Why are Golf Courses Always Located Next to Airports?

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Alex PT

Golf courses are often located near airports due to several reasons, including land availability, noise compatibility, and economic benefits. According to the National Golf Foundation, around 40% of golf courses in the United States are located within 10 miles of an airport.

Why are Golf Courses Always Located Next to Airports?

  1. Land Availability and Use Compatibility: Golf courses and airports both require large tracts of land. Due to urbanization, such large pieces of land are typically found on the outskirts of a city or in suburban areas. Because of shared land use needs, it is common to find golf courses established next to airports.
  2. Noise Insusceptibility: While noise from incoming and outgoing flights can be a cause of concern for many businesses or residential areas, golf courses are essentially unaffected. The open space and nature of golf play allow it to coexist well with the noise generated by the airports.
  3. Height Restrictions: Near airports, height restrictions are put in place due to air traffic. Golf courses, being on ground level, comply with no difficulty, making them ideal neighbors for airports.
  4. Land Scarcity and Efficient Use: As land near city centers becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, finding alternative uses for less-than-perfect parcels is key. Golf courses are a good fit for such land plots given their flexibility in design and the possibility to incorporate varying terrain.
  5. Opportunity for Leisure and Business: A significant proportion of golfers are business professionals. Having a golf course next to the airport provides an opportunity for them to enjoy a leisurely game before or after their flights. Golf courses serve as attractive venues for corporate events as well.
Land Availability and CompatibilityBoth golf courses and airports require large swathes of land that are typically found in the same locations.
Noise InsusceptibilityThe open space and nature of the game allow golf courses to coexist with the noise generated by the airports.
Height RestrictionsGolf courses adhere to height limitations near the airports as they are at ground level.
Land Scarcity and Efficient UseGolf courses can be designed to incorporate varied terrains, making them an efficient use of land.
Opportunity for Leisure and BusinessGolf courses near airports provide business professionals an opportunity for leisure or corporate events.

Airports and Golf Courses

Airport and Golf Course

It is the wish of most passengers while traveling to grab their golf clubs from the baggage carousel and be on the first swing within the shortest time possible. This is becoming a reality for more golfers because an increasing number of airports now include golf course projects on their property or nearby. 

The reason is that an airport that chooses to build a course can enjoy economic benefits and other significant marketing advantages over its competition.

Examples of renowned airports that have seized these benefits and built golf courses include Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth. New Hampshire also has a golf course in their airport complex and the Hyatt Bear Creek Hotel & Resort. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is not left behind as it also boasts a 36-hole golf course.  

What Are the Economic Gains of Having a Golf Course Next to an Airport?

Benefits Of Having A Golf Course In An Airport

Having a golf course next to an airport has numerous economic gains for the airport and the people who live nearby. Below are some of the benefits:

Increased Revenue

The greatest economic advantage of having a golf course next to the airport is often indirect. This is because a golf course can provide a superior marketing edge over your competition. Given the option of leasing land near a course to prospect, many corporate tenants will choose these amenity for themselves, thus benefitting their employees. This means having an airport course can lead to increased land leasing revenues for the airport, especially along the fairway frontage.

Availability of Golfers and Landscaping

Many offices, high-tech companies, warehouses, “clean” manufacturers, distribution centers, and other businesses also enjoy the feeling of the nice neighborhood created by the golf course. 

This kind of environment creates an appealing and beautiful landscape and easy access to social opportunities and recreational centers for area employees. Golfers who work around the airport like the fact that they can play their favorite sport right in their backyard.

As a source of revenue for the golf club, the airport’s employees and those corporate tenants form readily pool of potential golfing customers. These numbers will increase as the airport facility continues to expand. 

Additional Benefits

A golf course can also provide strong incentives for motels, hotels, and conference centers to lease buildings and land at the airport location. This is because having a golf course on site can influence golfing visitors to extend their stay while on vacation, conventions, and other events. Interestingly, many advantages of having a golf course near an airport make a project such as this appealing to potential golf course management firms and operators.  

An additional benefit is that the course operator doesn’t have to make a significant initial investment by buying the land. Busy airports typically are more likely to be profitable because they have a significant local base to attract potential golfers and easy highway access. These advantages, coupled with the fact that many pilots and air travelers already enjoy playing golf, make airports very lucrative locations for golf courses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Golf Course Next to an Airport

Advantages of Golf Course Next to AirportDetails
1. Convenient Access for TravelersGolf courses near airports offer easy access for travelers, allowing them to enjoy a round of golf during layovers or before/after flights.
2. Increased Revenue from PassengersAirline passengers may choose to play golf while waiting for flights, leading to increased revenue for the golf course.
3. Large Open Spaces for Golf LayoutAirports often have ample open land, making it feasible to create spacious and attractive golf course layouts.
4. Potential for Airport-Linked TourismGolf courses can attract tourists who specifically visit for golfing, benefiting both the airport and the local tourism industry.
5. Enhanced Property ValuesProperties adjacent to a golf course generally have higher values, providing potential economic benefits to the local community.
Disadvantages of Golf Course Next to AirportDetails
1. Noise Pollution from AircraftAircraft noise can disrupt the tranquility of a golf game and negatively impact the overall experience for golfers.
2. Safety Concerns for GolfersStray golf balls near runways pose safety risks, potentially damaging aircraft or causing accidents, leading to liability concerns.
3. Land Use Conflicts and Zoning IssuesConflicts may arise between airport operations and golf course development, leading to zoning and regulatory challenges.
4. Restricted Expansion OpportunitiesAirports require secure perimeters, limiting the golf course’s ability to expand or make changes to its layout, impacting its long-term growth.
5. Environmental Impact on EcosystemsGolf course development near airports can disrupt local ecosystems, affecting wildlife and natural habitats, necessitating environmental mitigation efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Most Golf Courses on the Coast?

You may have noticed from history that golf originated on the coast of Scotland. To maintain the heritage and rich tradition of the beautiful game, the tradition of building most golf courses along the coastline has continued to date.

Why Are There So Many Golf Courses in Chicago?

Metropolitan Chicago is an ideal location for golf lovers. Its thriving economy provides the social elite and an economy with the leisure time and wealth to chase the game, and its network of railroads offers easy access to the sizable number of suburban country clubs.

Why Do People Enjoy Staying Next to a Golf Course?

There are many significant advantages of living in a golf course community or a golf course. Among the primary reasons people prefer residing close to golf courses include quality schools, property values, community amenities, and the availability of the golf game in your backyard.

Is it Healthy to Stay Next to a Golf Course?

People living close to a golf course may be affected by dust or sprays from the golf course onto their home or property. Pesticides applied to the course may run off into surface waters or leach down to groundwater, which can then expose people to drinking contaminated water.


Most airports have an administrative staff and forward-looking board which quickly understands the advantages of building a golf course on their land. In virtually all cases, the airport staff and management would have to work closely with the golf course operator to create a cooperative business and friendly relationship for everyone involved in the vast project.

Besides the enormous benefits of having golf courses adjacent to airports, the facilities may pose challenges such as air and water pollution to people nearby. Nonetheless, the benefits always outweigh the dangers; thus, it is wise to have golf courses near airport facilities.




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