Streamsong Golf Resort is Florida’s newest golf resort, as well as one of the only golf courses in the nation. It’s located well out in the hinterlands of Central Florida, a full 90 minutes from the International Airports of either Tampa, Sarasota, or Orlando.
The development through a former phosphate mine, an ambitious one at the very least, is by the well capitalized Mosaic Company, the world’s largest phosphate mining company which has owned the land for over 50 years. There are two 18 hole championship layouts by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw for the “Red” Course; and Tom Doak, the “Blue” course. Both courses opened in December of 2012, and while both will take some time to mature, they’re ready for play. Lodging is limited to 12 rooms at the moment, but by the fall of 2013 will have a lodge with 216 guestrooms, spa, fitness center, casual and fine dining, and a small conference center. Until then, the only lodging for miles is the Best Western in Fort Meade without driving to Tampa or Sebring.
Many might question the wisdom of building a golf resort in rural, Florida farm and phosphate mining country, 62 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and a full 100 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Golfers won’t question the uniqueness of the layout, routed through the rough terrain where the mining’s spoil piles provide “dunes” which rise 75 feet into the air.
It’s might be difficult to distinguish the two designs, since the terrain is identical, and both architects are known for their minimalist designs. The do however, both favor the ground game, although it may be tough to develop the requisite hard and fast fairways found on links courses with Florida’s soils and required constant watering. The Blue’s greens are larger, the bunkers deep and huge, with more forced carries over water and waste areas off the tee, and the more “minimalist” of the two. The Red has more spectacular views and movement to the property- it is also significantly more difficult with very penal tee shots on the first few holes. The Blue is as enjoyable, but a bit flatter terrain. Both have great finishing holes, sure to get your attention when everything’s on the line!