Sonoma Golf Guide

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by Robert P. Farmer

golfBagIstock1.jpgSONOMA COUNTY, CA - Sonoma County offers a wide-ranging mix of golf courses, both public and private. The moderate climate and proximity to the California coastline means conditions are near-ideal from Spring to Fall. Course types vary throughout the length of the valley, from windswept links-style tracks to hilly, verdant testers. Whatever your preference, the most difficult part of the round may be trying to select a course. Here are some Sonoma favorites.
roosterRunWebPic.jpgRooster Run Golf Club
Built on a flat expanse of land along Hwy. 101 that was previously a pasture, Rooster Run looks nothing like its former self. The course has a varied terrain of hills and slopes playing among cottonwood trees and around a series of creeks. Manmade lakes were added to make certain shots even more challenging - there's even an island green, which is rare for a course this affordable. And don't be fooled by the relatively easy slope rating because the prevailing wind will keep even the best shot-makers guessing. There's a great practice facility and clubhouse that makes it easy to spend an entire day here.
Located at: 2301 E Washington Street, Petaluma, CA ~ (707) 778-1211


Sonoma Golf Club at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
Arguably the best-known among golf courses in Sonoma, the Sonoma Golf Club is located close to the town of Sonoma, yet manages to feel remote and secluded. That's because the town grew up around the course, which was originally built in 1928 and which has since become one of the highest rated public courses in the United States, attracting professional tournaments and weekend warriors in equal measure. Playing across a rolling terrain and among huge mature oaks, the course provides plenty of challenge, while also beguiling golfers with its natural beauty. At about 7100 yards, the course has a traditional mix of long and short holes, and makes for a well-paced round. It certainly doesn't hurt to have the sumptuous Sonoma Mission Inn there to enjoy a post-round four-star meal or even a massage to work out the day's kinks.
Located at: 17700 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA ~ (707) 939-4100


windsorGolfClubWebPic.jpgWindsor Golf Club
Opened in the late 1980s, this beautiful, immaculately maintained championship course instantly became a destination facility for Sonoma-area golfers.

The challenging layout, designed by Frederick Bliss plays at just 6600 yards, but offers no small degree of shot-making consideration. That is to say, you'll need every shot in your bag. In fact, several holes are consistently rated among the "most difficult" on the Nike Tour, which counts Windsor on its regular stop list. Four tee-box options ensure that all skill levels enjoy the day, however. And whether or not things go your way on the course, the onsite restaurant, Charlie's, has exceptional fare and great libations to help you quickly forget your troubles - or recount the one great shot!
Located at: 1340 19th Hole Drive, Windsor, CA ~ (707) 838-7888

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