Sonoma County is home to a diversity of golf courses – some 16 are listed here (every golf course in the county); we have personally visited 15 of them. Most are public, but some are private and a number are membership based. The private very prestigious Mayacama Golf Course is located just east of Windsor. Jack Nicholas (who designed the course) teed off on opening day in 2001 to many cheers from the on looking crowds. This private course was listed by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 golf courses in the country.
RIP Golf Courses: Adobe Creek Golf Course, Petaluma and Wikiup Golf Course, Santa Rosa.
The following are additional golf courses available in Sonoma County.
Bennett Valley Golf Course is located at 3330 Yulupa on the south eastern edge of Santa Rosa. A nice space – lots of trees and nearby hills – located adjacent to the large Galvin Park. Really nice feel here with a full driving range, putting green and 18-hole golf course. Also the Legends Sports Grill is a great place to hang out with a back terrace overlooking the greens. Also for you early bird drinkers – they offer very good prices on select alcoholic drinks if ordered before 12pm. Phone Number is (707) 528-3673 or visit: www.bvgolf.org
Bodega Harbor Golf Links is located in Bodega Bay at 21301 Heron Drive. This is about a 45 minute drive from Santa Rosa towards the coast. This 18 hole seaside course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr – with the back 9 completed in 1978 and the front 9 added in 1987. It is very unusual to be able to play golf in Sonoma County overlooking the ocean (when you can see the ocean as often it can be very foggy here depending on the time of the year). The only other coastal course in the county is to the north – The Sea Ranch Golf Links.
The course winds its way through the coastal bluffs at times surrounded by homes on both sides of the fairways. Fairly reasonable rates (best available prices are during the weekdays). A golf pro shop is on site with a tiny snack bar. Note that there is no driving range here but several putting greens and chipping areas are located near the golf shop. The Bluewater Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Phone Number (707) 875-3538 Visit: www.bodegaharbourgolf.com
Fairgrounds Golf Course is a 9 hole course located in the middle of the horse racing track at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Opened in 1960 and renovated in 2006 this course and grounds are very beginner friendly. They are located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa. A gated off road leads one to the parking area in the shade of the Racing Track grandstand. One crosses over the actual horse race track to reach the putting range, driving range and golf course. A small clubhouse is located on site. One of the most “public” golf courses you will find in Santa Rosa. Very easy access and very reasonable rates. Phone Number (707) 577-0755 or visit: www.fairgroundsgolfcourse.com
Fountaingrove Country Club is located at 1525 Fountaingrove Parkway in Santa Rosa. Picturesque golf course with some water features, hills and holes near residential neighborhoods. Located in the hills in the northeast part of town. A Golf shop and a driving range. Also sometimes an auto detailing mobile unit located in the golf shop parking lot. A very picturesque private course with greens meandering through oak studded hillsides. Often deer will be wandering the edges of the course. Phone Number (707) 579-4653 or 521-3207 www.fountaingrovegolf.com
Foxtail Golf Club is located in Rohnert Park – about 15 minutes from downtown Santa Rosa. They feature two championship courses, banquet rooms, a restaurant/ lounge and a large practice range. They are located right off of Highway 101 at 100 Golf Course Drive. They boast two courses a north and a south course (the north course wraps around near the Doubletree Hotel) for 36 holes of golf (54 if you count the 18 holes for Foot Golf)
A fairly unique sport offered here is foot golf – a combination of both golfing and soccer where soccer balls are used (larger holes are built into the same course) with each hole roughly half the distance of a regular hole. This has been built into the back 9 of their course – a simultaneous round of golf and foot golf can occur at the same time on the same course. Phone Number (707) 584-7766 Visit: www.playfoxtail.com
Healdsburg Golf Club is located at Tayman Park in Healdsburg at 927 S. Fitch Mountain Road (only about a mile from the central plaza). Not very well marked – a small road leads up a hill to the club house. One of the more scenic driving ranges of any golf course in Sonoma County – elevated over the green, golfers look out over the valley and a sea of green. Oh and the occasional jet that is on its final descent into the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.
A historic club – first established in 1921, makes this the oldest golf course in Sonoma County. Several golf instructors offer private and group lessons. If you are a serious golfer they offer an unlimited membership plan allowing you to play every day of the year should you want to (they are open 365 days of the year). Phone Number (707) 433-4275 or visit: www.healdsburggolfclub.com
Northwood Golf Club is located right off of Highway 116 near Monte Rio (roughly about 35 minutes west of Santa Rosa). Incidentally this course is located fairly close (across the Russian River) to the grounds of the private men’s only Bohemian Club Grove. This is a Dr. Alister MacKenzie designed 9-hole course (he is the man responsible for designing Augusta National and Cypress Point among other courses). The course construction was completed in 1928. Of the 15+ golf courses in Sonoma County this is one of the more picturesque and unique ones simply based on the fact that it is located under towering redwoods.
The greens therefore create a pretty juxtaposition between towering trees with light filtering through them to the grounds. Some of these redwoods are more then 150 feet tall. A restaurant is located on site near the pro shop. This course has been voted one of the top 9 hole golf courses in the nation by Golf World Magazine. Visit: www.northwoodgolf.com
Oakmont has two courses; appropriately named, the East Course and the West Coarse. Both were designed by golf course architect Ted Robinson (now deceased). These courses are located off of Highway 12 just east of Santa Rosa as you head towards the town of Sonoma. They are located in the community of Oakmont – where the requirement to live is one of the residents must be at least age 55 or older. Oakmont is also known for being the home of Deep Throat (the anonymous Watergate whistle-blower) – where he lived out his last years.
