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The Tradition

An old photograph of two men playing on the course at Somona Golf Club

The 1920’s. The Golden Age of Golf was in its heyday, bringing great advancements in course style and originality.

It was a time when the masters of architecture practiced their craft in Northern California: Alister Mackenzie, Seth Raynor, Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast, Willie Watson and Sam Whiting at the Olympic Club. It was Sam Whiting who took the former J. K. Bigelow ranch and fashioned an 18-hole jewel that was first named the Sonoma Mission Inn Golf and Country Club to capitalize on the historic lore and romance of the Sonoma Valley and to serve as a prestigious amenity for the popular resort. “The Sonoma Mission Inn Golf and Country Club is one of the prettiest spots in California,” the local newspaper declared when it opened in 1928. "It's a sporty course, one which will interest both amateur and professional."

Over the years that followed, many famous golfers tested their skills against Whiting’s venerable design. Among them were Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ken Venturi and Tom Watson. Sonoma Golf Club’s course is as true to the tenets of the game of golf today as it was in 1928.

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