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.
Built on the site of an old mining operation the presentation of the course and the architecture of the clubhouse has an appropriate industrial feel to itEmbed from Getty Images
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 dining covers all genres with great aptitude-supporting libations as well
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 on #1
More kulprits-Chop Stix, Billy B, Pete The Grass Maven, and Sol The Hunter
The rugged natural look the architects reclaimed from the mining remainsEmbed from Getty Images
Doak swore they were anywhere but Florida when the copter landed at this mine-made dune and basin that became the signature Blue 7th and Red 16th Par 3’s
Doak framed the back of the industrial style clubhouse in the last look of the day
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are known for the minimalist approach of designing golf courses. They really did not need to move lots of earth here to get a wild and natural look for the Red Course.
The Red Course opens up with a stunning look at the dunes and the waterways created in the old mining crevicesEmbed from Getty Images
The sprawling cape style Par 4 5th hass the water down the right and a massive dune behind the green complex
Wildlife on a stroll….not an indication of pace of play issues……
Delectable provisions available at BBQ Shack at the turn…….
The postcard hole of the Red features this dramatic forced carry to the 16th
What you don’t see from the tee is the Biarratz dip in the middle of this 72-yard green which makes for an even steeper challenge with the pin in the back section
They opened the Gil Hanse/Jim Wagner Black Course in the fall of 2017 which added another dimension to what was already a fabulous selection of links-like courses.
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
Devil’s orifice is the lone bunker in front of the 6th green…it is a doozie!!
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…..
The #1 Handicap Hole 16th presents multiple challenges…not the least of which is the carry over this mini Sahara to a sharply tilted green from the left
The finish on the Black is a stunning cape hole with all the fixins…..
Equally spectacular looking back up once you are done……
The Streamsong experience is one that all golf addicts should experience. The quality of the courses makes it well worth the effort of getting there.
For more detail on the courses click on our course review- Streamsong Blue