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the golden bear in the golden state

Golfzon Social Opens Scarsdale, N.Y., Location

In the golden rolling hills of Sonoma County, Calif., the Golden Bear — Jack Nicklaus — created a masterpiece design at Mayacama. A 675-acre private club now partnered with Troon marketing, Mayacama offers its members the very best in both golf and the palatable pleasures of California Wine Country.

Of the 200-plus courses that carry his name, Mayacama is among Nicklaus’ very best, with deep green fairways that snake through rolling valleys and oak-studded hills. The Golden Bear made creative use of the terrain’s natural elevation changes and ravines to create a layout with enough challenge to keep members engaged, but not so much as to thwart the enjoyment of a round.

“The beauty of Mayacama is that there was never a plan to overbuild or overpopulate,” said Director of Marketing Jason Lind, who has been at Mayacama for 16 years. Even though we are set on 675 acres, there are only 31 residential homesites. When you are on the golf course, you feel as though you are out in nature, not in a housing development. You’ll see deer, turkey, and a natural setting.” 

Terrific golf is but one aspect of Mayacama. A spacious Spanish-style clubhouse offers a spa and fitness center, a pool with bar and grill, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a kids’ playroom, a formal dining room with robust food and wine programming, and — as you might expect in a premier wine region like Sonoma — a wine cave with wine lockers for members to store their favorite bottles.

The Mayacama Bar & Grill was recently renovated, creating what Lind describes as a space that now creates even greater camaraderie amongst members. “It’s not uncommon for members to meet local vintners on a casual basis at the Bar & Grill,” he said. “With the wine lockers nearby, members can grab a couple of bottles to share and compare with each other. The Bar & Grill is now an even more inviting space.”

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Plans are in place to renovate the club’s practice facilities in the near future, adding state-of-the-art simulators and other technology. And, responding to an increase in family use over the past several years, a new junior clubhouse is planned near the pool. “The average age of our membership is lower these days,” Lind said, “so our programming is also geared toward families. The new junior clubhouse with be for 12-18-year-olds, with pool table, foosball, and other fun activities.

Lind says that full golf memberships are currently available in two categories: charter membership, which includes anyone with a home within 150 miles of club, and national memberships. 

Another unique aspect of Mayacama is the available lodging component. There’s a private residence club offering 2,700-square-foot casitas and villas with fractional ownership options that can include full golf access. “One of our newest offerings, the quarter-share option became very popular during Covid, when so many people were working remotely,” Lind said. “The popularity of the fractional units is still strong today, so much so that we are building new, larger units (4,200 square feet) that will be completed this fall.”

Part of what makes them so popular is that they are managed and maintained by Mayacama, and can go back into a rental pool that’s available only to other members.

“Golf continues to be the focal point at Mayacama, but second homes in Wine Country have become very popular over the past several years,” Lind said. “Partnering with Troon is about finding those golfers looking for second homes and vacation destinations.”

Also owned and operated by Mayacama is The Ruse Healdsburg, a fully restored 1800s mansion building in downtown Healdsburg situated on three acres. Opened in January 2023, amenities include a 20,000-square-foot putting green (co-designed by the Nicklaus team), a swimming pool, 11 beautifully designed rooms, and a 2,400-square-foot Pavilion which is used as a flex space for daily breakfast, private dinners, and even corporate events of 12-24 people. But perhaps the most alluring aspect of The Ruse is that a stay comes with access to golf at Mayacama. For anyone interested in sampling the Sonoma lifestyle and one of its best golf courses, a stay at The Ruse is the perfect ticket.—George Fuller

Mayacama.com  |  TheRuse.com