California Golf

California Golf + Travel November 2017

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IN HARM'S WAY PGA TOUR PLAYERS AND AREA GOLF COURSES AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND PLACES IMPACTED BY DEVASTATING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BLAZES By Tom LaMarre O nly hours after Brendan Steele holed the winning putt on Oct. 8 in the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, more than a dozen wildfires broke out in Northern California, buffeted by winds that reached 90 miles per hour. The fires still were not completely contained by the first day of November, 43 people had been killed, more than 245,000 acres burned, an estimated 8,900 structures were destroyed and more than 100,000 people were forced to evacuate homes and hotels. While most PGA Tour players who competed in the Safeway Open left ear- lier in the evening, several others and their families were fortunate to get out with flames bearing down on Silverado. Patton Kizzire, Kyle Thompson and Maverick McNealy, the rookie from Stanford, were among those evacuated in the middle of the night. "We were in our room and could hear the wind ripping," Thompson told "Also faintly smelled smoke, the power flickered and I heard some yelling outside the room, so I went to check. "I saw the entire horizon of the mountains on fire and the wind was pumping from that direction. I sprinted back to the room and grabbed my 1-year-old from his crib." Kizzire posted this message on Twitter: "I've never run from a wild fire before #napafire." Added McNealy in another Twitter post: "Woken up by @Napa City Fire and evacuated tonight. First respond- ers and emergency personnel are amaz- ing. #napafire." Over at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, site of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center Celebrity Golf Classic, several celebrity athletes were rousted from their beds. Pitching great Bret Saberhagen and Olympic gold medalist speedskater Dan Jansen told the Chronicle they hur- riedly left The Timbers resort hotel at Mayacama and had to drive about 130 miles to find safety. Mayacama, a private club set on 675 acres, had fire damage throughout the property including severe damage to the maintenance facility, but the club- house, pump station and golf course villas survived the fire. Fountaingrove Golf and Athletic Club in Santa Rosa wasn't so fortunate. Fire swept through the property, burning down the clubhouse, maintenance facil- ity and damaging portions of the golf course. Superintendent Dustin McIntosh said the facility was a complete loss. Silverado had some minor struc- tures destroyed and other damage to the course and driving range, but for- tunately escaped severe damage and reopened on Oct. 25. "Through the spirit of working together, the amazing Silverado Resort and Spa team have made it possible to rebound so quickly," resort officials said in a statement. "We are incredibly grateful to the emergency responders who worked to keep our community safe and our thoughts remain with all those affected. Thank you to all who have expressed concern and support for our community." Silverado's permanent structures are intact, including the historic Mansion, Conference Center, The Silverado Spa, The Silverado Market & Bakery, The Pro Shop, The Clubhouse and The Grill. The wineries and other tourist attractions of the famed Wine Country in Napa and Sonoma counties escaped mostly unscathed and tourists are beginning to return to the region. Despite this comforting return to normalcy, the 43 lives lost represent the greatest loss of life in a fire in the United States since the Coquet Fire, which killed 453 in Northern Minnesota in 1918. For so many people, life will never be the same. COURTESY SILVERADO RESORT AND SPA Silverado Resort and Spa 12 NOV/DEC 2017 / N O R T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A W I L D F I R E S /

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