While many golfers are also wine aficionados, the Napa Valley is home to a few professional golfers who have produced their own wine labels. LPGA winner Cristie Kerr's "Curvature" wine label is a collaboration with Suzanne Pride Bryan, owner of Pride Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley. Curvature wines are limited-production and proceeds go to breast cancer research. Professional golfer Luke Donald partnered with Terlato Wine Group to create the Luke Donald Collection, which includes a Claret-style red wine blend as well as Carneros Chardonnay. And, Arnold Palmer wines may be found at Luna Vineyards on the Silverado Trail in Napa.
The Safeway Open, the PGA’s season-opening event, occurs each October at Silverado Resort and Spa, bringing the world’s top golfers to the Napa Valley right in the middle of harvest, including World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, a fixture at the annual tournament, says, “Everything about Napa is the best. The best wine, the best food, the best weather, the beauty…everything is just spectacular.” The tournament creates an authentic Napa Valley experience for fans, bringing together incredible golf, delicious food, exciting musical acts and some of Napa Valley’s best wine.
With seven golf courses available to visitors, the Napa Valley offers a variety of opportunities to get onto the fairways in between wine tasting and dining. From lush resort courses with all the amenities to challenging 18-hole municipal tracks, and intriguing nine-hole layouts for a quick round, the Napa Valley offers a course for golfers of every experience level and dedication, most with vineyard views.
From south valley to north, Napa Valley golf courses include:
Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa features 18-holes of championship golf to challenge players of all skill levels on a layout that meanders through more than 150 acres of Chardonnay vineyards, numerous lakes and creek crossings, and a wide variety of native trees, shrubs and wildlife, including hawks, kites, kestrels, hummingbirds, and an occasional golden eagle. In the early morning or late evening hours, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, and many other "critters" stroll through the fairways. www.chardonnaygolfclub.com
Eagle Vines Vineyards and Golf Club in Napa is an 18-hole, par 72 golf course situated in the foothills with vineyard views in every direction. Designed in part by the PGA Hall of Famer Johnny Miller, Eagle Vines was founded on the belief that nature and golf were meant to co-exist in magnificent harmony, and has made a profound commitment to protecting the extraordinary natural environment of the Napa Valley. www.eaglevinesgolfclub.com
Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park in Napa is a challenging 18-hole full-service championship golf course with an 8,500 square foot putting green, chipping green, and a 22 individual stall driving range. With four sets of tees to accommodate golfers of any skill level, Napa Golf Course is also user-friendly, fun, and provides affordable access to all. www.playnapa.com
Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa offers two championship level 18-hole courses set against the eastern hills of the Napa Valley. Redesigned by PGA Hall of Famer Johnny Miller, both the north and south courses offer world-class golf for resort guests and feature dozens of water crossings, elevation changes and routing through historic oak trees. The resort hosted the PGA TOUR from 1968-1980, producing a prestigious list of winners including Jack Nicklaus (1969), Ben Crenshaw (1980), Tom Watson (1978) and two-time winner and tournament host, Johnny Miller (1974-75). In addition, Silverado Resort and Spa was a Champions Tour venue from 1989-2002. Now, Silverado is home to the Safeway Open, bringing top PGA TOUR competition to Northern California and furthering its charitable and economic efforts in the local community. www.silveradoresort.com
Vintners Golf Club is a beautiful nine-hole course located in the heart of Napa Valley in the charming town of Yountville. Featuring three different sets of tees, Vintner’s Golf Course is designed to accommodate professionals and scratch players, in addition to the golfing public at large. Players of all skill levels find Vintners Golf Club to be a highly enjoyable track, and the Lakeside Grille features a full bar and is a local favorite for an after round bite and drink. www.vintnersgolfclub.com
Reserved for resort guests, The Meadowood Golf Course in St. Helena has reopened for play after an extensive renovation. This nine-hole walking golf course offers immaculate playing surfaces and ideal conditions in a beautiful natural setting within the luxurious Meadowood Napa Valley Resort and Spa. A unique experience resort guests may enjoy at the resort is hickory golf, played with authentic hickory wood–shafted clubs dating from the early 1900s and specialized golf balls that replicate old-fashioned tree-sap versions. www.meadowood.com
At the very northern border of the Napa Valley lies Mt. St. Helena Golf Course in Calistoga. This nine-hole, par 34 course is attractive to golfers of all ages and skill levels. Ideal for the novice or younger player due to its length, flat layout, and open architecture, yet challenging to the more advanced player because of its narrow tree-lined fairways and smaller greens that demand accuracy, Mt. St. Helena Golf is an ideal course for families and groups of friends. www.mtsthelenagolfcourse.org