Silver Oak Golf Course has new management, new outlook

Bob Meijas didn't exactly come home again when he became Silver Oak's new PGA General Manager and Director of Golf. He only wishes that was the scenario.

Meijas, who was hired in March by Silver Oak founder Garth Richards, was the head golf professional at Eagle Valley Golf Course between 1980-87. Sixteen years later, after a string of several high-profile jobs in the San Jose area, Meijas is back where he thinks he belongs.

"I didn't really want to leave (back then)," said Meijas, who was the GM/Director of Golf at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Coyote Creek Golf Club in the Bay Area for the past three years. "Obviously, the main reason I left was because there wasn't any growth of any kind. There weren't any golf courses being developed. Now there are golf course everywhere. I left Coyote Creek, which was a job that probably was the biggest job I've had or will ever have. But I like the potential going on here. I always had the desire to come back to the area."

Richards' wife took golf lessons from Meijas at Eagle Valley decades ago. And he must have been happy with the results because he's brought Meijas back to Northern Nevada to produce even bigger ones for Silver Oak.

Situated on a perfect plot of land on the northern edge of the city, Silver Oak has been a locals' favorite since it was constructed in the late 90s. But the main problem has been its customers haven't had a place to sit down and have a beer after a round of golf. A trailer parked on asphalt between the driving range and 18th green serves as Meijas' office and snack bar. Not for long, though.

"Garth gave me an idea of the projects he had and I'm here to finish them," said Meijas, who, when he left Eagle Valley, began 10-year tenure as head pro and assistant GM at Santa Teresa G.C. in San Jose. "The main project is the building of clubhouse. We'll begin constructing that no later than Oct. 1 and it should be ready by April of 2004. April 15 is the goal. That's probably the biggest project we have. There are some smaller ones, like changing a few greens and cart path things. But those are minor more than anything. Garth just felt things weren't done to the facility that should have been."

The clubhouse, Meijas said, will be around 6-8,000 square feet and will built near the 9th green, affording customers with a view of the course layout and surrounding hills. Meijas, though, has already completed smaller projects. He's brought in a new fleet of golf carts and has provided seating areas on the driving range, which was before just a blank grass canvas.

Things are definitely changing at Silver Oak. But the one thing that won't change, regardless of amenities, is Richards' maxim toward affordable golf.

"The one thing Garth didn't want to do was make it a high-end course," said Meijas, who was a scholarship football player at San Jose State University, where he earned a degree in psychology. "He wants to make a golf course the community can rally around. Even when the clubhouse is put in, the cost of a round of golf won't go up that much."

Meijas thinks that once the clubhouse in completed, daily peak green fees will cost about $50, which is only $10 more than this year's price. Currently, the $40 peak green fee drops after 3 p.m., when Silver Oak offers a twilight rate of $25, which includes a cart. Meijas has also implemented a junior discount program. If a golfer 17 and under tees of between 1-2 p.m., he/she only has to play $25. If a golfer 17 and under brings a paying adult after 3 p.m., the junior can play nine holes for $5 and 18 holes for $10. For more information, call 841-7000.

MATT WILLIAMS' CAREER IN TROUBLE

When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim earlier this week to Boston for third basemen Shea Hillenbrand, it may have ended 1983 Carson High graduate Matt Williams' career in Phoenix.

"Say all you want about Shea Hillenbrand, and then come clean: His best attribute is that he's not Matt Williams," this according to Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley. "The trade, intended to resuscitate an anemic offense and rekindle waning fan interest, wasn't just the end of one era. It is the end of two: the wacky journey of Byung-Hyun Kim and the precipitous fall of Williams, whose career officially hit the wall on Thursday."

For Bickley's entire column, follow this link...http://www.azcentral.com/sports/columns/articles/0530bickley0530.html

PREP NOTES

Carson High senior Ricky Correlli, one of the better guards in the Northern 4A this past season, has decided not to play college basketball. Correlli, who led the Senators to the state semifinals, was believed to be heading to Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif., thus following the path of former Carson High star Vince Inglima.

But when it came down to making a final decision, Correlli opted not to become a Seahawk, Instead, he will attend the University of Nevada and pursue an engineering degree. He said there's a slim possibility he'll try and walk on at Nevada.

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Bishop Gorman junior Mike Zaher was named to the Parade All-American High School Boys Soccer Team. Zaher, a defender, led the Gaels to the Nevada 4A State Championship game in 2002. He is one of only 10 underclassmen named to the 35-player team. Headlining the team is 13-year-old Freddy Adu, who, according to The Washington Post, signed $1 million shoe deal with Nike earlier this week. The sophomore is already the best high school player in the nation. He will turn 14 on Monday.

Jeremy Evans is a Nevada Appeal sports writer.

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