Red Course (Coore/Crenshaw design) Round 2

The 2nd Time Around Was Even Better

It had been 2 years since I played the Red Course at Streamsong resort, yet I had fond memories of this round.  At that time I was torn which of the 2 courses at Streamsong I liked better, but after this round, it was clear to me that the Red is the slightly better course.  Starting on hole 1 this time really gave me a little better sense of how the holes were strung together.  As I mentioned after my first round here and only confirming it with the 2nd round, Streamsong Red is the best course in FL.

Yes, Streamsong is in the middle of nowhere FL, but it isn’t that hard to find or that terribly far from Orlando or Tampa.  Once you drive onto the property you can see how the remains of the mining industry really shaped the property.  Driving past the hotel and toward the clubhouse raises the heart rate with anticipation.  We arrived way early so I could properly warm up and take some aerial photos with my GoPro and DJI Phantom Drone. (pics below)  After all the pre-golf fun, it was off for a warm winter round on the Red Course.

The Red course certainly starts off with a bang.  The opening 2 holes are some of the toughest starting holes I’ve played.  Their length and difficulty get your attention immediately.  Thankfully the bogeyman only got me on the first hole and didn’t show up again until much later in the round.  The joy of playing a course like this isn’t the demand for perfect accuracy, but the reward for good shots.  If you hit a good drive it will often roll out a long ways.  If you hit a good approach you can get it close.  If you hit a wayward shot sometimes it will get a lucky bounce and other times it will be penalized.  I think this is what really set this course up for greatness.  The front nine is much shorter than that back nine, but still had deceptive length requirements.  The closing 3 holes of the front 9 are some of my favorites.  The long par 5 7th hole with a mound right in front of the green really makes you think about how to best attach it.  The short par 3 8th hole is as cool as it gets for the shortest hole on the property and the drivable par 4 9th is a good risk/reward finish to the front side. 

The back 9 is much longer and it feels that way as you play it and are constantly grabbing a longer club to reach the green.  The 12th hole is an absolute monster of a par 4; 2 bombs are required just to reach the monstrous green which could leave you needing to bomb a long putt too.  The 14th is an incredible par 3 with its biarritz green that is some 75 yards long front to back.  The final hole is another good risk/reward par 5 that i reached in two, yet still only got a par to finish.

Streamsong Red is a must play.  I don’t care where you live, this is one of those courses worthy of the trip, you won’t be disappointed. It also will be fun for any skill level, provided you pick the right tee.  Add the Blue Course and your trip just became a 36 hole adventure.  If you have to wait a little while before you can make arrangement for this trip, the Black will be opening in a couple years, so the resort will be getting even better with more golf.

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Quick Hits
+Links style golf-firm and fast
+Fun for all ability levels
+Amazing variety of holes
+Excellent course conditions

–Middle of nowhere FL

Red Course (Coore/Crenshaw design) Round 1

I played at Streamsong Resort on the official opening of the courses.  Coore and Crenshaw (and Doak) were there for an opening presentation as well as a ribbon cutting and opening tee shots that day.  It really was a fun and festive occasion.  It just so happened there were quite a few other golfers and golf writers there that day so they had a 36 hole shotgun start.  I was paired up with some nice gentleman to play the Red Course.  We started on hole 7.   Although it was a little tricky to keep my bearings as to the normal layout of how this course would play, I’ll hit some of the highlights from each nine. The front 9 starts with 3 really great holes.  A slight break from many Coore/Crenshaw designs is the fact that there are water features on all 3 of these holes.  The opening hole is not the easiest opening tee shot over water and between the dunes.  It is a big par 4 to begin. especially because it plays slightly uphill after the tee shot.  The 2nd hole takes a big drive to carry the water and then a couple of solid shots to reach the green.  There is water that plays up the right side of this fairway. The 3rd hole again is somewhat intimidating off the tee.  Forced carry over water and a gorge into a fairway with lots of pitch from left to right.  The 6th and 8th hole are excellent par 3s.  The 6th was playing about 185 yards, the green is big and has plenty of room, yet there is plenty of danger too with the green side beach bunker.  The 8th hole is a great short par 3.  It is so unique with the multiple angle which the tee boxes are set at, this small green has a back bunker that is sure to get plenty of play after your tee shot trickles off the green into that bunker.  The 9th hole is a great short par 4 to wrap up the front side.  Fly the giant bunker and you’ll have a half wedge or less into the green.  The front 9 is a great collection of holes that will challenge even the best of golfers, but yet played fair from tee to green.  The fairways, approaches and greens were all pretty firm and fast.  Many holes offered good bounce off the driver and the ground game was available on many holes for approach shots.
The back nine of the Red course begins far away from the clubhouse.  There wasn’t a snack shop at the turn, but a beverage cart was working its way around so even in the FL heat you will still find beverages and snacks available regularly.  There isn’t much fanfare in changing 9s nor is there a distinct change of scenery.  The 10th hole plays very long from the back tees with an uphill tee shot and then another bomb into sloping green from right to left.  While 12 and 13 are similar in length, 12 plays all down hill so some of that distance is gained by the ball rolling down the slopes and 13 plays all uphill and somewhat blind into the green so it could be reached in two by big hitters, but tough.  The 14th and 16th holes are the par 3s on this side and they are both excellent holes.  The 14th hole is kind of a table top style green that played about 180 and the 16th is an excellent multi-tiered green cut into the side of the hill.  It was playing a good 215 with a solid forced carry of maybe 165.  The 18th hole is great big finisher up the hill into the mounds with a giant dune as the back drop.  At the end of your round you come down the cart path right by the main entrance to the clubhouse.  For all 18 holes there seemed to be significant elevation changes even though the property is mostly flat, it had a great rolling feel to it.
The Red course is certainly one of the best golf courses in FL.  It is hard for me to decide which 18 is better at Streamsong.  I played all 18 of the Red and only played 9 holes of the Blue.  I really see them as equals.  Each one is slightly different, but both were excellent in their own way.  There are some distinct features of the Red course: most holes have ample driving room, almost every green is accessible via a low running shot, but will still hold aerial shots and all of the greens have very subtle undulation.  If you have played a Coore/Crenshaw course before, there will be many similarities in how you attack the course and the greens.  They did have few more forced carries and water holes than I seen on their other courses, but the layout is as good as any and the variety of length and width made for an enjoyable round for all the skill levels in our group.