Why you won’t want to miss Streamsong’s new 19-hole short course

the chain at streamsong

Streamsong already has three 18-hole championship courses, but now it adds the 19-hole Chain short course to the mix.

Courtesy Streamsong Resort

While the idea of a shorter course is hardly unique to Streamsong Resort, this won’t be one you want to pass up.

The Chain, which now has all 19 holes open and first allowed players to tee off from the grown-in grassy areas this month, is a must-play for those visiting Streamsong, or this particular corner of Florida. It complements what’s already on-site — Streamsong Red (Coore & Crenshaw), Blue (Tom Doak) and Black (Gil Hanse) — and is accessible via a smooth gravel path from the hotel to the starter’s shack, about a 3-wood away from the hotel’s front door.

While the three big courses are 18 holes of championship (and highly-rated) golf, The Chain is 19 holes of fun, competition, drinks, snacks and camaraderie.

The first six holes are in a loop — a Chain, so to speak — and stay near the starting hole. Those six are played through moss-covered trees and return golfers to their starting location, so those in a hurry can play six and walk back to the hotel all within an hour.

There’s no par and no defined teeing areas at this Coore & Crenshaw design. Holes range from 57 to 261 yards with loads of undulation, so a tee ball looking woeful in the air can end up wonderful as soon as it stops rolling. It’s set up for match play, as the winner of the previous hole picks the teeing area for the next.

“There are all sorts of holes that are very unusual of shorter length, and the really good players will really enjoy it and say this is not like a pitch-and-putt, there’s some real golf there,” Crenshaw said. “We think it’s going to be a great amenity.”

The Chain takes up about 36 acres of the 7,000-acre resort. And, after building other highly acclaimed short courses at Bandon Dunes (Brandon Preserve) and Sand Valley (The Sand Box), the architects admitted they wanted to push the creativity scale. They did.

the chain at streamsong
Holes range from 57 to 261 yards at The Chain. Courtesy Streamsong Resort

Once you pass the six-hole loop, the number of trees lessen, but the challenges increase.

The ninth hole features a tee box tee set deep into the brushy surroundings, forcing a tight tee shot to a wider fairway. The 11th hole has a 150-yard carry over water to a punchbowl green, a feature Crenshaw said will be one of the most popular. The 12th hole, 158 yards from the back teeing area, forces you to hit over a large natural swale to a pitched green with a huge single tree guarding the left side. There is a blowout area with a sizable bunker on the 14th and a Biarritz green on the 16th.

Between the loops is “The Bucket,” a two-acre putting course marked by a 22,000-pound dragline bucket in the middle, a call back to its foundation as a mining pit for the Mosaic firm.

Ask almost anybody who has played at Streamsong for a favorite course of the three, and you’ll likely get a different answer. Maybe it depends on how they played each. But it will be The Chain that no one leaves disgruntled.

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Art Stricklin