Best Golf Courses in Sacramento

Updated February 2024 to update booking information.

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

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If you’re looking for a golf course that offers an outstanding layout, environmental sensitivity, and year-round perfect conditions, Timber Creek Golf Course in Sacramento is the place to be.

Nestled in the stunning panorama near the Sacramento River and the Sierra Nevada mountains, this course is revered by golfers for its exceptional design and playability. The layout seamlessly integrates environmentally sensitive areas, including a beautiful bird sanctuary, adding a unique and charming element to your golfing experience.

What sets Timber Creek Golf Course apart is its consistent top-notch condition throughout the year. You can enjoy a challenging game regardless of the season, making it a go-to choice for golfers who crave a reliable and enjoyable golfing encounter.

It’s no wonder that Golf Advisor has recognized Timber Creek as the Golfers Choice #1 Course in Sacramento. The club’s commitment to maintaining impeccable standards hasn’t gone unnoticed, and it’s considered one of the best values in the region, offering an exceptional golfing event that’s hard to match.

Whether you’re a mature golfer or new to the sport, Timber Creek Golf Course is a must-visit for anyone seeking a memorable and rewarding round of golf in the Sacramento area.

 

2

Whitney Oaks Golf Club

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Located in the beautiful Sacramento Vista just a short drive from downtown, Whitney Oaks Golf Club offers a serene and well-maintained golfing environment, making it a highly recommended choice for golfers seeking a quality course near the city.

  • Whitney Oaks Golf Club is home to thousands of ancient live oaks lining the fairways, creating a charming and serene golfing experience.
  • The wetlands at Whitney Oaks Golf Club attract native wildlife such as deer and birds, adding to the natural beauty of the course.
  • Considered one of the most pristine courses in Sacramento, Whitney Oaks Golf Club offers a well-maintained and scenic golfing environment.
  • Located just a short drive from downtown, Whitney Oaks Golf Club is conveniently accessible for golfers looking for a quality course near the city.
  • Highly recommended by golfers, Whitney Oaks Golf Club is endorsed by the golfing community for its exceptional layout and playing feel.

The course, designed by Jack Fleming, incorporates the natural landscape, with ancient oak trees and lush fairways, providing a demanding yet beautiful golfing venture.

Whitney Oaks Golf Club stands out as one of the best courses in the Sacramento area, alongside other renowned courses such as Ancil Hoffman.

 

 

3

Empire Ranch Golf Club

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Tucked against the stunning backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Empire Ranch Golf Club offers a unique blend of links and parkland design, promising golfers a memorable and inclusive trip.

Designed by Jeff Brauer, this 18-hole par-72 course in Sacramento County boasts a balanced variety of holes with risk and reward opportunities. The course features tree-lined fairways and strategically placed water hazards, adding to the challenge and beauty of the play.

Empire Ranch Golf Club provides a quaint setting, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, creating a serene atmosphere for golf lovers. One of the notable features of the course is the 211-yard par three-hole that plays over water, offering an exhilarating and enticing experience. The club also offers a putting green for practice and warm-up.

With its fun and exciting layout, Empire Ranch Golf Club caters to players of all abilities, making it an inclusive destination for golfers seeking an unforgettable round of golf.

   

4

Teal Bend Golf Course

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Discover a secluded and picturesque golfing experience at Teal Bend Golf Course. The stunning natural surroundings and inspirational course design create an unforgettable outing for golf devotees.

Teal Bend Golf Course is one of the best public golf courses in Northern California. It was designed by the renowned architect William Francis Bell. The fairways are lined with abundant trees, offering a serene and peaceful setting for your game.

The course features rolling terrain, providing both beautiful views and a fun challenge for players of all levels. Golfers can enjoy the convenience of a Pro Shop for all their golfing needs. The course also offers lessons and a driving range for those looking to improve their skills.

After a round of golf, you can unwind at the grill while taking in the scenic surroundings. The course’s standout feature is its large and undulating greens. These create pure putting surfaces that will test and delight golfers.

If you’re seeking a golfing game surrounded by nature and wildlife, Teal Bend Golf Course is the perfect destination.

5

Wildhorse Golf Club

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If you’ve enjoyed the serene natural setting and thrilling design of Teal Bend Golf Course, you’ll appreciate the strategic game and well-maintained conditions at Wildhorse Golf Club.

This classic West Coast Parkland golf course offers a strategic playing experience with its strategic placement of trees, bunkers, and water hazards. The tricky green complexes, featuring noticeable slopes and subtle breaks, add an extra layer of challenge to the game, making it an ideal choice for golfers who value shot placement over power play.

Wildhorse Golf Club is also favored among locals for its affordable green fees, with the most expensive being $66 with a cart. The course’s impeccable maintenance throughout the year makes it a popular choice for those who appreciate a well-kept playing surface.

Located just a short drive from Hoffman Golf Course, Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf, and Mather Golf, Wildhorse Golf Club is a must-visit for golf buffs seeking a strategic and well-maintained playing adventure.

6

WildHawk Golf Club

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Tucked in the heart of Sacramento, WildHawk Golf Club offers a classic West Coast parkland design that promises an enjoyable round of golf for players of all skill levels. Strategic play is key at WildHawk Golf Club, with trees, bunkers, and water hazards requiring precise shot placement. The tricky green complexes feature noticeable slopes and subtle breaks, adding challenge to the game.

With affordable green fees, WildHawk Golf Club is a popular choice among locals who appreciate strategic golf over power play. The club provides practice facilities, an on-site restaurant, private lessons, and group clinics for a comprehensive golfing experience.

WildHawk Golf Club is the perfect place to test your skills and enjoy a round of golf in a beautiful setting. Whether you’re a beginner or a skilled player, the relatively flat course and strategic layout make for an engaging and enjoyable game.

 

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

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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.

  

  

  

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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