Serene landscapes, rolling green hills, exercise and time with friends — a round of golf checks all the boxes! With its mild weather and diverse landscapes, it’s no wonder the greater Sacramento area is one of the top spots for golf. From mountaintop retreats to tranquil woodlands, the varied settings offer something for everyone.
Sacramento-area golf courses are diverse, with varying bunkers and water features to challenge the most seasoned player, plus lessons and clinics for those starting out. Best of all, most courses in the Sacramento area operate year-round, so there’s no excuse for not getting out and playing a round. Following are some of the top picks for public courses in and around the greater Sacramento area.
Mather Golf Course | Mather
Mather Golf Course is located in the Sacramento County community of Mather, the site of a former Air Force base. It features 18 holes with tree-lined fairways and medium sized greens. The championship-length course was designed by Jack Fleming, and with three tee boxes is perfect for golfers of all skill levels to brush up on their game. They also offer lessons, men’s and women’s clubs, and a small cafe. Players are drawn here to experience the incredible landscape at an affordable price!
Apple Mountain Golf Resort | Camino
Nestled in the foothills of Camino, Apple Mountain Golf Resort is a sanctuary in the forest, with views of the mountains around every turn. The 18-hole course is dotted with pine and cedar trees, and wildlife roaming nearby. There’s also a pro shop, driving range and practice facilities where you can work on your short game. Plus, the course is located in the popular Apple Hill area, perfect for grabbing a bushel of apples or a slice of pie after a game well-played.
Bartley Cavanaugh | South Sacramento County
Near the banks of the Sacramento River, Bartley Cavanaugh is located just west of Elk Grove near the town of Freeport. The signature hole (No. 17) is a par-3, 107-yard challenge featuring an island green, and is as fun to play as it is daunting. Features such as this one make the course attractive to experienced golfers, but beginners will also find many opportunities to grow in the game without getting overly frustrated. There’s also a pro shop, restaurant and clubs for men and women.
Teal Bend | North Sacramento County
The abundant trees surrounding the fairways at Teal Bend just east of Woodland and north of Natomas make for a more secluded golfing experience. The greenery means that you won’t be able to see the golfers playing on nearby holes, and you’ll feel like you have the course all to yourself! As if this isn’t enough, the course is always in incredible shape, and boasts challenging bunker placements and elevation changes. Lessons, a driving range and a grill make it a good choice for an afternoon on the greens!
Wildhorse Golf Club | Davis
Located in Davis, Wildhorse Golf Club was designed by award-winning course architect Jeff Brauer. Bisected by Covell Creek, the course has trees, bunkers and ponds for challenge, plus views of the mountains. There are also practice facilities, an on-site restaurant, private lessons and group clinics.
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex | Arden Arcade
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in the Arden-Arcade area features two different championship golf courses, Alister Mackenzie and Arcade Creek. The variety is very attractive to golfers, who enjoy exploring the distinct layouts and different challenges each course has to offer, and has earned the facility a number of awards for overall quality. The Arcade Creek Course is more welcoming for beginners — the flat layout is open to be played as a nine-hole track or a full 18-hole regulation round. Alister MacKenzie, on the other hand, will cater to the experts and offers a more scenic, secluded golfing experience. In short, there’s something for everyone at this course!
Located in Roseville, Timber Creek and Sierra Pines provide experts and beginners alike with scenic challenges through lush fairways and a variety of strategically placed obstacles. Timber Creek is an 18-hole course with two distinctive nines, with three men’s tees and two women’s tees. Sierra Pines is a stand-alone 9-hole course, with five men’s tees and five women’s. Throughout it all are 142 large and small bunkers. Plus, the grounds are also noted for their seamless integration into the landscape, with lovely ponds, waterfalls, oak groves and a protected bird sanctuary on site.
William Land Golf Course | Land Park
Located in the Land Park neighborhood, the namesake William Land Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in the area, having been built in 1924. The 160-acre course was the vision of its founder, who dedicated $250,000 to the creation of William Land Park and Golf Course, as well as another $200,000 to Sacramento’s low-income residents. The course features lessons for kids and adults, a restaurant, a pro shop, and short game practice facility.
Black Oak Golf Course | Auburn
Tucked beneath the oak trees in Auburn, Black Oak Golf Course is a hidden gem. The 9-hole course isn’t the largest in town, but it’s a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of its urban counterparts. Manicured fairways, water features and towering oaks make for a scenic day. There’s also a shop, snack bar, and lessons for players of all ages. Plus, there’s a driving range, and a chipping and putting green so you can perfect your swing.
Bradshaw Ranch | Sacramento County
Lesser-known Bradshaw Ranch is a popular course for beginners, as well as for those looking for a quick round to polish up their short came. Located in the Vineyard community of Sacramento County, the beautiful, public course features well-maintained bunkers and obstacles, and offers a friendly, never-too-crowded environment. It also offers lessons and night golf.