The 12 Best Public Golf Courses in the Bay Area

|August 9, 2019

Golfing in the Bay Area means you can tee off along the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by vineyards, nestled in the rolling hills, and even in the heart of San Francisco on one of the West Coast’s oldest courses. 

If you’re searching for public courses, we rounded up the best of the Bay Area. And these offer championship golf in all those settings and more. Enjoy! 

The Course at Wente Vineyards 


Video courtesy of The Course at Wente Vineyards

Wente Vineyards is already known as one of the Bay Area’s best wineries, but the vineyard is also home to an 18-hole championship course designed by golfing great Greg Norman. Originally opened in 1998, the 7,181-yard, par 72 course features native woodlands, mature vineyards and rolling hills of natural grasslands all tucked away in the scenic Livermore Valley. Standard rates range from $69 to $170, and memberships, clinics and lessons are available as well! To book your tee time, click here

Eagle Vines Golf Club 

American Canyon

Nestled in Napa Valley, this 18-hole, par 72 golf course was designed in part by the World Golf Hall of Famer Johnny Miller. Complete with public access, membership opportunities and a full menu at The Grill at Eagle Vines, a trip to Eagle Vines Golf Club can offer a full day of fun, panoramic views, gourmet food and excellent drinks. 

Franklin Canyon Golf Course


Located north of Richmond and Walnut Creek, this 6,594-yard championship course was designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Muir Graves. Along with the scenery of rolling hills, mature oaks and majestic gum trees, course features include two ponds, several tight doglegs, large undulating greens and unique challenges at each hole. Open to the public and to members, all skill levels can find an interesting test and have a great time at Franklin Canyon. 

Gleneagles GC at McLaren Park

San Francisco 

Designed in the heart of San Francisco by Irish-born landscaper Jack Fleming more than 50 years ago, this legendary course has been earning honors, accolades and mentions since 1962. Throughout the decades, the course has hosted San Francisco mayors and fishermen, country club members and everyday Joes alike, and it’s home to one of the finest 19th holes in all of golf. To view rates and tee times, click here

Golden Gate Park Golf Course 

San Francisco

Nestled amongst the trees on the western edge of Golden Gate Park, this golf course was originally built and developed in 1951 and was shaped by the sand dunes that were once in the same spot. Today, the area offers a 9-hole, par 3 course with holes that range from 100 yards to 200 yards. For more information, like tee times and prices, click here.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links 

Half Moon Bay 

Video courtesy of Half Moon Bay Golf Links

Located along the stunning oceanfront of Half Moon Bay, this picturesque course offers 36 holes on two different courses of championship golf. And these two courses are anything but average! You can golf The Old Course—7,001 yards designed by Arnold Palmer in American Parkland Style—or The Ocean Course which offers 6,854 yards designed by Arthur Hills in Scottish Links Style. Membership offers perks and discounted golf, but both courses are open to the public, too. 

Hiddenbrooke Golf Club 


Undoubtedly one of the Bay Area’s best clubs, Hiddenbrooke is the only course in the surrounding Contra Costa, Marin and Yolo Counties to receive a four and a half star rating from Golf Digest. This world-class, championship course was designed by Arnold Palmer and is surrounded by stunning hills and landscape. On-site, guests can also enjoy drinks on the deck at The Clubhouse and order a full meal at The Grille. 

Lincoln Park Golf Course 

San Francisco 

When Lincoln Park Golf Course opened in 1902, it was the city’s first municipal golf course and it had just three holes. In 1917, the course was expanded to 18 holes and today, the full course measures 5,146 yards, par 68 from the back tees and 4,732 yards, par 70 from the forward tees. Located in the heart of San Francisco, the tree-lined, undulating fairways and intricate greens boast plenty of challenges for golfers of all skill levels. Lincoln Park Golf Course is also the host site for the annual San Francisco City Golf Championship and has been since the very first tournament in 1917! 

The Links at Bodega Harbour

Bodega Bay

Bay Area public golf courses

Photo courtesy of The Links at Bodega Harbour

Located right on the waterfront of Bodega Bay, this golf course combines Pacific Ocean views, rolling fairways, undulating greens and native coastal rough. When it was opened in 1978, the Scottish-style links course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and had nine holes. Less than a decade later, nine more were added for a full 18 and extensive renovations were completed in 2008 for an excellent, refreshed course.

Presidio Golf Course 

San Francisco 

Video courtesy of Presidio Golf Course

The Presidio Golf Course is one of the oldest courses on the West Coast. It was originally built in 1895 as a nine-hole course and green fees were just 50 cents! In 1910, it was expanded to a full 18 holes, then the course got a redesign and lengthening in 1921. But the history of this course is much longer than we can fit here and includes the likes of Babe Ruth, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Charles Schulz and Joe DiMaggio. To read it, click here. And to book your tee time, click here

Sharp Park Golf Course 


Designed by Architect Alister MacKenzie who designed some of the world’s best courses, Sharp Park is a historic, seaside course originally opened in 1932. The walkable course offers seaside and inland sections, 6,300 yards with par 72 and several holes that wrap around Laguna Salada, a natural lake. For information on tee times for residents and public golfers, click here

TPC Harding Park 

San Francisco 

TPC Harding Park is home to the legendary Harding Park course and The Fleming 9, a challenging, par 30, nine-hole course added to the interior of the Harding Park Course in 1961. The Harding Park course was originally designed by world-renowned golf architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting in 1925, and received substantial renovations in 2005 to better suit the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions events. This makes it a park designed for professionals and open to all. To book a tee time, click here

Do you have a favorite course?

Whether public or private, tell us about your favorite Bay Area golf courses in the comments below! 

Category Community Guides, East Bay, Marin County, Peninsula, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Wine Country

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