When Do Golf Courses Open? States to Play Golf Year Round

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You may be wondering when does do golf courses open for the year. Is there a standard golf season opening and closing day? Let us help.

The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and it feels like time to hit the links. It may surprise you that the answer to this question depends on many factors like weather conditions, the course’s condition, and more If you live in Florida, for example, the answer is all year!

In colder climates, the golf course owners, managers, and golf professionals will weigh each factor before setting an opening date. That being said, the date can change slightly from year to year. However, if everything goes well, you can start your golf season early.

Thankfully, you can also find locations that offer year-round golf in southern and western states. Many warmer areas, such as Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas, provide year-round play.

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When Do Golf Courses Open for the Season?

Generally speaking, states and countries that experience cold winters will open their golf courses in the middle of spring. April is the most popular month for golf courses to open.

This schedule is especially true in the northern states of the United States. Southern and western states may open earlier based on the weather conditions or stay open year-round.

In the early days of the season, golf courses may not allow golf carts to be used or may have “cart path only” rules.

For those senior golfers with limited mobility, this will be an issue. Confirm that the golf course allows golf carts before venturing out for your next round.

When Do Golf Courses Close for the Season? Well, That Depends…

when do golf courses open - showing map

Golf courses are more crowded in the summer months. However, in mild climates, the season can extend deep into autumn. The most common month for golf courses to close is October. 

Overall, golf courses try to make as much profit as possible before closing up for the winter. If the weather conditions are unusually warm in autumn, the golf course will stay open to receive the benefits of the weather.

Here’s a breakdown of the United States climate by region. These areas tend to have comparable weather for golfing in most seasons.

Region Usually, Open All Year
Southeastern States Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Western States Arizona
Northwest States Oregon
Southern States Texas, Alabama, Mississippi
Northeastern StatesNew York (most golf courses stay open, depending on snow)
Western United StatesCalifornia, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Nevada

Keep in mind the further north, the weather can see snow and other colder weather conditions.

Here are a few popular areas for golf and the general month they open. However, you would want to verify specifics with each golf course.

State Golf Season StartsGolf Season Ends
AlaskaAprilSeptember
CanadaAprilOctober
MichiganAprilOctober
MontanaMayOctober
WashingtonSpringtimeFall (sometimes closed in winter)

Can You Golf in the Winter?

Golfing in Naples, Florida in February.  Golfer in the sand trap.
Golfing in Naples, Florida in February

One of the great things about golf is that you can golf year around! Whether you golf indoors or outdoors, there are plenty of options. In warmer climates, golf courses allow members to golf throughout the winter.

Golf courses offer winter tee times at a reduced, off-season rate. During these times, golf carts will likely not be available. Additionally, you may need to brave some frigid temperatures to play in the winter months.

If you plan to play in winter, wear layers to keep warm. Additionally, you will want to leave the golf shoes in the closet and pack your warm boots. Finally, lighten your bag to a few clubs, so you do not lug around your entire bag.

Some courses offer special events or tournaments in the winter months. You can view an event before you partake to see if you can tolerate the conditions.

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Year-Round Golf Courses

Golfing photo of beautiful Tampa Bay Florida golf course.  Showing sunny days in the winter.
Golfing in Florida Winter Weather

In temperate and tropical areas, golf courses can be open year-round as the weather allows. If golf every month of the year is what you want, you will need to find a golf course in one of these climates. Here are a few of the more popular states for golf and what top expect.

Arizona

Phoenix and Scottsdale are known for their premier golf courses offering stunning views, challenging terrain, and all of the amenities you need for a great game.

Arizona has sunny weather most days throughout the year with temperatures ranging from around 50°F in winter to hovering near 100°F during summer so that you can play all year round!

Florida

Florida is one of the top states for playing golf all year round thanks to its warm climate. With temperatures rarely dropping below 60°F even during winter months, it’s easy to find a course open when you want it.

From Miami to Jacksonville and beyond, Florida has countless golf courses offering challenging designs to breathtaking views.

California

California is home to some of the world’s top golf destinations, like Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, and Shadow Creek. It’s also a great place to play golf year-round due to its mild climate that typically remains between 55°F and 80°F regardless of season or location within the state.

