Where Are The Best Golfers From?
Written by August Noble

August Noble was first introduced to golf at 7 years old. In 2013 he started seriously working on his game and was able to reduce his handicap from 19 to 3.4 in less than two years. He's been helping other golfers do the same ever since. Current Handicap: 4

Updated on December 12, 2023

While the recent British Open wrapped up golf’s slate of traditional major tournaments for 2023, the season is still in full swing. The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs will be held at events throughout August, while the biennial Ryder Cup will pit America and Europe’s best pros against one another this September, and the LIV Golf Tour will end its season in late October. Fans of the game still have plenty of high-level events to look forward to before the quieter fall and winter portions of the calendar.

The past few years have been transformational for golf’s reach and popularity. A desire for socially-distanced recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic brought millions more golfers onto courses around the world. The upstart LIV Golf tour, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, introduced new formats to increase fan engagement and lured stars like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson to the league. In response to LIV’s emergence, the PGA Tour made changes to its tournament schedule that have produced a boost in broadcast ratings so far in 2023. And with the recent surprise merger between the PGA, LIV, and the European Tour, all of the sport’s top players and tournaments will now be housed under the same organization with a truly global reach.

Even before these recent developments, the global nature of the game has been evident in the geographic diversity of golf’s top players. Of more than 1,100 golfers to make the cut at a PGA Tour event in the last decade, more than half now come from outside the United States. England—one of the first places where golf took hold after the sport originated in neighboring Scotland—has produced the most competitors after the U.S. at 6.29% of the total. But the sport’s reach also extends to Australia, Asia, Africa, and beyond. A total of 50 countries have had at least one native golfer make a cut on a PGA Tour event in the last 10 years.

 


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But with nearly 50% of PGA Tour golfers hailing from the U.S., America is the largest single producer of the world’s elite golf talent. And within the U.S., top golfers frequently come from a limited number of locations. For instance, the Los Angeles metro alone has produced more PGA golfers than all but six countries, and four other California metros—Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside, and San Francisco—rank in the top 15. Many of the other top golf producers are major population centers like New York and Chicago and/or warmer-weather places where golf is easier to play year-round, like Dallas and Miami.


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Given how many of its big cities churn out a high number of pros, California unsurprisingly leads all states in the number of PGA golfers over the last decade with 85. But outside of California, states in the South tend to lead the way. Texas ranks second at 58 golfers, with Florida just behind at 54. And relative to their populations, states like Alabama (20), South Carolina (18), and Kentucky (17) have produced particularly high numbers of PGA pros.

To identify the U.S. states where the best golfers are from, researchers at Golf Workout Program ranked states according to the total number of golfers to make at least one cut at a PGA Tour event in the last decade. This includes those who made the cut, but didn’t finish (MDF). Players who never made the cut or who received designations of only did not start (DNS), disqualified (DQ), or withdrawn (WD) during the study period were not included. Due to limited birthplace data availability, some golfers with incomplete data may have been excluded. In the event of a tie, the state with the most PGA Tour wins during the study period was ranked higher. Further ties were broken according to the total number of golfers ranked in the top 50 all time on the PGA Tour career wins list.

Here are the U.S. states that produce the best golfers.

 

U.S. States That Produce The Best Golfers

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15. Indiana

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 13
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 2
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Peter Malnati (1), Tyler Duncan (1)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 0
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: N/A

 


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14. Washington

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 13
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 7
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Ryan Moore (3)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 0
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: N/A

 

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13. Massachusetts

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 14
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 2
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Richy Werenski (1), Scott Stallings (1)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Henry Picard (26)

 

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12. New York

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 15
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 0
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): N/A
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 4
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Walter Hagen (45), Gene Sarazen (38), Johnny Farrell (22), Craig Wood (21)

 

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11. Arizona

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 15
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 4
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Michael Thompson (2), Pat Perez (2)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 0
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: N/A

 

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10. Illinois

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 17
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 5
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): D.A. Points (2), Kevin Streelman (2)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Bill Mehlhorn (19)

 

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9. Kentucky

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 17
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 18
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Justin Thomas (15)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 0
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: N/A

 

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8. South Carolina

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 18
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 25
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Dustin Johnson (18)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Dustin Johnson (24)

 

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7. Alabama

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 20
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 6
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Patton Kizzire (2), Stewart Cink (2)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Hubert Green (19)

 

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6. North Carolina

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 22
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 13
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Webb Simpson (4)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 2
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Raymond Floyd (22), Davis Love III (21)

 

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5. Ohio

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 23
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 7
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Jason Dufner (3), Jim Herman (3)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Jack Nicklaus (73)

 

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4. Georgia

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 28
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 17
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Chris Kirk (4), Harris English (4), Russell Henley (4)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 1
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Doug Sanders (20)

 

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3. Florida

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 54
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 41
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Brooks Koepka (9)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 0
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: N/A

 


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2. Texas

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 58
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 31
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Jordan Spieth (13)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 7
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Ben Hogan (64), Byron Nelson (52), Lloyd Mangrum (36), Jimmy Demaret (31), Lee Trevino (29), Ben Crenshaw (19), Tom Kite (19)

 

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1. California

  • Total PGA Tour golfers (past 10 years): 85
  • Total PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): 69
  • Golfer with most PGA Tour wins (past 10 years): Bryson DeChambeau (8), Patrick Cantlay (8), Tiger Woods (8)
  • Total golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: 5
  • Golfers in top 50 career PGA Tour wins: Tiger Woods (82), Billy Casper (51), Phil Mickelson (45), Gene Littler (29), Johnny Miller (25)

 

Methodology & Detailed Findings

To identify the U.S. states where the best golfers are from, researchers at Golf Workout Program ranked states according to the total number of golfers to make at least one cut at a PGA Tour event since 2013. This includes those who made the cut, but didn’t finish (MDF). Players who never made the cut or who received designations of only did not start (DNS), disqualified (DQ), or withdrawn (WD) during the study period were not included. Due to limited birthplace data availability, some golfers with incomplete data may have been excluded. In the event of a tie, the state with the most PGA Tour wins during the study period was ranked higher. Further ties were broken according to the total number of golfers ranked in the top 50 all time on the PGA Tour career wins list.

 

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August Noble

August Noble was first introduced to golf at 7 years old. In 2013 he started seriously working on his game and was able to reduce his handicap from 19 to 3.4 in less than two years. He's been helping other golfers do the same ever since. Current Handicap: 4