*updated March 2012
by Robert P. Farmer
NAPA, CA – Whether you’re after the country club afternoon, the relaxation of a resort, or the challenge of one of the toughest public course in the region, Napa Valley offers a golf experience to suit all tastes – and skill levels for that matter. The valley known for its vineyards is also home to an assortment of golf courses on par with its assortment of wines. Public, private, and semi-private, all the courses take advantage of their eye-catching natural surroundings – rolling oak-studded hillsides, lakes and creeks, mountain views and valley vistas. Napa golf has it all. If they could put it in a bottle, they would.
*Chardonnay Golf Club
Situated on the southern edge of Napa Valley in Jameson Canyon, this semi-private facility is one of the great values in Napa golf. The layout includes a well-paced mix of hole-lengths that demand judicious club selection.
Though fairly straight and even, there is plenty of trouble for errant shots, with beautiful surrounding vineyards and wildlife habitat preserves all designated OB. The well-maintained course is great for spotting wildlife hawks commonly flying overhead. Of course, in your pursuit of another kind of birdie, you’ll want to keep you head down, right? Book early to take advantage of some fantastic rates – even on weekend rounds.Located at: 2555 Jameson Canyon Road, Napa, CA ~ (707) 257-1900
for current Golf Special!
*Eagle Vines Golf Club
Though not affiliated, Eagle Vines plays like a companion course to its neighbor Chardonnay – in fact a couple of holes are alongside one another. But even though the courses are carved from the same terrain, Eagle Vines offers a decidedly different experience than its neighbor.
Routinely ranked among the toughest courses in the Bay Area, Eagle Vines doesn’t lack for challenging hole variety. From sloping fairways and well-bunkered greens, to plenty of opportunity to land your ball in the water – including an intimidating island-green par-3 hole – this beautiful course will test every aspect of your game. But given its typically excellent condition and the gorgeous surroundings, it’s well worth the effort. Post round, sit on the club house patio perched on a hilltop and soak up the sweeping valley views or grab a bite to eat at their restaurant.Located at: 580 South Kelly Road, Napa, CA ~ (707) 257-4470CLICK HERE for current restaurant specials.
For many people, Silverado is synonymous with golf in Napa. Indeed the resort, with its two Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed championship courses, tennis and spa facilities, and large mix of family-friendly accommodations, provides the all-inclusive experience for everyone in your group – golfers or not. Silverado’s North course is the easier of the two but by no means a push over. Meanwhile, the South course has lots of water and uneven fairways, making for a rather challenging round.
Both courses are gorgeous, with mature-oak-studded terrain and captivating views of the nearby mountains. Although the resort grounds can accommodate most any need – from fine dining to massages to wine tasting – Silverado’s central valley location also makes it easy to squeeze in some world-class wine tastings when the round is finish. Located at: 1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, CA ~ (707) 257-0200
. CLICK HERE for current golf special.In the Area
The wonderful thing about golf in Napa is that it is just one item on an overall Napa Valley agenda. Most golf courses play on the wine theme in their clubhouse – with attractive wine lists and typically above-par (the only time that phrase is acceptable related to golf!) fare from the kitchen. It’s always worth exploring the region further when the round is finished. Situated centrally between the courses mentioned here is the City of Napa itself, which lately has emerged as the brightest star shining in the Napa universe.
The upswing in activity is thanks to the addition of top-notch hotels – including the Napa River Inn
and the Westin Verasa Napa
, both perched on the riverbank. They offer walking distance access to great shopping, galleries, and an ever-growing collection of restaurants anchored by such popular spots as Celadon
or Bounty Hunter Wine Bar
. Or for a quick bite on the go without forsaking the gourmet touch, don’t miss the Oxbow Public Market where you’ll find every delicacy under the Napa sun – from coffee to cheese to, of course, great wine.