- Architect: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
- Built in 2012
- Streamsong, Florida
- 100th in the U.S. (Golf Digest)
- 18th public course in the U.S. (Golf Digest)
- 4th in Florida (Golf Digest)
- 3rd in My Top 50 Golf Courses
One of the hottest golf destinations on the planet, and apart of some of the most sought after modern golf resorts with the likes of Cabot Links, Bandon Dunes and soon-to-be Sand Valley, Streamsong Resort sits, like the others, in a fairly quaint setting far from anything.
Unfortunately for us, we only had time to play the Red course. The Blue, a Doak design, looked just as good, and apparently is a toss up for which one is better.
Stepping onto the property, I had already played one Coore & Crenshaw design, and I couldn’t wait to tackle the second one!
Stepping up to the first hole, a 474 uphill par 4, you get a fairly accurate reading of Streamsong. Wide enough fairways to be generous, yet if you miss it’s penal. Bunkers help provide aiming lines, but if not executed you may end up in one of the fairway bunkers.
Personally, I think an uphill hole is a good place to put it. You have to get it out of the way eventually, and why not the first? Of course, the higher-handicap players aren’t a huge fan, but that can be solved with making the hole relatively short for them. The upside of an uphill hole is the visibility. The player is able to see everything from the tee, and as long as it’s not too drastic, I see no problem with it.
The first hole, in my mind, is a very starting hole!
After the first hole, you step up to a beautiful par 5 hole resembling a “cape hole.”
Here’s a good description of a cape hole, for those who are unaware with the style of hole:
The more you hug the right, the more you’re rewarded. You’ll have a shorter distance in, and makes the hole reachable. However, it’s a harder tee shot that requires a bigger carry off the tee. If the player decides to play out to the left and away from the trouble, it becomes a three shot hole. Options!
Even the layup requires some precision, where the player has to mender between a bunker left and hazard right. The hazard and bunker both stop as you get closer to the green, but other bunkers closer to the green site come in play.
The third is another dogleg right, favoring the right-handed cut. Eight fairway bunkers run down the entire right hand side of the fairway, and another fairway bunker left that’s 282 yards to get to are in play on the drive. Less than driver is likely the play on this shorter par 4.
After the tee shot, you’re looking at one of the best green complexes on the course. A bunker 30 yards or so from the front edge, a bunker right and a ravine right are the main defences that the eye can see, but natural slopes to the left of the green also help make it difficult to get up and down.
The topography to the left of the green can be used to feed the ball on the green, but it’s tough. It’s a fine line between being stuck up there and having an incredibly difficult pitch shot and having a short putt for birdie.
The fourth, a lovely par 4 that’s drivable, is a great hole. The hole is essentially “two routes.” A horseshoe green divided by a bunker in the middle, as well as a long fairway bunker in the middle of the fairway divide this hole directly in the middle.
Depending on the pin position, the hole should be played entirely different. If the pin is on the left side, the player is best to play up the left, otherwise you’ll have a difficult approach over the bunker on the front-middle of the green. Vice-versa for if the pin is on the right.
The first par 3 at Streamsong is a beautiful one. Not much to it, other than the huge bunker on the right to avoid. The green complex is also awesome.
A trend at these modern links golf courses is awesome par 5’s. Streamsong’s 7th is probably the best par 5 on the course. An all-world par 5, the 7th is reachable at 527 yards. Bending around water left, two fairway bunkers look to be within the driving area, but at 199 yards to carry (left) and 230 yards to get to it (right), they likely won’t come in play.
After navigating the tee shot, which is easier said than done, you’re going to have to navigate the water, 7 bunkers and some pretty dramatic topography.
The green is quite skinny, sandwiched between water and bunker left, and a huge mount on the right. If you’re right of that mound, good luck getting it close.
The 8th is a short par 3 that’s genuinely amazing. 5 bunkers guard this sidewinder-type green, which is another green that isn’t too wide. Even at 147 yards, to hit this green you have to be precise.
Personally, this was my favorite green site on the course. As you can see above, the green goes from over the left of those bunkers all the way to over the right bunkers.
The 11th is another great par 4, featuring three bunkers in the middle of the fairway. The first one (252 yards to get to, 270 to carry) and the second one (283 to get to, 295 to carry) both are dead centre, while the third one (302 to get to) is slightly off to the left.
The green is beautifully perched between some mounding and a bunker short left.
The 14th is a beautiful par 3. A built up green typically isn’t my favorite, but this is the exception. Four bunkers guard every side of the green, with fairway surrounding all of the green. If you miss, you hope for it to be in the bunker, because it’s so difficult from below the putting surface form a tight lie!
The 15th mirrors the first hole. Uphill, around 470 yards, the 15th is meaty.
But when you get up to the fairway, you see the depth of the bunker on the left side that’s in play for the whole landing area. On the left, the bunker you see from the tee, and on the right, me, trying to hit one out of the bunker. Luckily, I just dropped a ball down there, but it would be much worse if my tee shot actually went in there!
The bunker was really quite cool. Essentially, just stay right and you’ll be ok. If you do, you’ll see this approach:
The 16th, no question, was my favorite hole on the course. A classic biarritz design is so cool that it’s tough not to love.
A beautiful green, and an even better green complex, the hole is a wonderful addition to the golf course. A nice view of the green complex is below.
The 18th is the final par 5 on the golf course. Uphill, but short, paying 540 yards, the hole feels like it slightly doglegs to the left, when in reality it’s fairly straight.
If you can get it left of the bunker onto that fairway, you’ll probably have a very good chance to go for it in two. The green doesn’t have any real protection like a bunker. Rather, it’s guarded by the natural terrain. For anyone who wants to play out right, the hole is still reachable in two, but just harder as you’ll have a fairy long club in.
Overall, Streamsong Resort is a fantastic golf course. Coore and Crenshaw are more than just architects–they’re artists. The Red course is natural, sandy and beautiful, and is a great test of golf and knowledge.