On a recent buddies trip we had 16 guys spend four invigorating days at Streamsong, the destination golf resort in central Florida. Streamsong has it all, three supreme golf courses, a couple of happy hour extras in a 6-hole approach and putt course as well as a massive recreational putting green, a wonderful upscale hotel with all the accommodation elements you would expect, and food that far surpassed our buddy trip standards.
Streamsong sits in the middle of nowhere on thousands of acres of what used to be a major phosphate mining operation. The owners realized that, with the insight of the game’s top design teams, the sandy soil along with the topographical remains of the mining operation could be made into a bunch of very unique walking golf courses that are anything but Florida typical.
Typical vista from the the Black Course…..Dorothy can you believe this is Florida?
In 2012 the placed opened with the first two courses, the Blue Course by Tom Doak and the Red Course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw making an immediate splash to rave reviews. Having clocked over 30,000 rounds each of these two layouts, the owners opened the Gil Hanse Black Course in the fall of 2017 and it may just be the best of the three of them.
The hotel has everything you want in a destination resort-fine restaurants, health club, spa, swimming pool, clay shooting, fishing, hiking, and some pretty good golf. The added bonus, a very casual atmosphere where you don’t need much more than golf casual to do anything you want during your stay.
Howard with the catch of the day…..there is a big story to go with this of course!
This wide mouth greets you at the end of the hall near the Health Club and Spa
The golf is what you come for and there is plenty of it. Set up for walking you better come with your golf legs fit for action because these are not your typical flat Florida tracks riddled with man-made water hazards. The caddies are a must because all three of these tracks have a wide, tactical character, similar to what you would encounter in Bandon Dunes or across the pond. It is way more than just knowing how far it is to the pin.
World Wide Weber, The Mish, A.I. Minkie, and The Koach strike the pose
The Red opens up with a stunning look at the dunes and the waterways created in the old mining crevices
The green complex on the cape style Par 4 5th is set against a Wailing Wall of sand behind. If you end up there you might as well leave a note in a crevice to your maker because up and down from there is highly unlikely
As we have seen at other resorts they added a couple of Golf Happy Hour facilities to occupy the masses apres round. At the Black you will find a 6-hole Approach and Putt Course as well as a massive recreational putting green called the Gauntlet. It is not the Ladies Putting Course at St. Andrews but, with an adult beverage in hand, it does provide great entertainment possibilities.
Acres and acres of extreme putting challenges….with beverage holders
The Black is a long walk, almost seven miles, because of considerably more distance between greens and tees. The caddies will tell you, it is actually an easier walk because the terrain is much more tempered then it’s Red and Blue Cousins. The bunkering and sandy fairway surrounds on the Black have a very natural feel and, with a wee bit of wind, you could swear the Atlantic is just over the next rise.
Uphill approach to the short Par 4 second has full sand features
As you come up the Par 4 9th, the signature windmill behind the green, which was reclaimed from the mining days, becomes your aiming point off the tee as well as into the blind punch bowl green. It can be seen throughout the front nine and can be very helpful for ascertaining wind direction, which can be enigmatic considering there are very few trees along the way.
Driveable 14th….don’t go long of this extreme green or a 5 will be a difficult score to make…..
A meditative moment for The Mish before pulling the club on the 15th…..