Golf Destination: Streamsong Resort (FL)

Last week, my girlfriend Kelly and I had the opportunity to check out the hottest new golf destination in the world: Streamsong Resort near Bowling Green, Florida.

In their third year of operation, Streamsong became eligible this year for the semi-annual “Best-of” lists for both Golf Digest and GolfWeek. Their rankings in both, as well as in all other major golf publications, are where you would expect them – near the top!

  • Golf Digest 100 Greatest Public: Red Course #18 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest 100 Greatest Public: Blue Course #24 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest Best in State (FL): Red Course #4 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest Best in State (FL): Blue Course #6 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest Best Public in State (FL): Red Course #1 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest Best Public in State (FL): Blue Course #3 (link to list)
  • Golf Digest Top 100 Overall: Red Course #100 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Top 100 Modern: Red Course #30 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Top 100 Modern: Blue Course #43 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Best in State (FL): Red Course #2 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Best in State (FL): Blue Course #3 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Best Resort Golf Course: Red Course #12 (link to list)
  • GolfWeek Best Resort Golf Course: Blue Course #14 (link to list)
  • 2014 Golf.com Top 100 You Can Play: Red Course #12 (link to list)
  • 2014 Golf.com Top 100 You Can Play: Blue Course #16 (link to list)
  • 2015 USA Today Best Top-Notch Warm Weather Golf Destination #1 (link to list)

Some of the best golf in the country tends to mean high prices, but Streamsong has created great promotions that make stay-and-play an easier decision for buddies’ golf trips. In fact, between May 26 and September 9, golf enthusiasts can walk 18 and stay the night at this instant classic golf resort for just $139 apiece per night (based on double occupancy).

Walk-and-stay rates at Streamsong, based on season:

  • April 16 – May 26: $269 per person
  • May 26 – September 9: $139 per person (make it happen!)
  • > September 10 (Winter rates): $349 per person

The golf courses at Streamsong are so good they should be on every enthusiast’s must-play list for 2015. On the same note, the lodging is so amazing that it would be silly to pay the $115-plus for golf and not take advantage of the stay-and-play packages to enjoy one of the most beautiful and luxurious resorts in the entire nation!

Min. golf rates at Streamsong, based on season:

  • April 16 – may 26: $165 (walking)
  • May 26 – September 9: $115 (walking)
  • > September 10 (Winter rates): $225 (walking)

While golf is well over $100 per round on its own, average room rates during the warm Florida summer are $149/night, and go up to $349/night during the spring when the central Florida weather is perfect for Midwesterners like me during our hard winters.

Average room rates at Streamsong Resort, based on season:

  • April 16 – May 26: $249-279/night
  • May 26 – September 9: $149/night
  • > September 10 (Winter rates): $349/night

To say that $139/person between May 26 and September 9 for both golf and lodging is an INCREDIBLE deal for both golf and lodging is an understatement! The other walk-and-stay rates they have are steals, too, when compared to the rates for lodging and/or golf, alone.

Bottom line: Do not fly to Tampa or Orlando and stay at some random hotel, then drive to the middle of nowhere to Streamsong for a round of golf and take off. The courses and resort at Streamsong go hand in hand, and neither should be experienced without the other. With as high-end as the golf courses are, the lodging one-ups them, if that is possible.

The resort offers free transfers between the lodge and the pro shop/courses, and Streamsong is best experienced on foot. While the courses are anything but flat, both Tom Doak and Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw designed them to be incredibly walker-friendly to best cater to high-end golfers who tend to be older in age.

Kelly and I were not the youngest people at Streamsong while we were there, but we were close. Kyle, who I golfed with on my second day on the Red course, and his wife were there from the Virginia area after he’d seen the resort in Golf Digest. His wife and Kelly both enjoyed the pool and all the amenities at the resort, and in fact I have been hearing from Kelly about how much she loved Streamsong since then.

The topography of the land is very un-Florida-like, but the tees are set in a way that the only major uphill climb is to the tee box of the first hole on the Blue course. The rest of the courses are quite walk-able, and carts would be very unnecessary and I personally believe would detract from the overall golfing experience.

Walkto01-IMG_4576

The uphill climb to the 1st tee box on the Blue course at Streamsong Resort – the only major uphill climb on otherwise very walker-friendly courses

Originally opened to the public in 2012, Streamsong is without a question the hottest golf resort in America. Its lodging, food and amenities are fantastic, but what brings droves of sportsmen and travelers to its remote piece of land in central Florida is the golf. The Red course, designed by one of the world’s hottest golf course architecture teams of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and the Blue course, designed by the world’s other hottest golf course architect Tom Doak, bill the destination as an instant classic, and neither disappoints.

Gil Hanse and his team are currently working on a third course on the property, the Black course, which is slated to open to the public in September, 2017. Hanse may not be as much of a household name as Coore/Crenshaw and Doak, but is a rising star in the golf course design industry and has recently been in the news for his work on the Rio De Janeiro Olympic course, as well as for his redesign work on Trump National Doral in Miami.

Controlled fire on the future site of Gil Hanse's Black course at Streamsong Resort

Controlled fire on the future site of Gil Hanse’s Black course at Streamsong Resort

The same general area hosts both the Red and Blue course’s signature par three holes, and I was fortunate to have my caddies film both of my shots on them and actually hit the green both times:

Streamsong, Blue Course #7 (3-putt bogey):

Streamsong, Red Course #16 (1-putt birdie):

Located an hour and 10 minutes from Tampa International Airport, and an hour and a half from the Orlando International Airport, the first thing visitors to Streamsong Resort will notice is that it is literally in the middle of nowhere. The drive from Tampa was easy, though, and brought us along numerous back roads in to an area of Florida that looks nothing like “Florida.”

I once read a golf blog by a guy from Florida, which I will share here:

Epic Golf’s Florida Golf Blog, 2012

The author, David, started out with great intentions, before coming to the conclusion that Florida golf is all the same – there are four different hole layouts and only a couple of courses in the state that differ. Writing his last post in 2012, he did not stick it out to review Streamsong, which breaks all of the rules of Florida golf!

There are no homes on the courses at Streamsong. In fact, I don’t think we saw a home within 5-10 miles of the resort. For 30-45 minutes leading up to the driveway, there are signs that tell drivers where to turn to get to Streamsong, but if this course was built pre-GPS then golfers would have almost no chance of finding it.

As it turned out, this is a big part of what makes the resort at Streamsong so amazing – the remoteness of the facilities and the feeling of being in a previously untouched area that has done an unbelievable job of leaving the area natural and remote, and providing a world-class golf destination that leaves the land entirely unspoiled and allows visitors to enjoy an area that can provide as much relaxation as desired. For this and so much more, Streamsong is quite possibly Heaven on Earth.

When turning left off the two-lane road that takes you to the resort, lower the car windows and enjoy the five-minute drive through the wilderness. The sounds of nature abound everywhere as the driveway meanders through swamps and forests on either side of the road.

Similar to the entrances at Erin Hills, Dismal River, etc., the entrance to the driveway at Streamsong is a simple unassuming thing of beauty

Similar to the entrances at Erin Hills, Dismal River, Whistling Straits, etc., the entrance to the driveway at Streamsong is a simple unassuming thing of beauty

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