Silverstone Has Flair of Old Vegas
From the time you arrive in the valet parking lot to the time your bags are loaded back into your vehicle, the employees at Silverstone make you feel like someone special.
"It's something that I feel Las Vegas has lost sight of a little bit," said Jim Stanfill, Silverstone's director of sales and marketing. "We realize that customer service and business go hand in hand. It's the old adage 'do to others as you would want them to do to you.'"
After arriving, your clubs are loaded onto a cart and the pro shop is alerted to your arrival. Once everything is taken care of in the pro shop, your name is radioed to the staff at the practice facilities and you are greeted with a warm welcome and offered unlimited range balls, use of the practice green and use of the chipping and bunker practice areas.
The starter will greet you when it's time to lead you to one of Silverstone's three nine-hole courses and explain not only the first hole but the general course dos and don'ts.
While out on the Robert Cupp-designed course, marshals make you feel welcome and sometimes find a stray ball or two for you. It's complete service from a complete course.
"Everybody that comes through our doors gets treated with top-notch customer service," Stanfill said. "There's been a steady commitment to customer service here. It's a big focus and a philosophy of Meadowbrook Golf (Silverstone's ownership group)."
Along with the superb customer service, Silverstone serves up three excellent nine-hole courses in its Mountain, Desert and Valley tracks. The rye-grass fairways are well manicured and the bent-grass greens are fast.
The golf course opened in June 2001 and the 34,000-square-foot clubhouse was completed in March 2002 in time for the club to host the Celebrity Players Tour. Silverstone is also the site of the only Golf Digest School in Nevada and has hosted the National Public Links Qualifying Tournament.
And in keeping with a Vegas theme, Silverstone has a 28th hole to decide any wagers that were left unsettled after 18 holes. The money-deciding hole is located just outside the clubhouse and is about 90 yards completely over water.
"We have three completely different layouts so after you've played 18 holes, if you're not ready to leave you can play another nine and not repeat any holes," Stanfill said.
Silverstone's Mountain course features the longest par-5 in Nevada. Hole No. 3 plays 653 yards from the back tees and 530 yards from the forward tees. To add to the hole's difficulty is the amount of water that comes into play about 150 yards from the green.
"I don't know many people that are reaching the green in two," said John Krizman, Silverstone's director of golf. "I've done it, once, and that's because I teed up a ball in the fairway and knocked it to the green."
Sand guards the right and back sides of the green and with water in front, even the third shot is intimidating.
"It is a visually intimidating shot," Krizman said. "It's all about club selection and distance control to stick it on the green."
The Mountain course also ends with a long par-5. The 616-yard hole can be intimidating as water guards the entire left side of the fairway. The water also guards the back of the green.
The Valley course features two challenging par-3 holes. No. 2 is a 162-yard hole that, depending on pin placement, can force even the most talented golfer to play it safe.
The green is surrounded by water from the front, around the left side and behind. If the pin is tucked in the back left, a tee shot to the middle of the green is the smart play.
"Again it's all about distance control and club selection," Krizman said. "And depending on where that pin is, it can be an almost impossible shot."
Tee shots require some accuracy on all three of Silverstone's courses as there is very little rough on either the left or right side of the fairways. But a good drive usually leaves a mid to short iron to the green on the par-4s.
Desert landscape surrounds the course but that will soon change as Pulte Homes is planning to develop Silverstone Ranch. The housing development will feature 1,800 residences ranging from townhomes to single-story executive homes.
Meadowbrook Golf Group Inc. owns about 50 courses throughout the nation and Silverstone is the company's flagship in Las Vegas. Tee times are available on the course's Web site at www.silverstonegolf.com.
Stay and Play
Silverstone has teamed with Santa Fe Station to offer various stay and play golf through Nov. 17. Those interested can call Santa Fe Station at (702) 658-4900.
Silverstone offers a special Friday Happy Hour each week that features drink specials and free appetizers. Happy Hour runs from 4-7 p.m. every week.
The course also features a Sunday Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and golfers can get a reduced rate before or after their round at the brunch.
"It's a nice change of pace for the traveler who is tired of eating in the casino," Stanfill said. "They can enjoy brunch in our clubhouse or sit on the patio overlooking the 28th hole."
From the Las Vegas Strip, Silverstone can be reached by taking Interstate 15 North to U.S. Highway 95 North. Exit at Durango and turn right. Follow Durango to Grand Teton and turn right. Take Grand Teton to Buffalo and turn left and Buffalo will lead into the facility. The driving time from the Strip is about 30 minutes.
September 25, 2002