The Red, Blue and Black courses at the Streamsong Resort lie on a sizeable tract of reclaimed land within an enormous 16,000-acre property that was once heavily mined by the Mosaic corporation, a leading company in the supply of phosphate and potash to the agricultural industry.
As part of a laudable commitment to environmental sustainability, Mosaic decided the most appropriate action for the decades-old Polk County site was its transformation from industrial wasteland to upmarket golf resort in the mould of Bandon Dunes.
And if this new facility was to gain a similar reputation to that of its counterpart in Oregon, then so much the better, because discerning golfers would more than likely flock to Streamsong in substantial numbers, keen to sample the golf on offer.
Some will think the smartest move Mosaic made was at the outset of the project with the appointment of Tom Doak, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw – all three were involved at Bandon – as designers for the resort’s first two 18-hole layouts which opened for play in 2014.
Such an architectural dream team was virtually guaranteed to deliver a world-class 36-hole golf complex and so Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design Company was tasked with creating the Blue course whilst Coore and Crenshaw’s firm was detailed to lay out the Red course.
Both courses feature generous fairways and few forced carries so the playability quotient for the average golfer is very favourable. The Blue occupies a central portion of the property and, as a consequence, is the more open of the two layouts.
The signature hole on the Blue may well be the par three 7th, with its wonderfully contoured green nestled between a lake to the front and huge sand dunes to the rear. "My younger associates and I discussed, more than once, the idea of putting in a zip line to get across the pond on the 7th hole at Streamsong." Commented Tom Doak in his Little Red Book of Golf Course Architecture. "There were only two problems with our dream: 1) Mosaic is a very risk-averse company, and 2) There are alligators in that pond, which might be a problem if anyone fell off the zip line."
On the back nine, the risk/reward 305-yard par four 13th is another stand out hole, where a ridge splits the fairway between an upper right portion and a lower left segment.In 2017, the Black course became the third 18-hole layout to open at Streamsong, set close to, but slightly away from, the Red and Blue courses. Designed by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, the Black occupies a vast, open tract that stylishly complements the other two courses at a wonderful 54-hole facility.
My first visit to Streamsong took place a few years ago coinciding with the annual PGA Merchandise show held in nearby Orlando in late January. I heard much about the proposed plans and my visit to the Blue Course came just prior to its general opening.
Just getting to the course was an experience. Once you leave Lakeland the area literally becomes non-descript with little to see.
The Blue is a Tom Doak creation. The opening hole commences from a high dunes bluff which provides a convenient viewing area of a number of holes. Given the relative flatness of Florida the vantage point is one to savor. The quality of the opening trio of holes is fine but hardly spellbinding. Matters do pick up when arriving at the quality par-4 4th which turns nicely in the drive zone followed by the need for a well-executed approach to the green.
The short par-3 5th is done well -- the back portion of the green sliding away and requiring a deft touch to land and remain there.
The short par-4 6th is attractive but hardly among the elite short par-4s Doak has created in his career.
The character of the Blue really picks up steam when you arrive at the rightly discussed par-3 7th. The view from the tee immediately rivets your attention. In some ways -- the hole is reminiscent of the par-3 15th at Pine Valley. The fronting water penalty area must be crossed but the available landing area is quite finicky in terms of accepting shots. The internal contours are also done well -- leaving with a par is certainly a feather in one's cap.
Unfortunately, what few people have mentioned in their earlier reviews is the considerable walk back one needs to do to arrive at the par-4 8th. Doak has been critical of other architects doing a similar movement and the one here at Streamsong is a round interrupter.
Fortunately, the merits of the par-4 8th quickly focus your attention on the task presented. Given the nature of today's golf clubs and balls I have been a proponent that fairway bunkers need to be placed indifferent, more relevant locations instead of the traditional flanking positions. Doak's insertion of the center-placed bunker at the 8th is aptly located. The approach is also a vexing proposition -- the green is somewhat elevated and the added closely cropped mowing pattern just off the putting surfaces can quickly propel one's ball away to precarious positions.
