Disc Golf Courses Per Capita: U.S. States Ranked #1-#50

Alex Williamson avatar
Alex WilliamsonWriter, Editor
Aug 24 • 7 min read

A little over two years ago, we released our first look at U.S. states' disc golf courses per capita rankings. That was just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, which raised interest in outdoor recreation opportunities to astronomical levels. That interest, in turn, led to tons of new people finding disc golf and the need for a lot more courses to meet demand.

U.S. map with states different intensities of blue depending on disc golf courses per capita
The darker the blue, the more disc golf courses per capita in the state.

Disc golfers using UDisc help power the largest and most frequently updated disc golf course directory in existence, and our stats showed that disc golf courses went in the ground at a rate of 5.28 per day in 2021.

Come with us as we explore the effects these dynamics have had on the availability of disc golf across the nation.

Here's what you'll find, in order, in the rest of this post:

U.S. Has a New #1 in Disc Golf Courses Per Capita

Kansas is currently #1 in disc golf courses per capita among U.S. states, moving up from its #3 spot in 2020 thanks to the addition of 64 courses in the last two years.

A disc golf tee pad stops just before a pond. A flat grassy fairway dotted with trees.
A fun water carry at Emporia, Kansas' Jones Park –  West disc golf course. Photo uploaded to UDisc Courses by outlawamw.

Last time we ran these numbers, Iowa was #1.

Admittedly, we're not super surprised that the home state of disc golf equipment business Dynamic Discs made this leap. It is, after all, the company that turned little-known Emporia, Kansas, into the country's best small town for disc golf that not only annually hosts one of the world's biggest disc golf tournaments but which – as of early September 2022 – will have hosted two Professional Disc Golf World Championships in the span of six years.

It's notable that though 64 courses sounds and is huge, it's a total that ties Kansas at just eighth in the nation for number of disc golf courses added in the last two years.

Four New States Enter Elite Category

The last time we ran these numbers, only one state – Iowa – had at least one disc golf course per 10,000 residents. Nowadays, five states (still including Iowa) are in that club, and a sixth is the right on the cusp. This change shows again just how quickly courses have gone up in recent times.

You can find out which states made the leap in the table you'll find later in this post.

Top 25 Almost Entirely States with Below-Average Population

The average population of U.S. states is around 6,625,000. Only three states in the top 50% of disc golf course per capita rankings have a population that crests that average – Michigan, Indiana, and North Carolina.

A disc golf basket with yellow band in a forest of spindly pines on a misty morning
Basket of hole 15 on a beautiful misty morning at Diavolo in North Carolina. North Carolina is one of just three states with an above average population that made the top 25 in disc golf courses per capita this year. Photo uploaded to UDisc Courses by downey

There are some likely explanations for this, with the biggest one being that many less populated states tend to have more room for courses, and in a per capita ranking, one extra course goes a lot further toward moving the needle in these states than in more populated ones.

However, low population doesn't always equal space. A few of the states with relatively low populations that aren't in the top 25 are in the densely-populated Northeast and are also the smallest states by area: Rhode Island (50th in area), Delaware (49th in area), and Connecticut (48th in area).

Biggest Moves Up & Down

The largest change in rank was the exact same number for both up and down movement.

A tightly wooded disc golf fairway in fall colors. A tee sign is in the foreground in the right of the photo
The fairway of hole 5 at New Hampshire's best disc golf course, Top o' the Hill. New Hampshire made the biggest move up the per capita ranks of any state from 2020 to 2022. Photo uploaded to UDisc Courses by ldzpln

The state that made the biggest leap forward was New Hampshire. Its course total grew by 24 in the last two years while its population increased by just around 60,000, moving it up five spots in the rankings.

Utah's rank took the biggest dip (again, five spots). It has added 19 courses since 2020, but it's also one of the fastest-growing states in the country in terms of population.

What Counted as a Disc Golf Course?

