NCGA Golf

Fall 2018

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12 FALL 2018 | NCGA.ORG DAYtrip "I liked the country, the courses, the open fields, the smells," Miller says. "It felt like home." So much so that after turning pro and marrying his wife Linda, they honeymooned at Silverado Resort in one of the condos. "One thing led to another and we bought a condo the next year on the sixth fairway of the North Course, then built a house in '74 on the lake (at No. 11)," says Miller, who won the tournament there in 1974 and '75, and had five of his six kids born in Napa. In 2010, Silverado went on the market and Miller partnered to buy the California landmark, and then set about transforming it. "I saw what Silverado could become," Miller says. The chic, modern rooms, suites and cottages are spread around the 1,200-acre resort; some are private and gated. They feature private balconies, full kitchens, separate living areas and fireplaces, plus private pools and tennis courts. The white Mansion, over- looking Milliken Creek, is the hub of the property, with a lounge and restaurant inside. With a Mediterranean climate ideal for growing grapes, the Napa Valley, situated 46 miles northeast of San Francisco, has evolved into one of America's greatest lures for those who count food and wine as passions. Nowhere else in our hemisphere will you find quite so seductive a combination of natural beauty, deli- cious food, good things to drink, and agreeable places in which to stay. The American equivalent of Burgundy or Bordeaux, you might say, but prettier, with easier access to the vineyards. Your gateway to the wine world is a wide array of tasting rooms, which line Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. Most are typically open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pumpkin-colored winery at Trefethen Family Vine- yards, built in 1886 in the Oak Knoll District and recognized as a National Historic Landmark, is encircled by vineyards and sweeping views of the surrounding Napa Valley. Its 50th-anniver- sary tasting featured superb chardonnays dating from 1995, and cabernet sauvignons with jammy black fruit aromas and silky flavors of chocolate and black pepper. Some say Napa has been turned into a Disneyland for grownups, or a Southampton for San Francisco. It also has its share of golf for those with a passion for the game. Less than 1 mile from the William Hill Estate Winery is Silverado, where Miller has breathed new life into this 36-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. com- plex, and lured the PGA Tour to bring the Safeway Open here, beginning in 2014. The 27 holes at Chardonnay Golf Club meander through vineyards and can be played in three different combinations. Tucked in the foothills of Napa and routed through 27 acres of working vineyards, Eagle Vines Golf Club took the 10 best holes from the former privately-owned Club Shakespeare, including the par-3 sixth, which plays downhill to an island green, and with some of Miller's handiwork, crafted a challenging test of golf. Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park is the closest course to the town of Napa while Vintners Golf Course in Yountville— better known as a culinary boomtown—is another nine-hole option. One of the top "value buys" in the region is Mount St. Helena Golf Course, a nine-holer that can be played for under $25, which is less than the cost of most of the bottles of wine you'll lug back home. A day trip to Napa can combine golf at courses such as Silver- ado Resort (pictured above) and wine-tast- ing at vineyards like Trefethen Family Vineyards. S H A G B A G Napa Valley BY ADAM SCHUPAK > When Johnny Miller first stepped foot on property at Napa's Silverado Resort to compete in the PGA Tour's 1968 Kaiser Inter- national Open as an amateur, he could sense there was something special about the place. DAYtrip ADRIÁN GREGORUTTI PHOTOGRAPHY

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