Streamsong: Not Your Typical Florida Golf


Streamsong: Not Your Typical Florida Golf


Streamsong Resort is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, but their story starts over 50 years ago when the Mosaic Company started mining phosphate across the 16,000-acre site in Central Florida. To mine phosphate, the land must first be cleared. Next, large draglines are used to scoop up large amounts of soil. Over time, the mining process creates deep pits and massive piles of soil. After mining the Polk County site, the Mosaic Company decided to try and repurpose it into a golf resort.

When world-renowned golf course architect Bill Coore first visited the property about a dozen years ago, he was blown away, stating that the site contained “some of the most unusual, interesting and dramatic landforms we have ever encountered.” Coore convinced design partner (and former Masters champion) Ben Crenshaw, as well as fellow golf course architect Tom Doak, to visit the site. They, too, were impressed with Doak stating that “the variety of the contours created by the mining process is unique for a project in Florida— or anywhere in the Southeast.”

Their teams worked on the routings and construction of the courses at the same time. Coore drew his routing with a red Sharpie and Doak drew his with a blue Sharpie, and thus, the courses were named the Red and Blue. Along with the courses, a modern lodge was built and Streamsong opened to the public in 2012. The Red and Blue courses quickly found themselves in every major Top100 ranking, and the rest is history!

The first tee at the Blue course sits atop of one of the highest dunes on the property, overlooking a good portion of the Blue and Red courses. You immediately think to yourself, “we’re not in Florida anymore”.



Blue & Red

The Blue and Red courses share the same plot of land, as well as a clubhouse. The Blue course routes on the interior of the plot and the Red course routes along the exterior. Both courses were recently regrassed with a new, finer strain of bermuda grass called Mach-1. We found the putting surfaces at Red and Blue to be fantastic and superior to Black, which are not Mach-1. The Red course has more water in play, and we found it to be the most difficult of the three regulation courses on site. The Blue is very generous off the tee but has bite on the greens, which are highly contoured. Both courses are easy to walk and offer long views across the property. If you’re trying to squeeze in 36 holes in one day and are pressed for sunlight, we’d recommend playing the Blue and Red since they are faster to walk and on the same property (versus the Black which requires a shuttle). FYI – we didn’t see replay rates advertised on the resort’s website but they are 50% off the first round rate.

This picture shows you the scale of the “Biarritz” green, which has a massive swale cutting through the center, on the 16th hole at the Red course. All courses are very walkable but carts are available for $35 per person per round.


The Black course opened in 2017 and was designed by Gil Hanse and partner Jim Wagner. It’s on a separate site about a mile from the Red and Blue courses with its own clubhouse. Black is a big course with wide fairways and some of the largest greens in the United States. The greens at Black average 11,000 square feet and, according to our database, Black is only one of 10 courses in the country to average over 10,000 square feet per green. It was the most polarizing course amongst our group because it’s so different from the more traditional Red and Blue courses. Some had it ranked as their favorite, but others had it as their least favorite. At the end of the day, we think variety is a good thing at a resort with multiple golf courses. We played the Black course first on our most recent trip, which we’d recommend if you have the option. It’s the most forgiving off the tee and a great warm up course, especially if you haven’t played in a while.

The 18th hole on the Black course is a fitting way to close out a round on one of the biggest, boldest courses in the United States


The Gauntlet & Roundabout

The Gauntlet is an 18-hole putting course adjacent to the Black course clubhouse. It starts out with a gentle handshake, but the green contours get bigger and bolder as the round progresses, hence the name. If you can make it through The Gauntlet at the end with two putts per hole you will be in great shape! It’s an energetic place to be in the late afternoon.

The Roundabout is a seven-hole, par-3 course that is right next to the driving range at the Black course. The holes range from 70 to 150 yards so you only need a few clubs. There is a large open space in the middle of the course so if there aren’t many groups out, you can create your own holes. This was a really fun and unique experience. We don’t know of too many horse courses like this outside of Prairie Club in Nebraska. There’s space for short par-4’s, a long par-4, and perhaps even a short par-5. We played match play where the winner of the hole picked the next hole and it was up to their imagination!

The 4th hole on The Roundabout is one of the best par-3’s on the property – a shortie where you must hit the green or else! We played this as a short par-4 during our round where we made up holes and it was a tester!

