“If you build it, they will come,” goes the cliché. But will they come to a middle-of-nowhere Florida locale in a state already packed with great golf destinations? They will if it’s Streamsong.
Golf’s latest Bandon Dunes wannabe opens in December, and it’s already fully booked for months. Given the look of the property and the pedigree of the architects, it’s easy to see why. Hewn from reclaimed phosphate-mining land in central Florida’s Polk County, a 60-minute drive east of Tampa and 90 minutes southwest of Orlando, Streamsong is the vision of the Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer and marketer of phosphate-based crop nutrients.
Mosaic executives Rich Mack and Tom Sunnarborg, a pair of keen golf purists, recognized an amazing golf tableau when they saw one. They enlisted Tom Doak’s firm, Renaissance Design, and the duo of Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, to create separate 18s from a landscape that hardly conjures images of Florida: sunken lakes, heaving elevation changes and rumpled sand dunes.
To make room for all 36 holes, Doak and Coore/ Crenshaw collaborated on the routing, with Doak’s Blue course featuring bigger, deeper bunkers and more contoured greens.
The Coore/Crenshaw Red course is lower-profile, playing more down in the dunes. Both linksy courses feature firm and fast fairways and greens, to create holes that are instantly memorable.
Highlights include the Red’s 240-yard, par-3 16th, with blowout bunkers and a Biarritz-style green, and the 520-yard, par-5 18th, its green framed by a gargantuan sand dune.
Doak’s Blue counters with the gorgeous, watery par-3 seventh and the superb risk/reward 305-yard, par-4 13th. Look for a 216-room lodge to debut in the fall of 2013. In the meantime, gas up the car and make the trip. There’s nothing else like it in the Sunshine State — or anywhere else, for that matter.
Polk County, Fla.
Green fees: $115-$200