John Miller knew Napa Valley was for him the moment he saw it; and as a City boy who grew up in San Francisco, that was probably a little difficult for him to contemplate at the start. But the warm nights in the summer and the smell of oak trees just proved too enticing. It has been many years since Miller visited Silverado Resort for the first time (in 1968) and many of the online golf odds seem to suggest that the changes he has implemented since then will positively impact the upcoming events.
The soothing and comfortable atmosphere of Napa probably contributed to Miller winning Kaiser International Open Invitational titles in 1974 and 1975 at Silverado.
Silverado will be the center of attention once more this week when it hosts the Safeway Open. The six million dollar event will officially kick off the 2016-2017 PGA Tour schedule.
Miller will wear a lot of hats during the tour. As one of the owners of Silverado, who redesigned the North Course, he needs the whole event to progress smoothly and without any unnecessary hiccups.
More importantly, the World Golf Hall of Fame Member will be leading the charge as the lead analyst for NBC Sports golf coverage. The tournament host for this week’s event, Miller will comment on a field that features Bill Haas, Smylie Kaufman, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Emiliano Grillo to mention but a few.
Overall, the field will play host to one hundred forty-four players. Silverado has already hosted the PGA Tour consecutively for two previous years. It has been hosting professional golfing events since the 1960s.
Casual golf fans might not have realized that the reason the event is called the Safeway Open is because Safeway is now the new title sponsor. They replaced Frys.com. Safeway’s agreement, which should last five years, is supposed to run through 2020.
Miller really wants players to fall in love with Napa Valley. He also thinks it is important for Napa to begin hosting such events more frequently. Miller has initiated many changes in Silverado in the last seven or so years, changes that will get people talking and make the location a memorable host for the PGA tour.
So far everyone agrees that the course is in amazing shape, probably because of all the changes Miller pushed through. These include elevation changes and water crossings. There were also bunker renovations and the introduction of 24 new trees on the course.
Silverado currently has two championship courses which have played host to major events such as the Kaiser, the Frys.com Open, and The Transamerica. There are currently more than one hundred thirty tournaments that have been co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour, this including PGA Tour champions and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
The PGA tour makes a lot of money, generating millions of dollars for those involved. Miller hopes to play a more active role in major events such as those of the PGA tour, and he has begun by making positive changes on the golf course at Silverado.
In fact, Miller believes that he has one of the best golf courses around. Whether or not that is true, one can only wait for the Safeway Open to end.