Scenic and quality: The Silverado North Course experience

Cole Seifer and Matt Benbow

Stretching just over 6,500 yards, the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa is one of the finest golfing experiences in Northern California. Situated on the outskirts of Napa, Silverado’s 1,200-acre property is home to the North Course, the South Course, a full-scale driving range, tennis courts and multiple pools, among other amenities. The North Course is an 18-hole, par 72 course, the expected score for an expert golfer, that caters to many different styles of golfers. The course can play differently depending on where you choose to tee off, as it features four different tees. The venue also hosts the annual Fortinet Championship, a Professional Golfers’ Association tour event, which has featured well-known players such as Phil Mickelson, John Rahm and Will Zalatoris. This tournament brings in a lot of revenue for the resort, which allows them to keep the course in perfect condition. The course is both difficult and deceptive, as it utilizes trees, long grass and tricky greens to throw off a golfer’s game. The North Course’s difficulty and unique hole design make it different from the average course.

Before the initial tee-off, many players enjoy warming up on the range. Silverado’s range is double-sided, allowing more golfers to warm up simultaneously. While the range gets used frequently, it stays in good shape, as players can hit in many sections. Maintenance crews also work around the clock to restock balls and repair swinging surfaces. 

North Course Hole 16 in perfect condition for golfers to shoot a low score

After warming up, golfers step up to the first tee, opening up the round. The first two holes are primarily standard for the course. They are mostly straight and open and generally easy for the average golfer. However, the stretch between the third and sixth holes reveals the course’s difficulty. This stretch of holes features overhanging trees that block the fairway, long and curving portions of the course and multiple bunkers on each hole. The largest challenge is the greens. Many greens on this stretch are hard to land on, have many breaks and are quite large. This combination makes putting much more difficult. 

The North Course shines on the back nine holes. This stretch features several signature holes and contains some of the most tricky spots on the course. The par three 11th hole is the most famous of all 18. This hole features a large pond and several overhanging trees. The green is large enough that a well-struck ball will land on the putting surface, and it only has a few slopes and bumps. The hole is marked as the second easiest on the course, but the slightest mistake on your tee shot can create trouble in a golfer’s round. 

Professional Golfers finding the challenges of one of the many tricky greens at Silverado North Course, during the annual Fortinet Champsionship

Silverado Resort is also home to the famous Burger Dog, a must-eat after finishing the sixth hole. With the choice of toppings and condiments, the Burger Dog is a fulfilling and fueling bite to keep players energized to end a long round. 

While the course does have a steeper price point than most public courses in the area and is a longer drive from Marin, the $115 price per round is well worth it. The course may not be as scenic as others, as it primarily features a couple of views of the mountainous Napa Valley and is mostly shrouded in trees; its upkeep and unique hole design are sure to leave a golfer wanting to return. Silverado’s North Course features several scenic and signature holes, great food, pleasant staff

members and great weather conditions that make the round all the more enjoyable. Silverado’s North Course should be at the top of the list if a player has time to drive to Napa this summer.