(August 2009) The golf course at Silverthorn Country Club opened in 1994. Since then it has earned its challenging slope rating utilizing a combination of rolling terrain, unpredictable Florida winds, some beautiful ponds and a lot of well placed bunkers.
Joe Lee designed this Hernando County gem. Silverthorn plays 6900 yards from the back tees, has a course rating of 73.1 and a slope rating of 136 with a par of 72. As is the case at most Florida golf venues, the course is built on Bermuda grass.
Silverthorn offers a blend of wide open links-style holes as well as tight, tree-lined fairways. For the most part, the landing area for your tee shot is generally wide open and water hazards only come into play on four holes. As a rule, the greens are slightly elevated and protected on most sides by sand bunkers. The club also has a driving range on site; if your game is not up to par, Silverthorn provides group and private lessons and club-fitting services from its PGA professionals.
The impressive 25,000 square foot clubhouse offers a scenic view of Silverthorn’s championship golf course, surrounding lakes and splendid Florida sunsets. The pro shop at Silverthorn is well stocked, and the prices are competitive with the larger golf chains. The Traditions Bar & Grill offers fine dining in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. The banquet facilities can accommodate small business seminars and large receptions for up to 350 people.
M: 66.4/119 L: 71.8/125
Number 3: Par 5, 572 yards. The first of four par fives at Silverthorn demands both length and accuracy off the tee. Placement is very important; you will need to navigate the large fairway bunker on the left as well as water on the right. The water is more in play on your layup and approach shots. By continually playing down the left side of the fairway, you can take the water out of play, however you risk going in one of two pot bunkers up by the green. This green slopes towards the water, so be careful.
Number 5: Par 3, 169 yards. This par 3 is the signature hole at Silverthorn, so don’t let the length fool you. Club selection is crucial on this hole; you’ll need to take into account the Florida Gulf breeze that is continually blowing across the course. The back third of the green slopes toward the water so be wary of the pin placement.
Number 9: Par 4, 424 yards. Favor the left side off the tee; this will take the fairway bunkers on the right out of play and leave you a mid-iron approach to a green guarded by sand on the right and water on he left.
Number 10: Par 4, 430 yards. This may not be the easiest start to a back nine, especially if things have not gone well thus far. The scorecard reads 430 yards but a good tee shot that carries the bunkers on the left can shorten the hole quite a bit. A huge drive will set up a short iron into a very well-guarded green.
Number 14: Par 4, 402 yards. This is one of the best par 4s at Silverthorn! The hole plays uphill and you must hit your tee shot to a fairly narrow landing area framed by three large bunkers. From there a mid to long iron will be needed to reach this small green that is surrounded by sand traps.
Number 17: Par 5, 457 yards. Although handicapped number 2, to many this is the toughest hole on the course. Not only is it very long from the back tees, it plays uphill and requires a sizeable carry from the tee. A well executed tee shot will still leave at best a long iron in order to reach the large, slightly elevated putting surface. Par or better and you’ve got it made!
Last Word: Although the course might not provide some of the aesthetics of other Hernando County courses, such as the Dunes, Brooksville Country Club and World Woods, I would still recommend that you give it a try. The staff is very personable and the course will definitely give golfers of all skill levels a challenge. Don’t think you are just going to go out there and bring the course to its knees, it won’t happen. Another thing – the price is right! Through the end of October, a prime time weekend round will only set you back $35.00. They can be found on many Tampa area online tee sheets and take most discount cards. For more information, visit Silverthorn online at www.silverthornclub.net or give them a call at 352 799-4653 (GOLF)