CINCINNATI – (AP) Which golf course is the best in America?
And where is the highest-rated golf course in the country?
The answers to those questions could determine whether golf courses in the United States can stay on top of the game.
That’s what a new study by the American Golf Association shows.
The AA’s study of more than 2,000 courses ranked the best golf courses across the country based on the number of players who play, average scores and overall popularity of the courses.
It found the highest rated courses in North Dakota were located in South Dakota and Montana, while the top-ranked courses were located mostly in South Carolina and North Carolina.
There are several factors that make golf courses better than the competition, said Scott J. Davis, executive director of the AA.
There’s the number and quality of players, he said, the facilities, the amenities and the golf course.
But it’s not just the course that makes a difference.
Davis said it’s also how the course’s facilities are maintained.
He said that if a golf course doesn’t have the right facilities to attract players, they’re not going to keep playing.
In addition, Davis said that players are more likely to stay at a course if the golfers there are experienced and well-trained, because they know what to expect when they walk in the door.
“It’s not a perfect science, but it’s the best we’ve found,” Davis said.
The study also looked at factors that contribute to golf courses being rated so highly.
It looked at the number, quality and number of courses with major league facilities, major league tournaments and major tournaments with a college or university level, as well as the overall popularity and social acceptance of the golf courses.
“We want golf courses to be seen as important part of the community and the culture,” Davis added.
“There’s a lot of good work being done in terms of improving these areas.”
There were a few key areas of focus in the study.
Davis noted that golf courses with the highest rankings in the rankings are often in areas with significant population density.
That makes them ideal to attract students from the greater metropolitan area, he added.
Davis said there are other factors to consider when deciding which courses are good for the community, including the availability of public transportation and amenities such as the opportunity to get to the course quickly.
“There are a lot more factors that go into a golf courses success than just the quality of the course,” he said.
In a separate study, Davis found the top golf courses ranked in North Carolina had the highest popularity among all the major golf courses nationwide, and the top ranked golf courses rated by the AA ranked the highest in terms that factors like facilities, amenities and golf course facilities also played a part in their success.
Davis is also looking at the social acceptance that golfers in the greater metro area enjoy.
He also said there could be an impact on the course if more people are coming to play golf.
“I think golf courses should be open to everyone,” he added, adding that it could impact the way the course is visited by the public.
Davis has not yet seen the results of the study, but said he hopes to share the results later this year.