sports to watch the final round of the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational. The viewership was up 30% from the previous year, supporting the notion that golf is growing in popularity. 

PGA Tour Facts 

  • The best ever under-par score over 18 holes recorded on the PGA Tour is held by four players. Adam Hadwin, David Duval, Al Geiberger and Chip Beck have all posted an 18-hole scores of 13 under par. 
  • Two players have made 10, yes TEN!, hole-in-ones since the PGA Tour started tracking in 1983. They are Robert Allenby and Hal Sutton. 
  • Pat Perez, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Paul Goydos are the only PGA Tour golfers to shoot 12-under par during the first round of an official event. 
  • Only two women have made the cut when competing in an official men’s PGA Tour event. They were Babe Zaharias (1945 Phoenix Open) and Shirley Spork (1952 Reno Open). 

Now here are some more obscure, lesser known PGA Tour facts: 

  • Female golfer Babe Zaharias became the first ever female competitor to take part in a male professional golf competition when she played the first two rounds of the Los Angeles Open. She posted very credible scores of 76 and 81. 
  • Allen Doyle did not officially turn professional until the age of 46, and in 1996, a year later, he made his PGA Tour debut at age 47. 
  • Jack Nicklaus won at least one PGA Tour event every year for 17 years in a row, a feat that has not been achieved by anybody since.
  • Remarkably, there was a 28-year gap between the first PGA Tour wins and the last of both Raymond Floyd and Sam Snead. 
  • In 2009, at the RBC Canadian Open, Mark Calcavecchia scored nine birdies in nine consecutive holes. 
  • In the 1964 Tournament of Champions, Jack Nicklaus holed a 110 foot putt, which is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the longest putt ever made in professional golf. 

I hope you enjoyed those PGA Tour facts


General Golf Facts 

  • Golf balls travel further in warm weather than they do in cold weather. 
  • At an estimated 12,500 to 1, the odds of achieving a hole in one are greater than being hit by a car. 
  • It is reported that on average, 300 million golf balls are lost each year in the United States of America alone. 
  • Way back when, golf balls were initially constructed using wet feathers and leather. 
  • The average handicap for men in the US is 14.2 
  • The average female handicap amongst US golfers is 27.5.  
  • The USA has a lower average handicap for men than the UK (16) and Australia (16.9). 
  • The world’s longest hole is nearly 1,000 yards long
  • The youngest golfer ever to record a hole in one was just five years of age. 
  • It is generally accepted that walking from the start of the first hole to the end of the 18th hole on a golf course is the equivalent of walking between three and six miles. 
  • According to the Guinness World Record, the longest golf drive ever recorded is 515 yards.  

There are lots of fun facts about playing golf and about golf in general. Those were some of our favorites. 



England Golf 

The R&A 

The PGA Tour 

United States Golf Association 

Guinness Book of World Records

National Golf Foundation


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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