Silverado Country Club to host PGA Tour event Open moves to Napa in October 2014
2013-07-03T19:30:00Z 2013-10-14T21:12:41Z Silverado Country Club to host PGA Tour eventMARTY JAMES Napa Valley Register
July 03, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

The PGA Tour will be returning to Napa’s Silverado Resort and Spa, a 36-hole complex that has a storied history in professional golf.

The Open will be relocating its 72-hole tournament from CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., to Silverado’s North Course starting in the fall of 2014. The event, offering a $5 million purse with $900,000 going to the winner, will be held Oct. 6-12, 2014.

The announcement was made by Silverado’s ownership group, which includes World Golf Hall of Fame member Johnny Miller. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations headquartered in San Jose.

“We are thrilled to host the season-opening PGA Tour tournament on our iconic property,” said Miller, a 25-time PGA Tour winner, who has served as the lead analyst for NBC Sports’ golf coverage since 1990. “Our North Course is amongst the most challenging and beautiful courses in the state, and over the last two years the Troon team and I have ensured the playing experience is superior in every way.”

The Open will be the opening event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season and will feature a full-field, with 132 players. Golf Channel will televise each of the four rounds.

The last time a PGA Tour event was played at Silverado was 1980. Silverado hosted the Kaiser International Open from 1968 to 1976 and the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic from 1977 to 1980.

The Silverado winner’s circle includes Miller, who won two majors — the U.S. Open in 1973 and British Open in 1976. Other champions include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw.

“They needed a tournament site and that’s when we started talking to them,” said Tim Geesey, Silverado’s director of golf operations. “I’m thrilled that we could bring professional golf back to Silverado and really back in the Napa Valley.

“Our goal is to make it a true showcase for Napa Valley. We’re excited that we were able to get this done and for the next 16 months we’ll be preparing Silverado to be a great venue.”

Silverado was the site of the Transamerica, a Champions Tour event for players age 50 and older, from 1989 to 2001. There was also the Napa Valley Championship presented by Beringer Vineyards in 2002, a Champions Tour event.

Past Champions Tour winners here include Lee Trevino, Tom Kite and Dave Stockton.

Silverado’s ownership group was scheduled to announce to its membership Wednesday night the relocation of the Open. Silverado will also host the event in 2015 with an option for a third year in 2016.

“Johnny Miller is the key reason why all of this is happening,” said Geesey. “To the ownership’s credit, they wanted to make sure that it was the right event at the right time. We really feel that with the strength of the Fry’s organization and their commitment to a top quality golf event, and the quality of the tournament organization led by Duke Butler, we couldn’t find a better partner.”

Butler is the tournament president and Jeff Sanchez is the tournament director.

This year’s Open will be played at CordeValle Golf Club, from Oct. 7-13. Launched in 2006, the Open is an official PGA Tour event benefiting many local and national charities.

“I think the important thing to remember is that the Open still has an incredible event to run this October at a spectacular golf course,” said Geesey.

Tournament chairperson Kathy Kolder, in accepting the invitation from Silverado, said, “It’s an opportunity to enhance the reputation of our tournament, generate new sponsors, expand the volunteer base and make significant contributions to deserving charities.”

Silverado is a Troon Golf-managed facility.

Tournament proceeds have generated $1 million to worthy charities each of the last two years and $5 million in its brief history.

The Silverado North Course, a championship layout that Miller redesigned, made Golfweek’s Top 100 Resort Courses for 2012. Miller lengthened the course, which features water crossings, elevation changes, and routing through oak, pine, and redwood trees. Enhancing the makeover was a complete bunker renovation. The removal of kikuyu grass has also returned the course to its original rye-Kentucky bluegrass condition, making for better all-around playability while adding to the aesthetic beauty of the course. There are 24 new tees on the course, a par-72 layout that plays 7,226 yards from the tournament tees.

Instead of mostly long, flat and straight, the North Course now has movement and angles to its par-4 holes, creating even more of a test in shaping shots.

Miller played one of his first tournaments on the PGA Tour at Silverado in 1969 and won here in 1974 and 1975.

Miller, who was born and raised in San Francisco, was an All-American at Brigham Young. He was the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1974 when he captured eight titles. He won four more times in 1975.

Silverado has been in contact with different golf tours, which have each expressed interest in the resort for tournament golf.

“There is no shortage of people wanting to bring a golf event to Silverado and to Napa Valley,” said Geesey. “It was amazing how many people wanted to come here.”

The North Course offers a great combination: challenging holes and excellent viewing for spectators.

