Upon arriving at Sonoma Golf Club (SGC) it’s easy to see why this exclusive course has earned its premier reputation. The mission style decor along with subtle dark oak and stone accents make the clubhouse elegant, yet warm for all. The club is private, however guests of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn may book tee times through the concierge. The rates vary throughout the seasons, yet packages are available through the Fairmont reservations department*.
Awe-inspiring impressions continue after parking in the beautiful oak tree-covered lot and walking into the inviting golf shop. From the outside service staff, to the golf shop attendants, to the starter, everyone is focused on making your experience one to remember.
Clearly, the course is what draws players from all over the world to the club and make no mistake — you will want to bring your “A” game. To say the course is challenging is an understatement. Length is a must throughout the course at just over 7100 yards from the championship tees. That being said, hitting the ball long is just one part — focus upon accuracy is also a priority.
Golfers of all abilities are dared to attempt shots that they rarely frequent and those lucky enough to make it on the green realize their adventure has only begun. Those that visit SGC often comment on how the green surface is true, yet extremely complicated. Most golfers playing for the first time find putting to be a source of frustration.
After a bit of gumshoeing a local lore has been uncovered: find the palm tree standing near the end of the first hole and aim all putts towards that awkward, displaced tree throughout the round. Scores will fall and the mystery will be solved! Unfortunately that’s only one issue and if the rest of the course was that easy then we all could go out and grab our tour cards.
Those who are privileged enough to golf at SGC are given a glimpse at the beauty of the wine country. Throughout spring, summer, and fall, players who tee off early are treated to majestic mornings with crisp air and a fog that burns off quickly. Those who choose to tee off later will battle the Valley of the Moon’s afternoon breeze and often take a moment to enjoy watching the sunset off Jack London’s ridge.
As you come to the last hole with a backdrop that dreams are made of, you may want to pause on the 18th green for a moment. As you shake your partner’s hand, turn around, then look at the stunning view beyond, try to grasp what you’ve just experienced and value how lucky you are to have played at Sonoma Golf Club.
*For room and golf rates and packages contact The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn at their official website or telephone 707.938.9000. For private membership opportunities contact Karen Parnow, VP of Membership Sales, at 707.939.4103.