In Napa Valley, vineyard views are beautiful, but also a dime a dozen. For a change of scenery, skip the wine trail and soak up the valley’s spectacular landscape and weather from the manicured greens of the area’s many golf courses. We’ve rounded up the best public and private local courses for golfers of all skill levels and with varying price points.
Mount St. Helena Golf Course
Napa Valley’s best public course for beginners is at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga. The nine-hole Mount. St. Helena course is flat, short and open, but golfers of all levels will find a challenge in the narrow, tree-lined fairways and on the small greens—a great opportunity to work on your putting. Also one of the most affordable courses around, rates range between $18-40.
Silverado Resort & Spa
For the crème de la crème of golf courses in Napa Valley, there’s no other choice than Silverado Resort & Spa, which has two championship courses to choose from. Tee off on the recently renovated North Course, where the pros and legends gather for the Safeway Open each October, and attempt to dodge dozens of obstacles, like historic oaks and water crossings. Exclusive to members and their guests, rates start at $139, but you’ll get a nice discount after 5 p.m.
Meadowood Napa Valley
You can fit in a quick round on the short, nine-hole walking course at Meadowood, which is beginner-friendly, yet still challenging for the regular golfer. The resort also boasts a driving range and “golf studio,” utilizing the latest in Trackman golf technology to track and gather all kinds of data that will help you analyze and improve your game. For something totally unique, there’s also the opportunity to play Hickory Golf, a vintage golf game where players use authentic, hickory wood-shafted clubs from the early 1900s.
Napa Golf Course
The best golf for your buck is at the Napa Golf Course in Kennedy Park. Their public facilities include the clubhouse, full 18-hole championship course and practice facilities, complete with a 10,000-square-foot putting and chipping green and 24-stall driving range. Four sets of tees welcome golfers of any skill level and lesson programs are available for all ages. The best part? 18 holes on the weekend will run you just $41, and that number goes down significantly for weekdays, or after 12 p.m.
Aetna Springs Golf Course
Journey back in time and escape the tourists at the perfectly isolated Aetna Springs Golf Course in Pope Valley. Originally designed in 1891 with only four holes, Aetna Springs is the oldest golf facility and the second oldest 9-hole course (completed in 1893) west of the Mississippi. Though deep in the country, this renovated course has gotten the nod from Golf Digest, and not just for its 360-degree views of oak-studded hills. Rates start at $22.
Blue Rock Springs Golf Club
South of Napa and right off the highway, the greens at Vallejo’s Blue Rock Springs have the goods in the form of two championship 18-hole courses (both open to the public), plus a 28-stall lighted driving range. The East Course is the more challenging of the two, while the West Course is known for panoramic views of the North Bay and on a clear day, even the Golden Gate Bridge. Their affordable rates range from $16-24, and we suggest booking online for the best rates.