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Marin’s Finest Fairways: Reviewing the best public golf courses

Tee up for an adventure in Marin County’s vibrant golf scene! Get ready to explore the fairways, traps and views of the best public golf courses. From rookie swingers to seasoned pros, Marin features golf courses for everyone.


Mcinnis Park Golf Center: 9.5/10

At McInnis’s golden hour, the sun lights up the course, adding to the vibrant array of colors.

Starting off with McInnis Park Golf Center, located in the very eastern part of San Rafael, this golf center provides a fun experience, with a 9-hole course featuring open fairways and expansive greens that make it ideal for all skills. The course is surrounded by hills and tall trees, creating a peaceful atmosphere that makes playing here unbelievably enjoyable. Additionally, McInnis features a variety of top-notch amenities, including a driving range equipped with Toptracer technology, a software that allows players to analyze and track shots, a large putting green, a mini golf course and a pro shop with all the essentials players may need. The staff is friendly, adding to the welcoming feel of the facility. McInnis is one of many national courses that welcomes and offers Youth on Course (YOC), a program that allows children under the age of 18 to play for $5 just by signing up and paying a small yearly fee. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the game or a seasoned golfer looking to play a casual round, this course offers an enjoyable experience for all who visit.

Mill Valley Golf Course: 8/10

Viewing Mill Valley’s fourth hole, players enjoy a spectacular view of Mt. Tamalpais. (Photo courtesy of Golf Pass)

Mill Valley Golf Course (MVGC), which is integrated into the sloping hills of Mill Valley, is a challenging yet exciting course to play. Only a 10-minute drive from Redwood, this well-maintained nine-hole course gives students a change of scenery as hundreds of redwood trees surround it. Although the trees contribute to the scenery, they make the majority of the holes challenging to navigate due to the narrowness created. Not only that, but the course has many different altitudes, with holes three, four, five and eight having significant increases and decreases in slope. Though the course may be challenging, there is still much to enjoy. The greens are equally as spread as McInnis’, which gives players an extensive target. Additionally, the course’s accessibility to YOC makes it worth a visit. MVGC may be more challenging than the others, yet once comfortable with the course layout, it can provide a great experience and challenge for aspiring golfers.

Indian Valley Golf Club: 8/10

On a crystal clear day, Indian Valley and Summit Lake gleam as golfers take advantage of the perfect weather.

Indian Valley Golf Club (IVGC), located in the foothills of Novato, is one of Marin’s hidden gems. IVGC, which is a lengthy 30 to 40-minute drive, is the least popular of the three yet the most well-maintained. This beautiful and crafty course offers golfers the best of both worlds, with fantastic views and even better holes. IVGC is ranked between the first two courses in terms of difficulty, as the holes vary all throughout. Additionally, IVGC has an amazing driving range where golfers get to drive their balls into Stafford Lake, as well as a high-end bar and dining facility that offers a wide range of delicious items. Lastly, like the other courses, IVGC offers YOC, saving students a great amount of money. With an amazing course, great views and fun amenities, IVGC is great for golfers of all skill levels. However, due to its isolated position and the lengthy drive it takes to get to, it can certainly be seen as less desirable for those who don’t have as much time.

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About the Contributor
Hayden Donehower
Hayden Donehower, Business Manager
Hayden Donehower is a junior at Redwood High School and a business manager for the Bark. He enjoys playing lacrosse, spending time with friends and surfing.