The Best Affordable Golf Courses in the Bay Area

By Matthew Selman

Golf is an expensive sport, it can cost people thousands of dollars a year just to enjoy their hobby. Golf clubs themselves can be quite an investment. Green fees can get up into the triple digits, just for a round of golf. The sport of golf has always been exclusive to the wealthy because of these reasons. There are either extremely expensive courses that have strict rules and etiquette, or there are courses that are barely functioning.

 Appropriately priced golf courses paired with good conditions can be really tough to find. Luckily for golfers in the Bay, there is a surplus of affordable courses all within 20 miles of each other. There are plenty of courses available for just under $60 a round, and they continue to get cheaper as the day goes on. Most courses will give cheaper rates during “twilight” hours, so golfing after work or school may be a solid way to save some money.

 One of the closest courses is Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo. It is about 15 minutes north of Benicia right off of I-80 North. The course has 18 holes of challenging, and consistent golf designed by one of the greatest of all time, Arnold Palmer. One of the nicest aspects of Hiddenbrooke is the laid back pace of play. Most days after 2:00 PM the course begins to slow down, giving you the opportunity to play golf at your own pace without worrying about people behind you. The course is extremely well-kept, with landscapers there every morning rolling the greens and making sure everything is in order. The staff are some of the best in the area, and extremely personable. Hiddenbrooke is not only good for their golf, but it is also one of the best venues in the area. Birthday parties, weddings, business meetings, and all sorts of events are placed in the trust of Hiddenbrooke employees. Your experience at Hiddenbrooke will be a great one, without a doubt.

Another beautiful golf course in the area is Boundary Oaks. This course is located in Walnut Creek, with beautiful views and extremely consistent conditions. Boundary Oaks is known for its quick greens, good quality fairways, and great prices. This type of course is exactly what many golfers are looking for when looking at the price to quality ratio. The course is surrounded by trees causing leaves and acorns to fall onto the course frequently, leaving the greens with debris on them sometimes. Aside from that, the course is in great condition. This course requires precision accuracy with your clubs, the greens are tricky and very fast, so if you like a good golf challenge, try Boundary Oaks. Prices range depending on the day of the week, but they are always reasonably priced. Boundary Oaks also hosts events for weddings. The wedding rate for this venue is cheaper than most other golf course rates. 

One of the easier courses in the Bay is Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord, California. This course is mostly flat, and straight. This course is where you can really see your potential, most shots are pretty straightforward and easy. There are 18 holes of good quality golf for a good price. I have always liked this course because there aren’t too many hazards to go into, as long as you can hit it straight. If you are wanting to take a few friends to play golf, but don’t want to worry about pace of play or breaking any rules, Diablo Creek is the perfect place to go. The staff are super down to earth and helpful, and the practice facilities are in great condition. The putting green is massive with over 150 square feet of different breaking greens. Each tee box is in perfect condition giving you the freedom to attack the greens. 

If you’re looking for a highly ranked golf course in the area, I would recommend trying out Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. Pasatiempo is one of the nicest courses along the coast of California, fairways are surrounded by trees and brush, making it difficult to keep your ball in play. This course is maintained by professional greenskeepers, keeping conditions perfect for any golfer. Tee time rates at Pasatiempo are exceptionally higher than previous courses named, but the condition and experience is next level. Due to the difficult conditions, there are caddy services available to help maximize your golfing experience. 

There’s a surplus of golf courses to try out in the area, if you are just getting started in golf and want to play for cheap, there are plenty of reasonably priced courses to visit.  If you want to experience high end golf, there are plenty of locations for you. Getting out and trying new golf courses can be tricky and expensive, but if you research the right courses, you will find a variety of places to tee it up. 

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