Best Golf Courses in Sacramento

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Best Golf Courses in Sacramento

Paul LiberatorePaul Liberatore


Paul Liberatore

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California’s capital city is known for a lot of different things.  But golf isn’t necessarily one of them.  I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely some great golf to be played here though. 

I’ve played a decent number of rounds in Sacramento, and so has one of our writers who lives a day’s drive north in Oregon. 

Clearly, we aren’t the only ones that have an affinity for golf here.  Plenty of our readers do too.  It’s at your request and with your help that we’ve compiled a list of the best public golf courses you can play.

1

Timber Creek Golf Course

Timber Creek Golf Course 2Timber Creek Golf Course 2

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Golf Advisor calls Timber Creek the “Golfer’s Choice #1 Course in Sacramento.” 

Not only is this course an outstanding layout and fun to play, it’s one of the best values in all of Sacramento. 

Even though this track is surrounded by a residential community, it exists in perfect concert with nature.  Among the designated environmentally sensitive areas is a bird sanctuary. 

You’ll find Timber Creek in perfect condition 12 months a year.  That’s one of the many reasons golfers keep coming back to this facility. 

A great value, and a most wonderful round of golf.

 

2

Whitney Oaks Golf Club

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Just a short drive from downtown on the outskirts of the city, you’ll find Whitney Oaks Golf Club.

Thousands of ancient live oaks line the fairways here.  You’ll need to hit it straight or else you’ll be left with plenty of punch outs. 

Wetlands abound too and present some poignant challenges.  They’re also full of native wildlife like deer and native birds. 

One of the most pristine courses in Sacramento, I can’t say enough good things about Whitney Oaks. 

 

3

Empire Ranch Golf Club

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This daily fee facility sits in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

Here, you’ll find a balanced variety of holes that offer ample opportunity for risk and reward. 

A blend of links and parkland design, you’ll find plenty of room off the tee and the chance to run the ball into the green.

Without question, the 18th hole is the most memorable hole on the course.  This par three measures 211 yards from the back tees.  The shot plays entirely over water and is most often affected by the wind.  Make three and you’re picking up shots on your buddies.

Another course that’s plain fun to play and challenging for players of all abilities.

   

4

Teal Bend Golf Course

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If there’s one course I play religiously when I visit Sacramento, it’s Teal Bend.

Set amongst a vast array of native wetlands that border the Sacramento River, there are plenty of birds to be seen.  If you’re on your game, you might even make some birdies of your own. 

If you’re going to make those birdies though, you’ll need to hit it close.  The greens are large and undulating.  They are some of the purest around, however, so you can expect to make some putts if you’re seeing the line.

This was my first round in Sacramento and it remains my favorite to this day.

5

Wildhorse Golf Club

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Wildhorse Golf Club, a Jeff Brauer design, is classic West Coast parkland.  Trees, bunkers, water hazards, and the ever-present Covell Creek all make shot placement paramount. 

This track is a favorite for locals that like to think their way around the course instead of swinging as hard as they can. 

The green complexes are tricky here too.  Noticeable slopes and subtle breaks can take a while to figure out.  Make sure you spend plenty of time on the practice green before your round.

With the most expensive green fee being $66 with a cart, it’s hard to argue against playing a round at Wildhorse.

6

WildHawk Golf Club

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Locals say WildHawk is one of the best kept secrets in Sacramento. 

This course is always in great shape and the service is first class.  More than most courses, the staff here are knowledgeable and happy to tend to your every need. 

The layout is somewhat straightforward but presents plenty of challenge.   Water hazards come into play on a number of holes and the greens are challenging to putt. 

If you want to work on your game, the practice facility is state of the art and has plenty of space. 

One of the most underrated rounds you’re going to find, WildHawk Golf Club is a must play.

 

7

Morgan Creek Golf Club

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Kyle Phillips designed Morgan Creek, and a classic design it is. 

All 18 holes are built in a way that leads you to believe that the course has been here all along, just as nature intended. 

What I love about this course is that it doesn’t just challenge your ability to execute shots, it challenges you to think.  A complete track indeed.

Even though this is one of the more upscale public facilities in the area, the price to play is very fair. 

Don’t miss this course when you’re in town.

8

River Oaks Golf Club

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If you’re looking to get out of the city for a peaceful round in the country, River Oaks is your place.

Built on what was formerly a 600-acre farm, this course is rich in history and a treat to play. 

The greens are what set this course apart from others.  They’re known for being quite fast in the summer and as true as god’s word all year around.

Even though it takes a little effort to get to River Oaks, it’s more than worth the drive.

9

Ancil Hoffman Golf Course

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Ancil Hoffman Golf Course is the work of William Francis Bell.  He’s the son of William Park Bell.  The father-son duo is renowned for their classic West Coast designs including Torrey Pines, Bermuda Dunes, Papago, and Kona Country Club to name a few. 

Ancil Hoffman is no slouch in its own right.  A classic parkland layout, the fairways are lined by big trees and the small greens are well protected. 

Accuracy is the name of the game here.  While you can hit driver, you’d better make sure you hit it straight.

The epitome of classic architecture and a muni full of charm, it’s little wonder why Ancil Hoffman remains a favorite to this day.

 

10

Diamond Oaks Golf Course

Diamond Oaks Golf Course 3Diamond Oaks Golf Course 3

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Diamond Oaks Golf Course has been in existence since 1963.   

One of Sacramento’s most storied public tracks, this course is meant for the everyman. 

Another muni, you won’t find much pretention here.  Instead, it’s all about golf, camaraderie, and fun.

The layout is in front of you, but the mixture of short and long holes keeps the course balanced and interesting. 

More than affordable and a joy to play, don’t overlook Diamond Oaks.

Conclusion

When most people think of golf in California, Sacramento probably isn’t the first destination that comes to mind.

Having played a fair amount of golf in the Golden State’s capital, I’m here to tell that the sport is a big deal.  Not only are there a multitude of great courses to be experienced, they’re more than affordable too.  Our readers largely echo those same sentiments. 

As always, a huge thank you goes out to all of you that made this article possible.  I genuinely hope it’s a resource for you and everyone else that stops by for a visit.