Ben Crenshaw called the terrain at Streamsong Resort, “naturally, unnatural.”
The retired phosphate mine rendered mounds, hills and slopes not common for a Central Florida landscape. Today the resort offers 36 holes of firm and fast golf with its Tom Doak-designed Blue Course and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed Red Course; the Gil Hanse-designed Black Course is set to open fall 2017.
“Our golf course superintendent Rusty Mercer, has done an amazing job keeping this golf course firm, that’s how we want it,” Scott Wilson, Streamsong Resort director of golf told us. “When you get to certain holes or vistas, you’ll be reminded of Scotland and a lot of people reference Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland. I see Nebraska here; Streamsong is very similar to the Sand Hills Golf Club, also a Coore & Crenshaw design. This is minimalist, natural golf. Most of the holes were already here, the architects just revealed them,” Wilson added.
Guests can feel like Ben Crenshaw and Carl Jackson with the resort’s caddy program; golf carts are not allowed January 1 through the end of March. Wilson says they lose some guests with the no-cart policy, but pick up just as many that appreciate the old school approach. Streamsong sits 50 miles southeast of Tampa and 80 miles southwest of Orlando. The resort has become a favorite for guests that like to package nearby Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies spring training baseball games. Its guestrooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass with waterfront lake views. There are three restaurants, two bars, a spa, bass fishing, sporting clays and archery for those handy with a bow and arrow.
“If I was visiting Streamsong with a few friends, I would check-in and play a quick six holes. We have two six hole loops, one on the Blue and one on Red. And then I’d play 36-holes for two days and cap the three evenings with dinner at our three restaurants,” said Wilson.
Streamsong Resort is a place for accuracy; guests can aim for flag sticks, blast clays, hit the bullseye and cast at that little shaded spot between the two Lilly pads next to the bank… that’s where the trophy is.