It takes a lot to WOW The Golfing Dads when it comes to a golf course. We have played a lot of them and there are only a few times where we have been left scratching our heads saying WOW! This week, The Golfing Dads were Wow’d by a course and hopefully in the near future we will be able to get back there and cross the remaining two courses to be WOW’d some more. We played the Red Course at Streamsong Resort.
If you have not ever heard of Streamsong Resort you need to go and find out about it and look at it for your next golf vacation. They have three courses there. The Red, Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, The Blue, Designed by Tom Doak, and the recently opened Black Course, designed by Gil Hanse. We will be going back to play the other two courses in the future and report back on them but were here to talk about the great experience we had at The Red. Click Here for a hole by hole video of the course (sorry about the wind noise, it was really windy out there)!
When we arrived, we valeted our car at the clubhouse, home to the Red and Blue courses. After checking in, we headed to the putting green where after rolling a few putts on the perfectly manicured green we headed to the first tee. At the tee we were met by the starter. He was very helpful in getting us a scorecard and giving us advice for our opening tee shot. The opening hole is the longest par four on the front nine measuring 474 yards from the back tees. Steve played one tee box up and Mike played the middle tees so the hole measured 464 and 447 respectively. This is a stout start of what becomes a test of golf that will require you to play every club in your bag and hit every shot imaginable to score.
The second hole is a par 5 with a forced carry over water. There is a bunker up the left side of the hole that, from the tees Steve was playing, you couldn’t get to with a driver so you just swing hard and hit one at it. The second shot, going for the green in two, plays up hill to an undulated green that has a bunker short right of the green. Steve found the first birdie of the day here as he poured in a 25 foot put to make it.
Three has an elevated tee shot that allows you to see across the property, giving you a great view of The Black Course. After hitting your tee shot you find a long, narrow green that slopes from front to back, requiring you to hit a quality shot to get one close to give yourself a chance to make birdie.
Four is a shorter par 4 that was playing into the wind. After hitting a good drive, that only went 245 into the wind, we were left with lob wedge into this multi sectioned, false front green that required you to play a ball into the correct portion of the green, otherwise face a really easy three putt.
Five is a beast of a hole from the back tees. It plays 453 yards (thankfully we were playing up today) and was playing into the wind with water down the entire right hand side of the hole. The green is multi-teared and requires you to find the right location if you are looking to take advantage of the hole.
Six is the first par three on the course. The hole played 144 yards today and was a good solid 9 iron. The green is massive and gives the superintendant a chance to put the pin in some interesting locations.
The climb up to the seventh tee can leave you winded but the view when you get there is breath taking. This 520 yard par 5 plays downhill to a rolling fairway that is guarded by bunkers down the right and bunkers and water left. The green is a severley sloped green that if the pin is down front you need to stay below the hole for your best chance to make a 4.
Eight is a short, tricky little par three that requires precise club selection to a well guarded green that if you miss can bring double bogey into play quickly. Steve made his third birdie of the day on eight today.
In between the 8th and 9th holes is a halfway house. The Red Course has a bbq stand for the players that, as you walk by, smells as if you have died and gone to heaven. Needing to try it, after hitting our tee shots on nine we went for some bbq. We went with the brisket, and at their advice, had them put it into a cup as it was easier to carry and not spill all over you while you were walking. We mixed the bbq sauces together and couldn’t have been happier we did! Three holes later we were trying to figure out if we could make our way back there to get some more! It was the best tasting half way house food we have ever had (The Blue has a taco stand that we are going to need to try soon to compare which one is better).
The ninth is a short uphill par 4 that has a massive, gaping bunker that you need to avoid short of the green. After navigating the bunker you need to make sure you find the correct section of this undulated green as we found any putt outside of ten feet puts you in a bad position.
The 10th hole starts a brutal stretch of golf that requires you to not only hit quality shots but also have some length. It plays 431 yards with an uphill tee shot and a downhill approach. The green is very undulated and you need to dial up the correct distance. It played into a stiff wind and we were left with about 220 yards left into the green and had to hit a 3 wood for our approach.
The 11th hole gives you options off the tee as there is a bunker that is in the middle of the fairway. There is a lot more room to the right of the bunker and it gives you a flatter lie but the bigger hitters can attack the bunker on the left side of the fairway and it gives you a better angle. The second shot plays up hill so club choice is imperative. The green is massive, 46 yards from front to back, so hitting the ball in the correct portion can be difficult.
