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A Visit to Streamsong

Posted Saturday, January 19th, 2013 01:26 pm GMT -6 in Golf, Travel

The hype has been building for some time now about Streamsong Resort in central Florida:

Best new courses.

Bandon of the East.

Unlike anything you’ve seen in Florida.

When I saw that the 36-hole resort that opened last month was managed by KemperSports, I pulled some strings with our golf GM and arranged a “tour” of both courses during my recent visit to the Sunshine State.

The resort has Minnesota ties – it is owned by Plymouth-based Mosiac Company, which is a Cargill spinoff that mines phosphate and potash for use in crop nutrients. This site was a reclaimed surface mine in the middle of nowhere, which lends itself to some spectacular vistas free of housing or other development.

Speaking of location, the directions on the web site are mostly accurate, but there are only two small signs leading there and overall I found it a little difficult to find (the fog didn’t help either). I also got lost going back to Orlando, but was able to recover thanks to my phone. It took me just under two hours from Disney World to the clubhouse, which meant going straight to the first tee with no warmup (not good after three months of no golf).

I had a 7:30 a.m. tee time on the Red course, followed by a 1:30 p.m. on the Blue. I was paired with one other northern golfer in the morning and started the afternoon solo, but joined another single from Toronto by the seventh hole. Since I was walking 36 holes the day after a marathon, I decided to take a caddie on both rounds (thanks Jeff!). It’s been a while since I played with a caddie – I wish it were an option at more courses.

The Red course is a Coore/Crenshaw design and is probably the tougher of the two. I forgot the camera in the car for this round, which was a shame, as it was the more photogenic of the two. I did get a few shots later, but some of the holes I missed were spectacular. I played poorly on this course from a longer set of tees than I would normally play, but it was still fun (and I was rusty).

The Blue course is a Tom Doak design and was much more forgiving, with wide open fairways on most holes and lots of room to bail out without being penalized. It has some incredibly scenic holes also, so I don’t want to give the impression it’s not as pretty as the Red. The view from the first tee towards the clubhouse and the beautiful signature seventh hole are two examples. I moved up a tee on this course and shaved 15 strokes off of the morning’s score.

Some additional random notes:

  • I really liked the closing holes on both courses – the Red with the huge sand dunes that looked straight from the moon and the Blue with the great framed view of the clubhouse as you approached the green.
  • The architecture and furnishings of the clubhouse were very pleasing – exactly what you’d expect from a high-end golf resort. Not sure how you accessed the guest rooms located there, but I’m guessing they were nice too.
  • The hotel resort that is being built was quite a long ways from the clubhouse (and most of the golf holes). Not sure why it was designed this way – seems like shuttles to the course would take a long time down the twisty access road.
  • Didn’t have time to visit the practice facilities, so I can’t comment on that.
  • The sand on this course is very fine and took a little getting used to before I could play out of it.
  • The open, rolling tee areas were very unique – nothing quite like it in Minnesota.
  • Saw one very large gator in the clubhouse pond and scared another big one near a bunker that made a huge splash into a nearby lake. Also saw a hawk, a buzzard, several deer and a bunch of wild pigs, plus my caddie warned of several varieties of snakes he’d seen recently.
  • My lunch in the grill was nice – BBQ chicken breast sandwich with sea salt fries at a reasonable price.

I was lucky enough to get an industry rate, but full price here will be an expensive day if you play both courses with a caddie. If you are a bucket list golfer, though, these are two courses you’ll probably want to add along with places like Bandon and Pebble Beach. I haven’t played those courses, but my day at Streamsong was sublime.

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Originally published by DK on January 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm

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