Streamsong is an isolated, beautiful golf escape located 90 minutes outside of Orlando. With two of the best public courses in the country, and a third on the way, it’s become one of golf’s most desirable destinations. Two years ago I had the opportunity to play Streamsong Red, and this year I took a break from the PGA Show to enjoy the Blue.
The driving range and short game area are just a quick cart ride from the club house. Each spot on the range has a wooden bag stand equipped with tees, a bag of Titleist NXTs, and an alignment stick. The conditions on the range mirror the fairways perfectly, and there are plenty of targets to help you dial in your distances.
The short game area is one of the largest I’ve ever seen – it easily accommodates 15-20 golfers – and it’s an essential stop before your round. Finally, the massive putting green is located within feet of the first tee, allowing you to work on navigating the treacherous greens right up to your tee time.
Amenities & Customer Service
The staff at Streamsong was every bit as plentiful and attentive as I remembered from my first visit. From the moment you pull up to the clubhouse, there is always someone waiting to help you with your bags, shuttle you to the practice area, or give you a bit of local knowledge.
Having a caddie is a recommended part of the Streamsong experience. Streamsong is primarily a walking course, and the sandy soil and elevation can take a toll on your energy levels. Let the professional loopers lighten your load and share their stroke-shaving wisdom.
The amenities at Streamsong are on par with the service. The pro shop features a full line of Titleist clubs in addition to the usual assortment of apparel from top brands. Where it goes a step beyond is in offering unique mementos from brands like Seamus Golf and Ballpark Blueprints. Restaurant Fifty-Nine is the best clubhouse eatery I’ve encountered. All of this is housed in an award-winning clubhouse designed by Alberto Alfonso which is unlike anything you’ve ever seen at a golf course.
On the course, the Blue’s taco shack offers sustenance as you finish the 10th hole. This small detail – separating the snacks from the clubhouse – is one of many things that keeps the pace of play brisk. Additionally, there is a drink cart and free water near most tee boxes. The water is essential, especially during “Walking Only” season.
The conditions are key to the design and strategy at Streamsong. The fairways, greens, and surrounds are all firm, fast, and in perfect shape. Similarly, the tee boxes are all excellent: flat with ample space to move the markers and have fresh turf.
My one complaint is that there was some inconsistency in the sand from bunker to bunker. Some sand was powdery, other bunkers felt very spongy.
Beauty & Scenery
As beautiful as Streamsong is, part of its appeal can’t be captured on film. It’s the isolation and quiet that makes it a place to which golfers want to return time and again. Outside of the clubhouse and hotel, there are no buildings that are visible from the course. You’ll see other golfers occasionally, but the scale of the course makes these encounters feel remote. Once you’re on the course, it’s just you, your friends, and the game.
Don’t let that give you the impression that Streamsong lacks in photographic beauty. The color palette of dusty reds, browns, and sandy greens, when combined with a bright blue sky, is absolutely unique and breathtaking. While Blue #7 (pictured above “Beauty and Scenery”) is unquestionably the most photographed, there are very few holes on the course that aren’t postcard worthy.
Course Design & Difficulty
If you’ve ever wondered what’s meant by the term “second shot golf course,” go play Streamsong Blue. The Blue is generous off the tee, though tee shots still demand your attention when the wind is up. The approach shots need to be dialed in 100% of the time.
Tom Doak has used all manner of obstacles around the greens to keep you from scoring too easily. The bunkers are the most obvious trouble, but they’re the most easily avoided. What you may not see from the fairway, but will wish you had, are the runoffs and mounds on and around the putting surfaces. The greens at Streamsong Blue aren’t so much tiered as they are divided by diabolical little hills that can push your putts in every direction. They make certain spots on the green practically unplayable – three-putts can feel like a victory. The contours of the greens combined with the speed demand that you land your shots with precision and trajectory control. If you can’t hit towering irons, you better be prepared to play a keen ground game.
If you’ve found a way to navigate these greens successfully, the closing stretch throws up one last challenge to leaving in red figures. #16 is a 237 yard par 3 that plays uphill with bunkers eager to snatch shots short and left. #17 is a 590 yard par 5 that demands three good shots. Finally, #18 plays a little shorter than its 478 yards if you hit a strong drive, but it still requires a solid mid-iron approach to a tricky green.
The genius of Streamsong Blue is that for all its difficulty, it’s a tremendously fun course to play. Part of the fun is the variety of shots you get to hit. The par 3s measure 157, 203, 187, and 237 yards from the back tees and include uphill, downhill, and flat holes. The par 4s range from the drivable #13 to the beastly 487 yard #11. If you pick the right tees, you’ll hit every club in your bag and have a great time.
The phrase “must play” gets thrown around a lot when people talk about golf courses, but Streamsong Blue deserves such praise. It’s friendly off the tee but a true challenge around the greens, and it’s one of the most enjoyable walks you’ll ever take. Combined with Streamsong Red, it makes for a destination golfers need to have on their bucket list.
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