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TOPIC: Silverado North Re-opened by Johnny Miller: Napa Valley CA
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Silverado North Re-opened by Johnny Miller: Napa Valley CA
Member Since: August 18, 2007
Favorite Golfer: Louis Oosthuizen Favorite Golf Course: Pete Dye Challenge MHCC
Friday May 6, 2011 4:23 PM
FROM ACES GOLF MAGAZINE: NORCAL'S ONLINE GOLF MAG-
by Dennis Miller, Editor
Johnny Miller Previews Big Plans For Silverado
Hall of Fame golfer Johnny Miller celebrated his 64th birthday by re-opening the north course at the Silverado Resort and Spa, where he began his professional golfing career. Miller beamed during a media briefing before he hit the ceremonial first ball. His
ownership group bought the venerable property last summer and started renovating the north course in the fall.
When his team debuted it for the media, it was in excellent shape with the greens rolling at a professional level of 12 on the stimpmeter. Miller was particularly proud of the white sand in the bunkers that was trucked in from Idaho. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Silverado has hosted 14 professional tournaments. Miller won here in back-to-back years.
To ready it for the pros, the tournament tees were lengthened more than 300 yards to about 7,225 (official yardages; rating and slope awaits the Northern California Golf Association’s review that should take place in the next few weeks.) At the same time, Miller removed about one-quarter of the bunkers around the greens, giving golfers a way to roll the ball onto the putting surface on virtually every hole. In addition, they removed and pruned trees so the course has a wide-open feel from almost every tee and has virtually no forced carries.
The exception is No. 12, a par three that requires your tee shot to carry a lake to a narrow green. From the tips, it will play more than 180 yards. It likely will become the signature hole. The par fives normally all play back into the prevailing winds, which accounts for their relatively short length (by today’s standards) of just 528 yards (No. 5) and 547 (No. 9). With the wind blowing out of the north on the media preview day, long hitters could get home in two shots on all of the par fives.
Miller said that his ownership group had already heard from all of the professional golf entities inquiring about bringing a tournament there. He felt the course could test the best golfers by allowing the rough to grow and keeping the greens firm and fast. He ranked the north course in the same class as Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz and the private Olympic Club in San Francisco. His NBC golf broadcast colleague, Roger Maltbie, who joined Miller for the low-key festivities, readily concurred with Miller’s assessment of playability and challenge for the pros.
The course renovations are the first phase of a property-wide renovation that will include the historic mansion, the guest rooms and the south course. For information, please see www.silveradoresort.com.