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 Red River Gem 
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Post Red River Gem
Red River Gem
by: Robert Chastain



Nestled in the foothills of southeast Oklahoma just north of Durant, Silverado shines as an example of resourcefulness and as a testament to the virtues of change. In only four short years, it has transformed from a fairly profitable cattle ranch into one of the hottest golf courses in the Lake Texoma area.

Silverado is a rarity in the industry. It was conceived, built, and is now operated by the original land owners. Designed by Terry Reynolds, Silverado is an 18-hole course with Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens. Opened in the summer of 2002, the course has matured quickly. Except for extreme winter conditions, it offers year-round playability, thanks in no small measure to the excellent state of the fairways and greens.

Playing to a par 71, Silverado is only 6241 yards. from the blue tees, and has a slope rating of 121. But don't let that fool you. Water comes into play on only five holes, but sand bunkers abound as staunch guardians of most of the fairways and greens. Although 300 yard drives are not necessarily the key to a good round of golf here, Silverado does offer a few well-timed opportunities to just let it rip. But a respectable round will demand good course management with an aim at setting up for clear approaches to the greens.

Most of the greens are two-tiered and all are receptive to good shots. With a majority of the holes running north and south, the prevailing winds can have a significant impact on club selection. For example, the 17th is a 160 yd. par 3. But it plays uphill about 15 to 20 feet and with the wind blowing from the south, club selection can range from a 6 to an 8-iron on calm days, and from a 5-iron to fairway wood on windy days, depending on pin location.

The course "signature hole" is the second, a 149-yard par three with a large oak tree on the left of the green and water off the tee and to the right . The green is long and narrow, so again club selection can vary two to four lengths. One of the more interesting holes is the 16th, a par 4 dogleg right. At only 364 yards, the tee box funnels into a chute of trees on either side with a large water hazard on the right. The water can be carried by stronger hitters, but average drives are best steered left away from the water and setting up nicely for a long second shot to the green.

Although Silverado’s length is not imposing, it is definitely a shot-maker’s course. With a course record of 65, it presents a staunch challenge to the very best while affording the average golfer a sense of confidence and the enjoyment of being able to keep pace on distance if not accuracy. All in all, it is an enjoyable round for all levels of play.

Aaron Sheffield presides over a full-service golf course that includes a driving range, putting green and a chipping area with practice sand traps. The pro shop is fully stocked with major name brands such as Titleist, Callaway, Nike, Mizuno and many more. The spacious, comfortable club house features a full service bar with a snack shop that serves up more than just your average hamburger. It also features a large screen television with four smaller sets and a full sound system that often serve to accommodate award ceremonies, banquets, and even the occasional wedding reception. Silverado’s "19th" hole is known for its warm atmosphere and friendly clientele. Weeknights are typically marked by a large gathering of club members and local residents and the doors are always open to newcomers.

Green fees are a reasonable $25 on weekdays, and $30 on weekends, including cart rental. Silverado hosts many local tournaments during the year and from spring through fall, a four-man nine-hole scramble on Thursday evenings with dinner afterwards.

Only 90 minutes from the Dallas metro area, Texas golfers are beginning to flock north of the Red River hoping to avoid crowded fairways, high green fees, and the one or two-week wait for tee times. If you find yourself traveling the Lake Texoma area in search of a great little value-packed golf course, consider adding Silverado to your list of courses played. At the very most, you might just find yourself applying for a club membership. At the very least, you won’t be sorry for the few extra minutes of drive time.

Silverado is located two miles north of Durant just off of Highway 69. For more information on Silverado or to arrange tee times, call 580-924-1899.

Copyright 2006, www.linksplayer.com.

About The Author

Robert Chastain is a life-long golf enthusiast and co-founder of linksplayer.com, an online community for the social golfer.





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Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:21 pm
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