As in our look at how many disc golf courses are in the world, our goal with these stats isn't to arbitrate what counts as a disc golf course. Instead, we want to provide an indicator of the enthusiasm within each U.S. state for the sport.

Whether a course has baskets or alternative targets like tone poles, concrete tees or grass, it's still a place where people can play the sport we love and enjoy the company of friends, family, or their own thoughts. Other than invite-only courses, areas with designated places to throw from and to counted as courses for the purposes of this post.

Disc Golf Courses Per Capita: U.S. States Ranked #1-#50

Which U.S. states have the most disc golf courses per capita?

Rank State People Per Disc Golf Course
Disc Golf Course Total
Population
Rank Change:
2020 to 2022
1 Kansas 8,760 335 2,934,582 ▲2
2 Wyoming 9,044 64 578,803 ▲4
3 Iowa 9,097 351 3,193,079 ▼2
4 North Dakota 9,337 83 774,948 ▼2
5 South Dakota 9,839 91 895,376 ▼1
6 Vermont 10,087 64 645,570 ▲1
7 Montana 12,408 89 1,104,271 ▼2
8 Nebraska 13,179 149 1,963,692 ▲4
9 Maine 13,587 101 1,372,247 ▲4
10 Wisconsin 13,648 432 5,895,908 ▼1
11 Idaho 13,875 137 1,900,923 ▼3
12 Alaska 14,090 52 732,673 ▼1
13 Minnesota 14,304 399 5,707,390 ▼3
14 Oklahoma 17,485 228 3,986,639 ▲1
15 West Virginia 18,194 98 1,782,959 ▲2
16 Colorado 19,245 302 5,812,069 ▼2
17 Arkansas 19,777 153 3,025,891 ▲1
18 Oregon 20,917 203 4,246,155 ▼2
19 New Hampshire 21,045 66 1,388,992 ▲5
20 Michigan 22,637 444 10,050,811 Same
21 Missouri 22,677 272 6,168,187 ▲1
22 Mississippi 24,180 122 2,949,965 ▼3
23 New Mexico 24,603 86 2,115,877 ▲3
24 Indiana 26,077 261 6,805,985 ▲1
25 North Carolina 26,985 391 10,551,162 ▼2
26 Utah 28,530 117 3,337,975 ▼5
27 Kentucky 31,982 141 4,509,394 ▲1
28 Tennessee 31,996 218 6,975,218 ▼1
29 South Carolina 32,041 162 5,190,705 Same
30 Alabama 33,599 150 5,039,877 Same
31 Ohio 35,697 330 11,780,017 Same
32 Illinois 36,836 344 12,671,469 ▲1
33 Virginia 40,197 215 8,642,274 ▲2
34 Washington 40,730 190 7,738,692 ▼2
35 Pennsylvania 43,946 295 12,964,056 ▲1
36 Texas 46,137 640 29,527,941 ▼2
37 Hawaii 51,484 28 1,441,553 ▲1
38 Louisiana 55,048 84 4,624,047 ▲3
39 Georgia 55,100 196 10,799,566 ▲1
40 Arizona 58,680 124 7,276,316 ▼3
41 Connecticut 70,698 51 3,605,597 ▲4
42 Delaware 77,183 13 1,003,384 ▼3
43 Massachusetts 77,608 90 6,984,723 Same
44 California 79,914 491 39,237,836 Same
45 Nevada 82,737 38 3,143,991 ▼3
46 Maryland 83,313 74 6,165,129 ▲1
47 Florida 95,531 228 21,781,128 ▼1
48 New York 103,312 192 19,835,913 Same
49 New Jersey 149,470 62 9,267,130 ▲1
50 Rhode Island 156,516 7 1,095,610 ▼1

Note: We know that "people per disc golf course" and "disc golf courses per capita" aren't the same thing. We opted to use the "per capita" wording here so that people looking for this information would be likely to find it. We opted to use "people per course" in our table because it's an easier way to visualize the stats' meaning.

