Silverado Resort and Spa
About Silverado Resort and SpaSilverado Resort and Spa combines the best of golf, wine and vacation living in the heart of Napa Valley. The 1,200-acre property, home to 340 condo-style suites, has been hosting professional golf tournaments off and on since the 1960s, including the Safeway Open since 2014. Only resort guests and members can access the two courses, North and South. Ten tennis courts, 10 pools, bocce ball courts, hiking and biking trails and a popular spa across the street from the main mansion keep guests entertained. Wine tasting and fine dining, on or off property, are a must. Major champion Johnny Miller has co-owned the resort since 2010.
Golf courses at Silverado Resort and Spa
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No pins, thick rough
With no pins due to county "social distancing" mandates and thick rough because of a smaller than normal staff, Silverado's tricky North course played even tougher than ever ... and I enjoyed every minute.
For such a classic design, the North seems to play harder than it looks. Nobody ever makes any putts (except the pros) and the par 4s seem to play long. If your game goes sour, suck down a burger dog. You'll feel better, and maybe even play better.
South might be my favorite
I've played the North 4-5 times now, including that same morning, so what a pleasant surprise the South turned out to be on a hot 36-hole afternoon.
The land was more inspiring than the North. More hills equals more vistas, more interesting lies and all around more fun. To be honest, it's also a little easier than the North, so that gets a few bonus points in my book.
I wish I had played it prior to Johnny Miller's renovation. Whatever he did, it makes sense. Just like the North course, the burger dogs never disappoint.
Silverado resort is a great spot. The North course is fair and challenging track. Conditions were great despite being just a week after PGA Tour event clean-up staff is friendly and great amenities on property and in surrounding area.
Silverado resort is a great spot. The South course is a bit more user-friendly track than the North course. South course is a bit more “rolling,” so uphill, downhill and sidehill lies are very common. Conditions were good, staff is friendly and great amenities on property and in surrounding area.
Another intoxicating day in Napa
What can I say that I haven't already in the other five-star reviews I've given Silverado? I play it once a year at the Safeway Open media day challenge and never solve it and never tire trying. Everything is straight forward; yet nothing is as it seems. You just don't make putts out here, and the rough is gnarly.
There's just enough bunkers, elevation change and trees pinching fairways to keep your scores in check. Throw in a burger dog and beer during a round and some wine after for a memorable day.
Napa + Golf + Wine 5 STARS
The conditions of the North Course are amazing and the setting is stunning. I will definitely go to the Safeway Open and see the pro's play. Not my best day on the course but loved the experience. Had to have one of those burger dogs and it was totally worth it!!
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.
Great course, needs to improve resources for golfers
You're paying for playing in Napa County, but one would think that for that kind of money, there would be more consistent resources for golfers to play well in the 21st century. You would think a resort course would have updated resources, but here's what I encountered: 1) The course map they hand out shows bunkers on #2, #9, #10, #13, #16, & #18 that don't exist; 2) the green layout on the course map are impossible to read and you have no idea whether you're hitting into a flat green or a three-tier green 3) The online course fly-over videos show the same information in the course map; 4) The android app has removed the bunkers, but the descriptions still mention them, and they really don't provide a lot of info; 5) the golf carts don't provide GPS yardage info.
Club selection off the tee and into the greens was challenging. When I did hit greens I was often above the hole with slippery downhill putts because there are a lot of multi-tiered greens from left to right.
The course was in great condition, which it should be for $149 and for the PGA Tour to stop here. The pace of play was great and the amenities around the course were great. The staff was incredibly friendly and provided helpful advice while I was warming up about several tricky holes.
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.