NAPA, Calif. – It turns out golf fans at the Fortinet Championship have Johnny Miller to thank for arguably the best part of attending the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort.
Miller, the 76-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer from the Bay area, is the reason there are two Burgerdog stands – one on the North and one on the South Course – and a mobile truck near the main tournament entrance this week. The smell of the famed Burgerdog is simply irresistible.
What does Miller have to do with it? A child prodigy of the fairways, Miller was given a junior membership at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where he was known to down a Burgerdog or two after making the turn. It was Burgerdog enthusiasts like Miller who aided in creating a loyal following of Bill Parrish’s creation.
Parrish, a professional trumpet player and entrepreneur, created the Burgerdog in the 1950s with the help of his wife Billie. To save on money and space, Bill made a burger shaped like a hot dog and served it on a pillowy hot dog bun. Bill took his rig on the road and stopped at places like Half Moon Bay, boat races and even a car wash in Daly City. Fishermen and park-goers were his target market but golfers quickly became regular customers too.
Golfers line up to order the original Burgerdog at a stand at the South Course at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif. (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)
When Bill set up shop alongside Lake Merced in San Francisco, just across the road from The Olympic Club, golfers playing the Lake Course would wind their way across to Bill’s stand mid-round, causing backups and pace-of-play issues. Eventually, the Burgerdog created enough hype that in 1954 Bill was invited to run the concession stands at The Olympic Club. Many Olympic members also held memberships at Silverado Resort & Spa and encouraged the Parrish family to bring the Burgerdog to Napa Valley. In 1973 Bill’s son, Steve Parrish, with the help of his wife, Linda, did just that by opening a concession stand on both the North and South Course. Steve’s son, Jeff, and his wife Ashley, are now third-generation owners.
The famed Burgerdog at Silverado Resort. (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)
When Miller and partners acquired Silverado Resort in 2010 (Miller has since sold his interest), he made sure the Burgerdog stayed at Silverado, on both golf courses. Today, the Burgerdog – lean, never-frozen ground chuck and sirloin topped with strips of cheese, zesty mustard, red sweet relish, dill pickle, onions and ketchup and delivered on a toasted eight-inch bun from Athens Bakery – is a staple of golfers at Silverado and the go-to concession item for fans at the Fortinet Championship. And like Lays potato chips, no one can eat just one!