Most Disc Golf Courses Added in U.S. States 2020-2022

These states added the most disc golf courses between our last look at per capita numbers and this one (a span of two years):

Rank State Disc Golf Courses Gained: 2020-2022
1 Texas 121
2 California 107
3 Michigan 90
4 Pennsylvania 78
T5 North Carolina 67
T5 Virginia 67
7 Wisconsin 65
T8 Colorado 64
T8 Indiana 64
T8 Kansas 64
T11 Illinois 62
T11 Missouri 62
13 Minnesota 60
14 Ohio 57
15 Georgia 55
16 Oklahoma 54
17 Florida 49
T18 Iowa 46
T18 New York 46
20 South Carolina 39
T21 Alabama 36
T21 Nebraska 36
T21 Washington 36
T24 Arkansas 34
T24 Tennessee 34
26 Oregon 29
27 Idaho 28
28 New Mexico 26
29 New Hampshire 24
30 New Jersey 22
T31 Maryland 21
T31 West Virginia 21
T33 Maine 20
T33 Wyoming 20
T35 Louisiana 19
T35 Utah 19
T35 Vermont 19
38 Arizona 18
39 North Dakota 17
T40 Connecticut 16
T40 Kentucky 16
42 South Dakota 15
43 Massachusetts 14
44 Mississippi 12
45 Alaska 8
46 Hawaii 6
47 Montana 5
T48 Nevada 1
T48 Rhode Island 1
50 Delaware -1

Which U.S. States Have the Most 18-Hole (or More) Disc Golf Courses Per Capita?

We know many disc golfers hold courses with at least 18 holes in higher esteem than those that don't meet that mark. While we believe shorter disc golf courses are extremely important to the growth of the sport and great for quick rounds when time is tight, we still wanted to give those interested a look at which states have the most 18-or-more-hole courses per capita.

You can find the top 10 below:

Rank State People Per 18-Hole Disc Golf Course
18-Hole Disc Golf Course Total
Population
1 Vermont 18,987 34 645,570
2 Maine 20,180 68 1,372,247
3 Wyoming 21,437 27 578,803
4 Montana 22,085 50 1,104,271
5 Kansas 22,232 132 2,934,582
6 Iowa 30,410 105 3,193,079
7 Alaska 31,855 23 732,673
8 West Virginia 33,641 53 1,782,959
9 Oklahoma 34,368 116 3,986,639
10 Arkansas 35,599 85 3,025,891

Which U.S. States Have the Most Disc Golf Courses?

Though you could do it yourself based on the stats in the original per capita list, we thought we'd give you an easy time finding out which states have the most total disc golf courses, period.

Here are U.S. states ranked by total number of disc golf courses:

Rank State Disc Golf Course Total
1 Texas 640
2 California 491
3 Michigan 444
4 Wisconsin 432
5 Minnesota 399
6 North Carolina 391
7 Iowa 351
8 Illinois 344
9 Kansas 335
10 Ohio 330
11 Colorado 302
12 Pennsylvania 295
13 Missouri 272
14 Indiana 261
T15 Oklahoma 228
T15 Florida 228
17 Tennessee 218
18 Virginia 215
19 Oregon 203
20 Georgia 196
21 New York 192
22 Washington 190
23 South Carolina 162
24 Arkansas 153
25 Alabama 150
26 Nebraska 149
27 Kentucky 141
28 Idaho 137
29 Arizona 124
30 Mississippi 122
31 Utah 117
32 Maine 101
33 West Virginia 98
34 South Dakota 91
35 Massachusetts 90
36 Montana 89
37 New Mexico 86
38 Louisiana 84
39 North Dakota 83
40 Maryland 74
41 New Hampshire 66
T42 Vermont 64
T42 Wyoming 64
44 New Jersey 62
45 Alaska 52
46 Connecticut 51
47 Nevada 38
48 Hawaii 28
49 Delaware 13
50 Rhode Island 7

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