Another Very Special Golf Day
For all the added challenges the wind created for us on day 1 on the North Course, the “it was too windy” excuse was not available on Day 2 on the South Course. As we pulled up to the golf course, we took a little more time to admire the architecture of the clubhouse. With family in the deep south, it reminded of us many of the plantation style houses and building we have seen down there. With its white pillars, it exuded southern charm and grace similar to the treatment you experience from all of the wonderful staff members you encounter. It was a mid 50’s day and with not even a breeze, a light long sleeve shirt was all the added clothing necessary.
The course was a combination of leafless valley oaks and healthy large pine trees scattered among the odd ornamental plum tree with its vibrant pink blossoms. A limited number of eucalyptus trees with their alabaster like bark are present on this course that was spectacular in so many ways. Although it shared the same land area as its sister course, The North, it was quite a different golfing experience. The North was more of a bombers course, numerous demanding long holes compared to The South a more scenic, undulating layout. The fairways on The South were trimmed to a perfect height with the mower cut lines precisely evident, a perfect landing strip for tee shots and fairway lay ups. The smooth-running greens were not as severe in slope and The South possessed the same exquisite bunkering and soft fluffy sand as The North. We began the day with a nice welcome from Michael in the pro shop. As we had played yesterday, the cart attendants had stored our clubs for us and they were all cleaned and positioned on the same cart from day 1. Young Cole, a local lad was delightful to talk with before he sent us to the first tee.
We were following another couple that had teed off right before us and we kept them in our sights until we caught up to them at the 7th tee box. That’s when we decided to make it a foursome. April and Joe from Wisconsin were fun to play with and get to know. We all had one thing in common, at 58F we weren’t complaining about the temperature compared to our home towns much farther north.
We were also in agreement that the course was very playable and a real treat to play. For some reason as diverse as each of our games and abilities were there was one very common occurrence. None of us struggled in the least to get out of the bunkers, a testament on not only how playable they were, but how perfect the sand depth and texture was.
It was a good round and we played at a steady pace with the flow of the round matched with some very warm and lighthearted banter. My goal as usual was to break 80 and after a 39 on the front nine and needing a birdie on the last hole, a beautiful straight Par 5 it was well within reach. From the middle of the fairway and with 255 yards left, I opted to play one of my favorite shots, driver off the deck. It would reach the green for sure and almost guarantee the sought-after birdie. I nailed it flush and a slight lapse of concentration saw it just fade about 5 yards off line. It clipped a small well positioned tree which was just enough to stop its momentum. From there I made a bogey 6 resulting in a 10-par score of 81. Nothing to be scoffed at really and bang on my 9 handicap. April who was pretty new at golf made her day and Joe’s too by parring the previous Par 3 17th. It was a cute moment and we all congratulated her.
If you are staying at the resort you would want to plan on playing both courses. For Myra and me, if we were playing an odd number of rounds we would suggest that you lean towards playing The South one more time than The North. Knowing we were about to begin the long haul back to Vancouver Island in the next couple of days, I informed Bryan Johnson, who was our host, I would wait a few days until I got settled at home to write this review. He contacted me via text the next day and asked me for a quick comment. I was quick to give him a snapshot of both my and Myra’s feelings. It was very obvious to us that in his role as Group Sales Manager at Silverado Resort and Spa, he was a very proud member of this remarkable team at Silverado. I simply texted him “We could play your South Course 24/7 365, outstanding playability and quality” with the thumbs up emoji. His response was an obvious joyful one. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. design which has been around since the mid 60’s and home to the former Seniors Tour for 13 straight years is a gem and the jewel in the crown of Napa golf.
The entire town of Napa, its success steeped in its pedigree of wineries also possesses great restaurants and a beautiful, quaint downtown. It was one of our favorite stops on our 9 weeks away ahd will be easy to return to in the very near future. Whether you’re a Merlot or Chardonnay pundit is irrelevant, you can come to Napa for the same reason we did; to play golf at of one Americas great golf resorts.