“The quality and challenge of the golf course is there,” said Geesey. “We think it’s a great test of golf. The green complexes here are what is going to challenge these players. We’ll set this golf course up to be a good, fair test.

“From a spectator standpoint, it’s really going to be an enjoyable place to watch golf. It’s a very easy golf course to walk and to see great golf being played.”

For more information on the Open, visit

Copyright 2016 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. publiusa
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    publiusa - July 03, 2013 8:06 pm
    It didn't hurt when taxpayers paid to repave Atlas Peak Road, then Monticello Road lead into Silverado. Those roads were in good shape before, but some influence from Silverado and the supervisor who lives there got them smooth as glass anyway. Too bad the other county roads have no influence...they are in horrible condition.
  2. whocares21
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    whocares21 - July 04, 2013 12:04 am
    Too bad the rooms are so awful and they're gouging their members to update them. I wouldn't give you two cents for Troon Golf, a typical corporation who fired everyone and brought in their own young bloods to run things. And, not in a good way. No customer service out there at all. And, now the course has become private. You can keep it. I don't support Silverado.
  3. glenroy
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    glenroy - July 04, 2013 7:36 am
    This is the type of event that brings significant benefits for all the tourist related services.

    Way back when... Fuzzy Zeller had his annual funny riot bouncing around the town with his entrourage...just a great guy, among many others including Lee Trevno who spent like there was no tomorrow. The Pro/Am event included note golferss like Willy Nelson LOL, Don Gibson and of course Glen Campbell who briedly resided in Napa in the early 60s.

    Bet the farm they'll pay all their bills if nothing else.
  4. LMW
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    LMW - July 04, 2013 8:30 am
    Silverado drew many people to the valley. We should be very happy that this event is coming back. Very pleased for it will hopefully bring many other things back as the economy is to be moving upward and the housing is bouncing too. Beautiful course, comments on roads? Elect honest leaders that will work for you.
  5. Hear Ye
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    Hear Ye - July 04, 2013 9:29 am
    This is great news. Hopefully they can draw an even greater field now that it will be in Napa
  6. Hotmud
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    Hotmud - July 04, 2013 3:59 pm
    who the hell is fuzzy zeller?
  7. Terry150
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    Terry150 - July 04, 2013 4:42 pm
    Huh...never figured the PGA as a desperate organization, but I suppose that's what happens when all other viable solutions run out. I hope it goes well, but with the current management in place at Silverado I certainly don't hold out a lot of hope. They have yet to stop the bleeding at Silverado and when they fumble this PGA event it will just be another black eye for the country club. Complete embarrassment to our community.
  8. napablogger
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    napablogger - July 04, 2013 5:37 pm
    whocares, I agree with you about objecting to the course turning private. They depend on the community for so much, they could at least throw us a bone and let us play golf there once in a while, even at the inflated rates they used to charge I enjoyed playing there. I am sure there is plenty of space on the course and they could use the money. A lot of people who own in the neighborhood don't play golf.

    I think it is great that Miller has pulled off getting a PGA event there, and I look forward to volunteering if I can or at least buying tickets.

    Btw, Fuzzy Zeller is a pro golfer best known not for his success on the tour but his racist comment to Tiger Woods about eating fried chicken.
  9. CharlieGirl
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    CharlieGirl - July 04, 2013 10:09 pm
    Oh, you mean Fuzzy Zoeller.

  10. napablogger
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    napablogger - July 04, 2013 11:46 pm
  11. glenroy
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    glenroy - July 06, 2013 8:21 am
    Of course what else could be expected but another cheap shot… fail to mention blogger that his comment was in ‘jest' mimicking the racists talking amongest themselves, Tiger knew that blogger, yet Fuzzy being a class act emphatically apologized on national think Tiger doesn't say things in jest to Fuzzy...they all hammer each other at that level and getting there for that matter.

    Being the enquiring type...
    What’s the dirt on Trevino?
    Don Gibson?
    Glen Campbell?

    …the course has been private since it was opened….
  12. country girl
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    country girl - July 06, 2013 12:42 pm
    This is exciting news! All locals should be very proud to live in a globally-recognized top wine region. The PGA brings many wine lovers and sports fans. We should all rally to support this to make it a success for the whole general valley. Obviously some will benefit more but I hope people can put the negatives aside to help their neighbors because that is what community is about. Where do I sign up to be a volunteer?
  13. bowlerhat
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    bowlerhat - October 24, 2013 4:06 pm
    Excellent news indeed. I wish them every success and HOPE they Update their rooms!!
  14. mrm
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    mrm - May 13, 2014 7:53 pm
    Fuzzy Zoeller.
    Look forward to attending event from Chi town
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