Silverado Resort & Spa - North Course
|Gold (W)||72||5868 yards||73.5||129|
|Burgundy (W)||72||5187 yards||69.8||120|
|Blue M: 73.1/138||432||193||399||378||536||431||209||344||521||3443||409||174||363||413||389||187||521||355||539||3350||6793|
|White M: 70.9/133 W: 76.8/139||402||148||345||370||521||404||182||308||491||3171||375||130||353||392||367||163||501||332||518||3131||6302|
|White/Gold M: 69.5/131 W: 75.3/138||381||148||345||309||521||404||155||308||474||3045||358||130||353||340||367||139||501||332||503||3023||6068|
|Gold M: 68.7/128 W: 74.4/133||381||137||331||309||487||393||155||293||474||2960||358||115||313||340||347||139||485||308||503||2908||5868|
|Gold/Burgundy M: 67.0/125 W: 72.3/128||327||137||294||309||487||313||155||293||474||2789||329||113||313||340||297||139||485||308||417||2741||5530|
|Burgundy M: 65.5/117 W: 70.2/123||327||129||294||300||430||313||146||283||369||2591||329||113||261||333||297||132||418||296||417||2596||5187|
Subtleties galore at the Safeway Open venue
Playing in the media day for the Safeway Open for the third year in a row, you'd think I'd have this course figured out by now. Nope.
Not even the pros - with their fancy green-reading cards and caddies - can solve the subtleties of putting on the North course. You think it's a straight putt and the ball will snap hard at the hole. If it looks like a big swinger, then the ball will stay mostly true to a straighter line. It's so perplexing why the ball doesn't go in the hole.
As I've written in the past, the course won't wow you with views of the hillsides like CordeValle, but its holes and terrain have just enough personality to deliver a five-star experience.
Napa knows how to throw a golf party
If I was rating the golf course architecture, I'd probably give the North course four stars. But the "experience" is five star.
Overall, the course is very enjoyable. It's not overly memorable visually, but its subtleties make for a fun and interesting day. Enough elevation change creates a few dynamic holes. The greens make the round. I don't know how anybody who isn't a member playing daily makes anything on some of the trickiest greens I've ever putted. So many hidden breaks.
The famous burgerdog on the course is well worth a try, but save room for lunch or dinner and a glass of wine at the resort. This is what you've come for ... the golf is merely a distraction.
Now this is how you do wine country
When Silverado's North Course shows up on your TV screens in October as the new host of the Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour, chances are, you're going to like what you see.
No golfer should mosey through wine country without a brief intermission from the tasting room to walk this most pleasurable design -- even if the "easy" holes are few and far between.
A Robert Trent Jones Sr. design from the 1950s that was later updated by Johnny Miller (now a co-owner of Silverado), this is a course that just feels ripe to host a big event. Narrow fairways, tall mature trees and gentle hills, The greens are small and fast (and sometimes elevated), and the splashed bunkers are a brilliant white.
It's comparatively compact routing (compared to more modern venues like CordeValle) seems very spectator-friendly.
Now, anytime you play a golf course leading up to a PGA Tour event -- as we did -- you're going to get a unique experience. Frankly, I would recommend waiting until a week or two after the event is over with. Carts were on paths only (honestly, we should have all just walked it -- it's a very well-routed design) and the rough was gnarly to say the least. I suppose one benefit to the rough is that while our group would go on egg hunting expeditions just yards off the fairway, usually someone would find one or two extra balls that had barely been hit.
Now, the penal nature of the course isn't the norm here (it's really not all that severe, more in the mold of Jones' easy bogey/hard par mentality), it just comes with the territory of hosting a PGA Tour event. Now managed by Troon Golf, the course staff does ensure the resort golfer are going to get a fair and playable test, even if this classic course, with its narrow fairways and small, sloping greens, aren't a pushover for anyone. But golfers with a penchant for classic course design are going to have a new NoCal favorite in Napa on Jones & Miller's North course.