Why this Top 100 course feels like it’s anywhere but Central Florida

The par-3 7th at Streamsong Blue

The par-3 7th at Streamsong Blue.

Jack Hirsh/GOLF

At GOLF.com, our hobby is also our job. That means, just like you, we spend much of the year teeing it up high, swinging hard and trying to avoid double bogeys. But some courses we stumble upon are simply more memorable than others. Here, for the second straight year, we unveil our favorite public courses we played in 2022.

Let me first get this off my chest: I hate Florida golf courses.

They usually play soft. There are houses everywhere you look. There is an overuse of water and sand on flat and uninteresting terrain. The list goes on and on.

There’s a very short list of courses I actually enjoy in the state, but after finally visiting Streamsong Resort this fall, I have a couple tracks to add to the list.

The layout of Streamsong Resort's fourth golf course, The Chain.
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By: Jack Hirsh

I’ll admit, I probably picked one of the worst weeks of 2022 to visit Streamsong. I arrived, along with a few other media members for a four-day trip to tour the site of the resort’s planned fourth golf course and try out their new clubhouse experience, on September 26th, two days before Hurricane Ian made landfall less than 75 miles away. Not to mention, September in Florida is still oppressively hot.

The trip’s itinerary was thrown out the window and we set out on Streamsong Red right after a tour of the new course site. We made it about 12 holes before we had to stop for the day because of normal Florida thunderstorms.

Luckily, the plan was still to play the resort’s other original golf course, Streamsong Blue the next day before quickly getting out of dodge.

Good thing we did too because Streamsong Blue was my favorite course I played in 2022.

It had poured the night before after the strong storms, yet my tee shot must have rolled 30 or 40 yards off the 1st tee. As Streamsong Director of Sales and Marketing Craig Falanga explains, the resort was built on the site of a former phosphate mine, which left behind “perfectly round” sand. Sand-based golf courses are all the rage these days for how well they drain and the firmness they play at.

Blue was no exception, and greens recently resurfaced with Mach 1 Bermudagrass made for excellent playing conditions, despite the pounding rain the day before, and the ominous mist on the day we played ahead of the hurricane.

The firmness and the dramatic landscaping created by the sand dunes left behind from the phosphate mine create a landscape more reminiscent of the Australian Sand Belt or the Sand Hills of Nebraska than Central Florida.

The view from the 1st tee of Streamsong Blue.
The view from the 1st tee of Streamsong Blue. Jack Hirsh/GOLF

Starting with a climb up on top of a dune where the 1st tee sits, the course starts with a pretty awesome view of the property encompassing the Coore/Crenshaw Red and Tom Doak Blue courses. From there the holes unwind naturally around the dunes and every shot is straight in front of you.

My favorite hole was the par-3 7th, probably the most photographed on property, along with the adjacent 16th of the Red course (which I didn’t get to play). The mid-length par-3 plays over a mine cut down to a green that looks like it was hallowed out from the dune on the other side.

With the incoming hurricane, we had little time to soak in the course, but Blue still left its mark on me, especially after the demanding finish of the long par-3 16th, monstrous, nearly 700-yard par-5 17th and uphill par-4 18th.

While I didn’t get to play all of Streamsong Red or even see the newer Streamsong Black, my favorite round of 2022 certainly proved to me Streamsong is not your grandfather’s Florida golf course.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.