Hawaii

Hawaii offers excellent weather for golfing nearly every day of the year, with temperatures rarely dropping below 70°F even during winter months. There are numerous courses located on the islands that feature stunning views from cliffside greens or lush tropical fairways perfect for taking your game to new heights.

Summer Weather in Warmer States

In the summer months, these climates can be incredibly hot. It is best to set tee times early in the morning or late in the day. In fact, some courses will close for particularly hot days or weeks to protect their members. Arizona and New Mexico golf courses can experience scorching temperatures in the peak golf months.

The most committed year-round golfers can relocate to these locations. Golf.com highlights the ten best locations to move to for those wanting to gold year-round.

Travel Accessories

You can purchase many travel accessories to bring your clubs with you in the winter. Soft and hard shell cases will protect your clubs on airplanes. You can also rent clubs at private and public courses if you do not want to transport your own golf club set.

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Early Bird and Fall Discounts

Golf courses apply discounts to memberships and green fees. Altogether, golf courses will reduce the prices of green fees and cart fees in the early spring. Lessons and rentals may also be discounted at this time. It pulls new and returning players back to the golf course.

On the closing side of the season, golf courses will attempt to keep up attendance with fall specials. They offer green fees and golf cart fees as the cooler weather sets in.

Owners and professionals offer the next season’s membership for sale just as the current season closes. Discounts are generally offered for purchasing the membership by a specific date. For almost all golf courses, early bird specials end by April 1.

Benefits of Playing in Off Season

The off-season gives your body time to rest. Even professional golfers take time in the off-season to rest and recuperate.

When you feel ready again, the off-season is the perfect time to practice and fine-tune your skills. Even if the weather is unpleasant outside, you can leverage any indoor space to improve your game.

Some off-season golf training ideas include indoor putting green or backyard golf practice tools. These items can help you maintain your golf swing and provide strength training.

If you have the space and money for the investment, a golf simulator is an excellent way to keep your swing in season even in the off-season. The technology of golf simulators has advanced significantly over the last decade.

Many simulators feel similar to the real thing. In fact, the best golf simulators allow for full swings with the club.

When is the PGA Tour Golf Season?

Professionals are more than willing to travel for preferable conditions. The PGA tour begins in the middle of September, with most tournaments occurring in southern or western states.  However, The PGA Champions Tour, for example, plays all over the world.

The tournament stays in these locations through the winter months and gradually travels North as spring and summer arrive. Finally, the Tour Championship is held at the end of August. Overall, the PGA Tour is almost year-round with some breaks in the schedule.

Final Thoughts

Well, I hope you now have a better understanding of when do golf courses open.

Whether you prefer playing on challenging courses or peaceful settings, there are plenty of options out there for enjoying a game of golf no matter what time of year it is.

From sunny Florida to tropical conditions in Hawaii, these destinations offer unbeatable experiences that will keep you coming back again and again!

So if you’re looking for an ideal spot to work on your swing or practice your putting skills all year long, these locations may be just what you need.

FAQs Related to When Do Golf Courses Open

Is it worth playing golf in the winter?

Yes, definitely! Playing golf all year keeps you in shape and golf fit. There are plenty of golf opportunities indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate. You don’t have to go to a golf course, from backyard practice tools to indoor golf training aids, there are plenty of options, so you don’t lose your golf swing.

Are golf courses cheaper in winter?

Playing golf during the off-season can be significant cost savings. However, you’ll want to remember that each state varies regarding off-season. Arizona, for example, would have an off-season in the summer months when temperatures become extremely hot. Michigan, on the other hand, would be in peak golf season in the summertime.

Does cold weather hurt golf balls?

No. Most standard cold weather playing conditions, you won’t notice a difference with your golf ball. However, extreme weather conditions can lead to a loss in yardage. If you plan to golf in cold weather, you’ll want to consider using the best golf ball for cold weather, the Bridgestone e12. Our article on the best golf balls for seniors reviews this golf ball in detail.

Can you golf year round in Utah?

Yes, Utah has a varied climate so you can usually play somewhere in the state year round. However, the golf courses closer to the mountains to have more days affected by winter weather and will close.

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AUTHOR

Erin has spent over 17 years as a healthcare executive working with seniors in nursing homes, skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living communities. She also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and other advanced degrees related to seniors.

Erin grew up playing golf in a family of golf fanatics. She started this site to help others add more enjoyment to the game of life through golf.

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