The Roundabout scorecard, with the proposed holes in black and the holes that we made up during our match in red!

All of the courses at Streamsong are based on sandy soil so they play firm and fast compared to most courses in the U.S. They also drain extremely well. One of our caddies said that Hurricane Ian brought 18 inches of rain in the fall, but the courses were playable the following day!

Another aspect that we loved about the courses at Streamsong were how natural and uninterrupted they were. All courses carry a Very Low Housing Index, meaning no housing or development intersect the golf course routing or are on the exterior of the golf courses. You’ll have a pure golf experience at Streamsong. Everywhere you turn you see wildlife. On our most recent trip, we saw alligators (we counted seven at the Red course!), a bobcat, herons, deer, turtles, an otter, a racoon, and even a rattlesnake. It literally feels like you’re playing through a nature preserve. That being said, please do keep your eyes out and do not go look for your balls if they find the tall grass or are very close to the water’s edge. It’s not worth it!


The Lodge is the main option at the resort and has a modern, high-end look and feel to it. There are double rooms, single rooms and suites available. Another lodging option is what the resort calls The Clubhouse Experience. There are 12 rooms above the Red/Blue clubhouse (eight single rooms and four double rooms) which can be reserved for buddies trips or executive retreats. It’s a VIP experience that includes 12-hour butler service, a common room with pool table, and even better balls on the driving range. Since space is limited, the Experience books up a year in advance. Unfortunately, there are no cottages onsite available for groups, although we spoke to the staff and they said that is one of their top wish list items.

The resort does allow you to play the courses and not stay on the property. The only challenge is tha the nearest hotels are 20 minutes away because the resort is so remote.

The ultra-modern lodge at Streamsong Resort with the conference wing on the left side. A new short course and putting course designed by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw will open in early 2024 only steps away from the lodge. Photo source: Visit Central Florida


There are many dining options at Streamsong, ranging from casual to more formal. Here are the options based on location across the resort:

Main Lodge

  • Fin & Feather— Casual restaurant in the main lobby where the breakfast buffet is each day.

  • SottoTerra— Finer, Italian dining on the lower level.

  • Rooftop 360— This was closed during our stay for renovations. We were told that bugs get really bad at night so not sure if this had anything to do with it.

Red/Blue Clubhouse

  • Pub 59— Casual restaurant at the19th hole.

  • Canyon Steakhouse— New, upscale option with a wide variety of cuts.

Black Clubhouse

  • Bone Valley Tavern— Casual restaurant and the best 19th hole at the resort right next to The Gauntlet putting course.

On the Course

  • Red (after hole #8)— Known for its BBQ.

  • Blue (after hole #9)— Known for its tacos.

  • Black (after hole #9)— Known for its chicken salad and Cuban sandwiches.

Pricing for food and beverage is on the higher end of the golf resorts we have visited in the United States. It is similar to that of Pebble Beach and about 20-25% higher than Bandon Dunes, for example.


There’s a spa (use of the hot tubs is included in your resort fee) and pool on site and plenty of fire pits outside the main lodge. Outdoor activities include sporting clays, archery, and guided bass fishing. We were told that the bass were huge, in part due to the minerals from all the mining, and that any fish caught there could not be counted for Florida state fishing records because of this!

Streamsong has one of the best setups for corporate events of any resort that we’ve seen. There’s an entire conference wing at the main lodge and plenty of indoor and outdoor event space. With that being said, the resort did have more of a corporate feel than most that we have visited, for better or worse.

Final Thoughts

While Streamsong is pricey across the board, it has arguably the best quality golf of any resort in a winter destination in the United States. There is also great variety in its golf offering, which is only going to improve. A new par-3 course (The Chain) and putting course (The Bucket) by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are in the works and expected to be ready for play in 2024. We expect Streamsong to continue to raise the bar as a new competitor, Cabot Citrus Farms, is opening only two hours away, adding another top-tier, pure golf resort in Central Florida. We expect that both resorts continue to elevate their offerings, which is a big win for golf travelers from around the world.


Streamsong is located in Central Florida, about 45 minutes from Lakeland, one hour from Tampa, 90 minutes from Orlando, and two hours from Fort Myers. The nearest major airports are Tampa and Orlando, which have direct flights to most major cities in North America and many cities around the world.


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