Golfers planning a trip to the West Coast may want to look into staying in the beautiful Napa Valley, where the perfect combination of phenomenal wine and the best golf courses make for a truly refined vacation. Enjoy fine wines while playing eighteen holes surrounded by the beautiful Napa Valley landscape, all the while enjoying northern California’s renowned spectacular weather. The only stressor on this luxurious vacation? Deciding which course to play among the myriad stellar options in the area. Make it easy on yourself and plan a longer trip and play them all! Here are a few of the best golf courses in the Napa Valley that shouldn’t be missed.
Whether you’re in the Napa Valley for a nice long trip or just passing through, get the golf/wine experience in one stunning location by stopping by the Chardonnay Golf Club, which features two world-class courses situated on an actual vineyard. The Vineyards course has been open to the public for a while, but the Shakespeare course, formerly only open to members, is now playable by visitors as well. Both courses have been host to the North California Open Championship and the PGA Tour’s Qualifying Tournament, so you know they’re not just wine-themed tourist attractions.
Right next door to the Chardonnay is the recently built Eagle Vines golf course, designed by Chardonnay CEO Jack Barry and pro golfer Johnny Miller. Efforts were made to disturb the magnificent landscape as little as possible, so you can take in total, peaceful nature as you play with not a house in sight. After you’ve played your game, stop by The Grill and enjoy a delicious dinner paired with those wines you’ve been dreaming about on the course all day.
Voted into Golfweek’s top 50 best resort courses for 2012, at the Silverado resort, it’s all about choices. Featuring two challenging and beautiful courses, the North and the South, this spectacular spot is a must-visit when you’re visiting the Napa Valley. Renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed both courses, with the North being longer but the South being more difficult, but that doesn’t make them too tough for the average golfer; three sets of tees mean this course will be enjoyable for players of all skill levels. Finish off your day by dining at one of two restaurants in the 19th century mansion located in the center of the resort or dive into one of eight swimming pools to cool off.
If luxury golf courses are a bit too pricey for you, or even if you just want to play an equally challenging game of golf for a fraction of the cost, check out the Napa Valley Golf Course in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. The only public course in the area, that doesn’t mean it’s not a stellar site; it was designed by Bob Baldock and Jack Fleck and has been the site of qualifying for the U.S. Open. Golf Digest gave it three and a half stars a few years ago, but although it’s a challenge even for the skilled golfer, four sets of tees means anyone can play and enjoy.