Both courses are 18-holes each – each presenting its own unique challenges. The Quail Inn Restaurant overlooks the greens – and is across from the West Pro Golf Pro shop. Very bucolic setting – quiet and peaceful especially in the early evenings in the summer. Both golf courses are open to the public with rates differing for walking, use of a cart and or for seniors.
Phone Number (707) 539-0415 or visit: www.oakmontgc.com
Petaluma Golf & Country Club is located at 1500 Country Club Dr. Depending on where you are coming from, finding this private members only club can pose a bit of a challenge. Accessible only by driving through quiet residential streets, this challenging 9-hole golf course is located in the hills on the western side of the 101. It features excellent views at times – overlooking the Petaluma Gap with even a few glimpses of the always busy 101 freeway far below the course.
One of Sonoma County’s most historic courses – it was founded in 1922. The original intent was to build an 18-hole course but due to financial restraints, they opted for just 9 holes. Open to members and their guests (geared to family’s where with one membership signup, the spouse gains free membership as do any of their children under the age of 23). Weddings also conducted on site. The property features an outdoor pool. Several golf instructors are also on site. Visit: www.petalumagolfandcountryclub.com
Rooster Run Golf Course is located at 2301 E Washington St in Petaluma. Very accessible this course is open to the public. Located just east of the town of Petaluma in an area surrounding by both vineyards and open land. Framed by rolling hills in the background. Also very close to the Petaluma regional airport and the Petaluma Adobe (you can see the planes lined up in the distance from a number of vantage points while on the course).
Based on its location this is one of the best courses in the county to play in the winter (even after rains as the landscape often drains very well). Features a clubhouse, pro shop and the Rooster Run Cafe. Accessing the southern holes is easy – a tunnel goes underneath Washington Street. The course features four lakes, some creeks, and what is highly unique for a Sonoma County based golf course, an island green. For more information, visit: www.roosterrun.com
Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club is a private membership based course located at 33 Country Club Drive in Santa Rosa. An impressive and luxurious Mediterranean styled club house with restaurant greets members who drive in to the parking lot. Also tennis, a fitness facility and a swimming pool on site (all for members). Highlight of membership in additional to the golf course and other activities – are the social benefits. And further benefits include access to other some 300 other golf clubs and special events.
In addition to the 18-hole, par 72 course, there is a driving range, two putting/chipping greens and a 100 yard practice hole (with bunkers). Visit: www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Santa-Rosa-Golf-Country-Club
Sea Ranch Golf Links is one of Sonoma County’s only two golf courses situated overlooking the Pacific Ocean (located on the northern coastal edge of the county – just south of Mendocino County). A bit of a trek to get here – but those who do are treated to scenic yet rugged ocean scenery and challenging holes. The first nine holes were completed in 1974 – designed by Robert Muir Graves. The second 9 holes were completed in 1995. The course winds its way along the ocean bluffs and in between some residential Sea Ranch neighborhoods.
For those wanting to practice before hitting the full course, a putting green, pitching/bunker green and a full grass driving range are on site. A full service golf shop is located roughly near the center of the course (open 365 days a year, weather permitting). The course is located on both sides of Highway 1. Open to the public. Reasonable rates. For more information visit: www.searanchgolf.com
Sebastopol Golf Course is located north of Sebastopol at 2881 Scotts Right of Way. Located about 20 minutes from Santa Rosa – on an unmarked residential road that culminates in the parking lot at the pro shop. Fairly tight course, features 9-holes in an environment that is conducive for beginners. Oh, and very affordably priced to.
Pulling into a variety of golf courses over the years, we always notice when staff is friendlier then usual – the smile, the courtesy wave, the head nod – this course features friendly staff and groundskeepers. Attracts an older clientele. A small lake is located at the 7th hole. Family owned. And incidentally, there are a nubmer of fine wineries within a very short drive of the course – play in the AM and then stop in for some tastings in the afternoon.
Sonoma Golf Club is located at 17700 Arnold Drive in Sonoma. This championship golf course has been located here since 1928 (it was originally named the Sonoma Mission Inn Golf and Country Club). Rich in history with a course that is challenging – especially on the back nine. Hosted the Charles Schwab Cup Championship PGA from 2003-2009. Over the years notable golfers who have clinked the irons on this course include Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Tom Watson. Surrounded by rolling hills, this is a very picturesque setting.
With a club house built to match the beauty of the course – one is quickly seduced by its inviting historic charm. And by the wines – one of the few golf clubs we have come across to feature a Vintner Member Program – where members have access to a selection of premium locally sourced and produced wines. Makes sense, after-all – this is Sonoma County. Tennis, bocce, a swimming pool and a spa are all part of the club experience. Member’s only parking spots are set aside in the parking lot. Membership is by invitation only. Phone Number (707) 996-0300Website: www.sonomagolfclub.com
Windsor Golf Club is located just north of Santa Rosa in Windsor off of the appropriately named 1340 19th Hole Drive. Pleasant feel with a small pond near some of the greens. Also a driving range. Charlie’s Restaurant is always a nice place to enjoy lunch – especially on their back patio under sunny skies. Golf instructors are on site – golf lessons are offered by appointment. This scenic course meanders among a year round creek, lakes and oak trees – fairly gentle in it’s approach. Also has hosted several several PGA Nike Tour events. Visit: www.windsorgolf.com
And if you would like more information from an overall perspective of all the golf courses in Sonoma County, visit this handy website: www.sonomacountygolf.com