Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Darrell Napton


Golf course construction in the United States has been changing land use and land cover since the late 1800s. From 1950 to 2000, the number of golf courses in the United States increased from roughly 4,000 to over 15,000. Each course covers hundreds of acres of land, not including surrounding real estate developments and/or urban infrastructure in support of the new recreational facility. The objective of this study was to use EPA Level 3 Ecoregions as a spatial framework to describe how driving forces of golf related land use and land cover change have varied temporally and spatially across the U.S. and to explain the implications and consequences of those changes. The study used golf data from Golf Magazine, census data, and other socioeconomic datasets, as well as field trips to three ecoregions. Driving forces found to cause change included socioeconomic factors such as population change, migration, economic prosperity, amenity areas, and affluence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Golf courses -- United States.
Land use -- United States.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright