Golfing and Guzzling: How Much Alcohol Is Par for the Course?

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Andrew Wilsher

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Managing Editor of Pickswise. Born and raised in jolly old London, England, with an undying love for the NFL, NBA, soccer and horse racing. A big-time sports bettor who loves futures markets and backing underdogs. Long-suffering New York Jets fan. For Andrew Wilsher media enquiries, please email
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For many golf enthusiasts, a day on the course and a few adult beverages go hand in hand. Even non-golfers might draw a cultural connection between a round at the links and a few cold ones. A few too many drinks on the course could make a poor round even worse or a good one even better, but how much is too much?

After the golfing world recently congregated in the United Kingdom for The Open Championship, we asked golfers across the United States and in the United Kingdom what their drinking habits are like while playing. 

For one thing, the results suggest that golfers in America and in the United Kingdom have very different ideas about appropriate alcohol consumption on the course. 

Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, a drinking enthusiast, or both, read on to discover where the thirstiest golfers are, both in the U.S. and across the pond.

U.S. golfers, especially those residing in the South, take their course consumption seriously. The hardest-partying golfers in all of America are found in Florida, where consuming 4.8 drinks per round is the status quo. Texans enjoy their drink on the course as well, checking in just below Floridians with an average of 4.3 beverages per 18 holes.

Even America’s least-thirsty hackers drink more at the course than some in the U.K. Vermont golfers average 1.6 drinks per round, and Massachusetts golfers checked in at the same mark. Utah rounds out the bottom three drinking states in the U.S. when it comes to golf at 1.1 beers per round.

The United Kingdom’s thoughts about imbibing on the links are apparently very different. Northern Ireland averaged 0.4 drinks per 18-hole round. That was the most out of the four European countries represented in the study. Just trailing Northern Ireland are Scotland and England, both of which average 0.3 drinks per round. The most modest-drinking golfers represented in our results were the Welsh, coming in at a sensible 0.2 drinks per 18 holes of golf.

So, what influences golfers’ desire to down a draft in different parts of the world? The climate could have a fair bit to do with it. Even the hottest U.K. summer doesn’t get much more sweltering than around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A golfer enjoying those temperate climates probably wouldn’t feel the need to cool down with an ice-cold beverage as often as someone sweating through 18 holes in the Florida heat. 

In fact, some of America’s thirstiest golfers reside in the hottest parts of the country. Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona all average more than four drinks per round, along with several other southern states that experience extreme heat in the summertime.

Another factor that could come into play may be population. The more golfers you have in one area, the higher the likelihood that a percentage of those golfers will want to drink while they play. The U.K.’s heaviest-drinking golfers in our survey, the Northern Irish, are a population of around 1.9 million. Florida is the American state with the most alcohol consumption on the course, and its population is over 20 million. 

America’s second-place golf-drinking state, Texas, is another massively populous area with nearly 30 million residents. The least-drinking American regions in our survey tend to be smaller states with lower populations: Utah, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nebraska, and others.

The setting that golfers are playing in could influence how much alcohol they drink on the course. Florida is one of the top tourist destinations in the entire U.S. A vacationing golfer that booked a round to enjoy in between trips to Florida’s various beaches may be more inclined to down a couple of drinks than a Kansas local who just made it out to the course on a regular weekend. 

The United Kingdom is a huge tourist destination as well, but foreign visitors that may never make it to the continent again in their lives might be more interested in seeing the sights than playing any golf.

Whether a golfer is looking to beat the heat, playing in vacation mode, or simply trying to forget about that ball they just shanked into the water, it’s clear that some players enjoy drinking on the course more than others. Some golfers prefer to keep a sober focus on their game, while others simply want to have a good time on the course. 

Some may even find that a couple of drinks helps loosen them up and play just a little better. They might also find themselves backtracking to pick up a wedge they left behind, though.


With the Open Championship recently wrapped up at Royal Liverpool, we wanted to find out what UK and US golf fans think of one another. For our research, we asked 1,500 golfers in the US and 1,000 golfers in the UK about how much beer they drink while playing a round.

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