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How Much Does It Cost to Build a 9-Hole Golf Course?

It costs around $1,200,000 to $5,000,000 to build a standard 9-hole golf course in the United States and this figure encompasses design and construction fees as well as approximate land costs.

A 9-hole course is a shortened version of an 18-hole course and tends to feature a mix of Par-3, Par-4, and Par-5 holes. The exact cost to build a 9-hole golf course will often depend on the amenities you intend to incorporate as well as how luxurious you want it to be.

In this modern age, golf is witnessing an increasingly strong demand. Reports have it that in 2021 alone, 3.2 million people played on a U.S. golf course for the first time.

Note that this growth isn’t just an anomaly off the back of the pandemic — the industry has welcomed more than 2 million beginners for eight straight years.

With the number of active golfers growing every year, there is a massive and lucrative opportunity to develop golf courses to align with this growth and meet the sustainable demand.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Building a 9-Hole Golf Course

There are basic things that will impact how much it will cost to build a 9-hole golf course in the United States. While they may seem trivial, it is imperative you take the factors noted below very seriously to ensure that you can put together the right budget that will get your project to the finish line.

  1. The Cost of the Land

Keep in mind that the shape and quality of land you get will in many ways determine the type and size of the golf course you build.

Ideally, to build a valid 9-hole golf course, you will need around 70 – 100 acres, and this will feature things like a clubhouse, driving range, practice greens, and course.

Experts note that around 35% to 50% of the total cost of constructing a golf course will more or less go to land acquisition.

  1. Design and Construction Cost

You have to understand that so much goes into the cost of designing and building a successful golf course. You have to take into account architectural design fees, construction materials and labor costs, cart paths, irrigation systems, grass selection, and installation costs.

Architectural design fees may represent the second biggest portion of your budget. According to industry reports, the average cost of working with a golf course architect is around $350,000 – $500.000. If your intention is to work with a renowned architect, the price is much higher than this number.

You should budget around $6.00 to $25.00 per square foot for the labor cost of a construction crew as well as the appropriate equipment.

Howbeit, note that this will vary depending on the complexity of the design as well as the number of earth-moving machines required.

To build your 9-Hole golf course, you will need certain materials, such as sod, soil, gravel, and sand, as well as plants and trees for landscaping purposes.

According to industry reports, this will cost around $200,000 – $400,000 depending on the complexity of a golf course.

At the very beginning of the project, clearing obstructions on the land to make way for building the course can cost up to $300,000. Aside from that, relocating and shaping the soil might cost up to $1.5 million.

Appropriate drainage will in many ways guarantee that the turf can survive and maintain its playing conditions all through the year, even during rainy seasons or heavy storms.

Runoff systems might as well encompass culverts, drains, retention ponds, and other on-site work to keep water flowing away from greens, bunkers, and fairways.

In the United States, the expenses that go into your drainage systems can fall within $30,000 to $100,000 or more depending on the complexity of the design.

Also, note that the green construction method is very important when it comes to reducing environmental impact. Don’t forget that grass selection and installation are primary factors in the success of a golf course.

Depending on the climate, grasses like bent grass, ryegrass, overseeded, or perennial are selected for fairways, while tees can use Bermuda, Zoysiagrass, or paspalum.

  1. Maintenance and Upkeep Cost

The expenses that go into controlling erosion on a golf course will depend on the project scope and type of erosion control measures leveraged. Erosion control can range from $0.20-$3.00 per square foot and will be based on the size and complexity of the project.

Irrigation systems are very important for any successful golf course and they have to feature a combination of surface irrigation sources like lakes and streams in alignment with underground pipes, sprinklers, pumps, and tanks.

Based on the size of the project, projected costs will fall within $5000 – $8000 per acre. Also keep in mind that the expenses associated with managing turf on a golf course can fall within $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot, based on the type of grass selected and the level of maintenance necessary to keep it healthy.

Extra costs may include fertilization, aerification, overseeding, topdressing materials, as well as other related products or services requisite for proper turf management.

Cost to Build Each Part of the 9-Hole Course

The estimated cost that comes with building each part of a typical 9-hole golf course includes:

  1. Tee boxes: $50,000-$70,000 each
  2. Greens: $300,000 – $900,000
  3. Bunker: $1,500-$10,000 each
  4. Lake and Water hazard construction: $90,000-$200,000
  5. Greenside cart paths: $2,500-$15,000 each
  6. Fertilizer and seed costs: up to $700,000
  7. Clubhouse: $300 – $700 per SF
  8. Driving range: around $200,000 – $500,000.


When it comes to building a golf course from scratch, there are 2 major costs you will want to take into consideration — land costs and construction costs.

It’s recommended you consult with an experienced golf course architect who has the capacity to add value to the project, at a great return on investment.

Howbeit, it costs around $1,200,000 to $5,000,000 to build a standard 9-hole golf course in the United States and this figure encompasses design and construction fees as well as approximate land costs.