(October 2009) Silverado Golf and Country Club (formerly Silver Oaks) is an 18 hole, Par 71 golf course; for most. Should you decide that you really want to be challenged it can be extended to a Par 72. To do this you will play number 10 as a 442 yard par 4 instead of a 167 yard par 3. Four different tee boxes make the course both playable and challenging for all skill levels. From the back tees, Silverado plays 6,671 yards with a course rating of 70.9 and a slope of 113. Silverado Golf and Country Club was built in 1986 by Brantley E. Smith (Smith Cattle and Grove) and designed by Robert Simons.
As you play the course you will notice large oak trees, many over 100 years old that lend shade to the clubhouse and fairways. You will also find a wide variety of wildlife, such as sand hill cranes, red-tail hawks, egrets, squirrels, and ducks. The occasional fox has been spotted on the course as well.
Silverado Golf and Country Club also offers a full practice facility including: grass driving range; chipping and bunker areas, and a 3000 sq. foot practice putting green.
Number 1: Par 4, 361 yards. Leave driver in the bag off the tee; a fairway wood, hybrid or long iron is all you will need as there as a pond that fronts the green. A successful tee shot will leave an approach shot of about 150 yards over water to a small green that slopes slightly from back to front. This is a good starting hole and can get your round off on the right foot.
Number 6: Par 5, 507 yards. A good drive and this is definitely reachable in two. Beware of the fairway bunker that lurks on the right side of the fairway. Any errant tee shots left will go out of bounds and bring you shame. A good drive will leave an easy three wood or hybrid to a very long, narrow green that is well guarded by bunkers. Birdie is definitely a possibility here
Number 7: Par 3, 186 yards. This slight downhill par 3 plays every bit of its yardage. The green has a ridge on the right side and funnels balls towards the water; out of bounds looms slightly left of the green. Par here is a good score.
Number 9: Par 4, 302 yards. This hole can get you pumped up for the back nine. From the white tees the hole plays a mere 273 yards and begs “grip it and rip it” off the tee; it is definitely drivable. Two bunkers on the left side can easily be carried off the tee; however a fairly large tree prevents you from aiming straight at the green. The preferred shot off the tee is a slight draw for righties. You can bailout to the right of the green and leave yourself a slight uphill pitch shot to the green.
Number 12: Par 5, 477 yards. No matter which set of tees you are playing, this is a short par 5. From the tips it plays a mere 477 yards; from the senior tees, 351 yards. And it’s still a par 5. Someone needs to look at changing that! Trees line both sides of the fairway so I can’t stress enough the need for a straight tee shot. A good drive will leave less than two hundred yards to a somewhat small green that is fronted all the way across the fairway by a pond. Don’t be discouraged if you dump your second shot in the pond, you can still make par with a good chip shot.
Number 14: Par 4, 360 yards. Not the longest of holes but it requires a good tee shot as there is a very narrow landing area. A well executed tee shot will leave a short chip shot to a small green that features several undulations. Beware of water long and left off the tee.
Number 18: Par 5, 565 yards. Your best bet is to leave the driver in the bag on this hole; it’s over a 260 yard carry to clear the pond in the middle of the fairway. The layup shot opens up and leaves a short pitch to a long narrow green. Birdie is a definite possibility to close out your round.
Last Word: As Florida courses go, Silverado is worth taking a look at. Some holes are a little tricky and will take a couple of rounds before you can figure out some short cuts. The greens are fairly slow, but that is not always a bad thing. My only knock on the place is that you can only hit irons on the range. If given the opportunity, I would play Silverado again; if I lived in the area, I might even consider joining; you can get a full membership for less that $1300/yr. and minimal cart fees. Do the math; there is also a membership that includes cart fees all year. For more information give them a call at (813)-788-1225 or visit them online at www.golfsilverado.com.