When Do Golf Courses Close For The Season?

Golf is a favorite pastime for more than 24 million Americans. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, it can be a very seasonal sport. 

Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or new to the game, you might be wondering about the length of the golf season and when golf courses close.

When do golf courses close for the season?

In the northern United States, golf courses typically close for the winter in mid-October. In the southern states, most courses will close in late November, while many remain open year-round. Golf Courses In Canada typically close in October, with the exception of some courses in southern BC, which remain open for the entire year.

In this post, we’ll take a look at examples of when courses close for the winter in specific states and provinces and list a few of the best places for year-round golf in North America.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

How Long Is The Typical Golf Season?

In Canada and the northern United States, the golf season runs from mid-April to mid-October. In southern states, golf courses will also be open in March and November. In a few states like California, Florida, and Arizona, it’s possible to golf all year.

When Do Golf Courses Close For The Season? (US)

The typical golf season in the United States lasts from March to late October. In the most southern and some coastal states, golf courses are typically open all year round.

The shortest golf season in the US can be found in Alaska and lasts from May-September.

Here are a few examples of when golf courses open and close in 10 different states in various parts of the country:

StateGolf Season Dates
OregonMost courses are open year-round (very rainy in the winter)
New YorkOpen year-round (except when there’s snow)
ArizonaYear-round (can be too hot for many in the summer, though)
WashingtonOpen Spring, Summer, and Fall. Might shut down for a month or two in the winter.

But what about if you’re from Canada. When do they close there?

When Do Golf Courses Close For The Season In Canada?

Golf courses in the northern territories have the shortest season in Canada and will typically be open from May to October before shutting down for late fall and winter.

The short golf season here can be explained by two reasons – first, it gets very cold here and there is plenty of snow. Second, these territories receive very little daylight in the fall/winter.

What’s interesting, though, is that the northern geography means that there is plenty of daylight for a few months in the summer. For example, during the summer solstice (longest day of the year), some cities get 20 hours of sunlight and the sky won’t get totally dark for several weeks!

However, as you move south towards the most populated Canadian provinces (Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, etc…), golf courses tend to open in April and close for the season in mid-late October.

BC easily has the longest golf season in Canada, with courses opening in late February/early March and closing for the season in November.

Best Places For Year-Round Golf

If you live in the Northern reaches of the United States or Canada, you might be wondering where you can escape to play golf all year. The best states for year-round golf are:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Arizona
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii

In Canada, the options are less plentiful. In fact, the only place you can play all year in Canada is the southern portion of British Columbia.

The two best areas for year-round golf in BC are Victoria and Vancouver Island. 

Now that you know the dates when most golf courses close for the season and some of the best places to go if you want to play golf every day of the year, let’s take a look at a few reasons why golf courses need to close. 

Why Do Golf Courses Close For The Winter?

Here are a few of the main reasons golf courses shut down for the winter:

  • Prevent damage to the turf.
  • Give management time to get organized.
  • Save money.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these things.

Prevent Damage To The Turf

The main reason golf courses shut down for the winter is that it helps protect the grass from damage resulting from frost, snow, or ice. 

For example, you’ve probably heard that it’s bad to walk on a green when there’s frost. This is because ice crystalizes on the grass, causing it to become brittle. When someone steps on this brittle grass, it will break. In some cases, it will take months for greens to recover from frost damage. 

Give Management Time To Get Organized

It takes a lot of planning to maintain a golf course. Not only does management need to make sure they have the proper equipment to maintain the turf, but they also need to order new stock for the pro shop.

Save Money

It’s no secret that golf courses are expensive to run. They need to pay staff to keep the course in good condition, man the counter in the pro shop, and cook food in the kitchen. 

Unfortunately, fewer people are interested in playing golf when the temperature starts to drop.

This means the course will have less incoming revenue from tee times and events. When maintenance costs and employee wages exceed the incoming revenue, it doesn’t make sense to keep the course open.

When it comes down to it, a golf course is a business.

What Do Golf Courses Do In The Winter?

There are many essential tasks that golf courses will take care of during the winter:

  1. Cover Tee Boxes and Greens With Tarps – As mentioned earlier, failing to protect the turf when it gets cold can cause damage that takes weeks or months to repair. That’s why it’s important for golf courses to implement preventative measures such as covering the greens and tee boxes with tarps. 

  2. Order Supplies and Restock The Pro Shop – new models of golf clubs, apparel, and accessories are released every year. To remain competitive, pro shops need to stay up to date with the latest gear.

  3. Give Staff A Much-Needed Break – as with any seasonal business, certain months of the year can be overwhelming and hectic. During the summer, golf course employees rarely have time to take a break, let alone go on a vacation. The winter provides a much-needed break for staff so that they can refocus and come back energized next season. 

  4. Open The Course Up For Winter Activities – some golf courses open their gates for alternate winter activities during the winter. For example, many will create a network of groomed skiing trails on the grounds so their members can strap on their ski boots and enjoy skiing. Others have indoor golf simulators that they rent out to the public. 

  5. Continue To Provide Non-Golf Services – one of the biggest revenue streams for golf courses is event hosting. In the winter, courses will continue to rent out their clubhouse and facilities for weddings, charity dinners, awards ceremonies, and more. 

What To Do When Golf Courses Close?

If you love to play golf, the winter can take a painfully long time to pass. Thankfully, even if you live in an area with a short golf season, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t lose your swing.

Visit (Or Buy) A Golf Simulator

If you can’t play golf in the winter in your area, consider paying a visit to a local golf simulator or buying your own.

But can golf simulators really help you improve your game?

In short, yes. Golf simulator technology has improved exponentially over the past few years. 

Now golfers can enjoy a realistic round of golf on thousands of different courses indoors. This can be a great way to pass the time and keep your swing dialed before the golf course opens next season. 

Work On Your Fitness

Another great thing to do when golf courses are closed is to spend some time in the gym (or at home) working on your fitness. There are endless benefits of strength training for golfers.

A structured, golf-specific fitness routine can help improve:

  • Power
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Stability
  • Neuromuscular control

These elements are all critical to the golf swing. 

Go On A Golf Vacation

There are many great places in the United States you can visit for a winter golf vacation. One of my favorite winter golf destinations is Las Vegas because of its weather, wide selection of courses, and entertainment options. If you would like to plan a Las Vegas golf trip, check out this article:

Planning A Las Vegas Golf Trip: How To Do It Right

The Takeaway – When Do Golf Courses Close For The Season

Golf courses close for the winter to help protect against frost damage, allow management time to re-organize, and to save money.

The date golf courses close for the season varies from state to state. As a general rule, the farther south you go, the longer courses will be open. Some golf courses in southern states are open for 12 months.

Hopefully, this post has helped you learn more about the length of the golf season where you live!

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