Twelve is the longest par 4 on the golf course. It plays downhill at 500 yards from the back tees. The hole goes to the left but the best play off the tee is to take a fade down the right side of the fairway to open up the green and give you the best spot to play your approach shot from. The approach shot is played with a long iron or hybrid and they give you a bail out area left but that leaves you with a difficult up and down for par.
The 13th hole is an up hill par 5 with a large sand dune short of the green that gives you a good target to hit at off the tee. The layup area is very generous if you can’t go for the green in two but you need to avoid the bunker that is connected to the sand dune as it is very difficult to navigate from. If you are above the hole the putt is very fast and if you are aggressive you can 3 putt.
Fourteen is the first par 3 on the back side. You need to carry the ball all of the way onto the green because there is a steep false front to the green that will leave you a straight up hill pitch shot.
The 15th hole is a long uphill par 4 that plays to an elevated green. The tee shot needs to be played in between 3 bunkers that frame the fairway and then play your second shot to the green. It is a really good test of golf and is the number one handicap hole on the course.
Sixteen may be the most photographed hole on the course. It is a 200 yard par 3 over water and the green is severely undulated. The low point of the green is the middle of it and golf balls collect there. We played the pin in the back right location and if you are in the low point in the middle of the green and don’t hit one hard enough you will have a longer putt coming up for your par save!
When you stand on the elevated 17th tee the hole doesn’t appear to be difficult. They give you plenty of room to hit the ball up the left side to avoid the waste bunker that runs up the right side of the hole. When you get out to the fairway and you are up the left side you can’t see the green or the flag stick to see how far you are to the hole. The blind shot to a green that slopes away from you makes a difficult approach shot to get the ball close.
The finishing hole is the final of 4 par 5’s on the course. The uphill tee shot can be played very aggressively up the left side and hit a ball over the left side of the fairway bunker. Be afraid that if you leave your tee shot in the bunker you will have to hit a wedge or 9 iron out and leave yourself a good ways back into a green that has a severe fall off on the right hand side.
As far as the conditions, the Red course was the best conditioned course we have ever played. The greens were the best greens we have played on in Florida and were running about 12 on the stempmeter. If you were off the green on the fridge they were running at about 10 so it allowed you to putt from a good length from off the green. The fairways were perfect! They were wide but as difficult as the course is it gives every player to play the majority of their shots from the fairway so you will have a prefect lie to play from! One of the cool touches on the course are the tee markers. While you are playing you hear a lot of train whistles all around you. They took the rail road rails and cut them to make their tee markers. They look really cool and theme well with the surroundings.
Walking is something that golf courses in Florida have really gotten away from as golf carts get people through the course faster and they can get more rounds through with carts. Streamsong is a walking facility. During the summer you can take a cart in the morning but you have to take a fore-caddy with you. The rest of the year you have to walk in the morning and at certain points you can take a cart after 11am. Coore and Crenshaw have designed a great walking track as you have very short walks from the greens to the next tees. This does help with the pace of play. One suggestion that we do make if you are walking is to get a yardage book from the pro shop. Not only do they help with the layout of the holes but if you look at is as you are walking up to the green you can see where the next tee is so you can leave you bag in the best spot when you are done!
After our round we had lunch in the Restaurant Fifty-Nine bar. Kylie, our server was great with recommendations and was very attentive to our every need!
The Golfing Dads would also like to thank Mike and Erik from Boston for not only joining us for our experience at Streamsong but for putting up with us while we recorded our video review for the course. We had a great time out there with them!
Dads Say So, WOW! What an incredible experience at Streamsong Red! From the welcome at the valet bag drop to the pro shop staff, to the starter, caddy for the other players in our group, to the course marshal, you couldn’t find a nicer person out there. The golf course gets all of the accolades (the brisket should get some as well) but the people out there went out of their way to be nice. We would like to thank the team at Streamsong and we hope to be back out there soon for the same great experience on the Blue and the newly opened Black Course. If you are planning a golf trip and are not looking at Streamsong Resort and the amazing experience that you will have you are crazy. This is the new standard that all golf resorts will be held up to going forward. From start to finish it is one of the greatest experiences out there. Streamsong is located over an hour from Tampa and Orlando we do suggest you go to StreamsongResort.com and book a stay and play golf package. There you can stay onsite and use all of their amenities. Book it now! You are sure to be WOW’d!