Unusual numbers of golf courses are closing, averaging about 137 closings each year since 2011. For eight years in a row, more courses have closed than opened. If golf does not grow in popularity, analysts predict the closing of about 500 to 1,000 more courses by 2025.

There are fewer than 15,000 golf courses in the United States, as of 2015. The number of new courses reached a peak in 2000, partly because of the excitement golf phenomenon Tiger Woods generated, especially among young people and minorities. Private clubs lowered their fees to attract more golfers, which led to reduced revenues at city and county-owned courses. For example, between 2009 and 2015 in Tampa Bay, Florida, three municipal courses lost a total of about $3.5 million.