The blind tee shot at the par-5 9th is a fine addition and the arrangement and positioning of the added bunkers is also good. The green has a number of internal riddles golfers will need to decipher. In short -- the hole is not a giveaway birdie situation.
The inward side at the Blue is where the course finally hits its strides. The par-3 10th is often undervalued given the rightful fanfare paid to the other par-3 holes. The long par-4 11th is a strong tw0-shot hole and the mid-length par-4 12th is done well.
The seductive short par-4 13th is a brilliant hole. Players face a do-or-dare moment. The hole plays to a max of 312 yards and the temptation to drive the green is clearly present for the strong hitter. Doak baits such players but the key is realizing how the fairway tapers down considerably and the elevation rise to the green is fiercely bracketed by ideally placed flanking bunkers. Those pulling a tee shot left will need divine guidance to escape with a par. Those missing too far right will face a green not so kind on the approach from that position.
The cape-like par-5 14th is done well. Players have to determine how much of the corner of the water penalty area is worth taking on from the tee.
The par-4 15th is also good. The tee shot encounters a tapered fairway that requires careful thought before firing away.
Over the years I've personally played a fair number of Doak courses and I would rate the final trio of holes on the Blue Course among his best. Unfortunately, too many architects have forsaken the long par-3 and I'm thrilled Doak added one here and its position as the 16th has a big-time impact on the outcome of one's golf day.
The 237-yard hole does provide a bailout area to the left and given the slight elevation increase from tee to green one has to take sufficient club for the task at-hand. The large green has several different internal movements and leaving with a par is truly a mission accomplished. If one should encounter the 16th into a significant headwind it may necessitate a driver for many players.
The penultimate hole is a superb par-5 at 591 yards. Doak brilliantly included a series of cross bunkers that play a major role in terms of the golfer's second shot. Players have to decide if crossing them is worthy of the effort. Those laying back will be safer but the distance increase for the 3rd shot will also be considerably lengthened.
The closing hole ends the round in a grand manner. Wind direction plays a key role. If played into an easterly headwind it will take two herculean shots to get to the green on this 478-yard hole. If played downwind the hole has equal challenges because players have to secure the optimum angle to reach the green. The tee shot is played to a semi-blind landing area and Doak has added a pesky solitary bunker on the preferred right center side of the fairway. The green sits below the top portion of the fairway and those wishing to bounce the ball onto the green can do so. Like a number of other holes -- the 18th on the Blue has a green with a bevy of internal riddles to decipher.
The main issue I have with the Blue is the turf. In the several times I've played the wherewithal to have "firm and fast" conditions has not been prevalent. Keep in mind, what's firm and fast generally and what's firm and fast for Florida-based courses is something entirely different. Streamsong saw fit to replace the turf on the greens for the Blue and Red courses recently with a new turf called Mach 1.
Possibly those who have played the course most recently can comment on how well things have fared. Nonetheless, the fairways in my visits have provided some roll but hardly anything that is truly bouncy. I have heard no mention if the existing fairway grass has been altered. Given the location and the nature of the heat / humidity encountered the concept of "firm and fast" may be a fine talking point but not one that truly can be achieved during such time frames in the Sunshine State.
Overall, the Blue is an engaging layout. Once you get past the first few holes the architecture and the diversity of shotmaking encountered clearly ramps up and concludes with a virtuoso crescendo.
M. James Ward
What a course! In my opinion the best at this resort. From the acrophobic opening tee shot, to the trippy Van-Gogh worthy dunes behind #4 green, the truly magnificent par 3 7th, to the par 5 17th (my favorite hole on the course due to raw bunkering dominating your visual field with every shot) - this is a disorienting bear of a track upon first walk. It plays harder than the distance/slope would lead you to believe. A test of every club in the bag - including and especially the putter.
I did find the 10th and 11th to be rather bland compared to the rest of the course.
Enjoy the walk but don't let it distract you from the total commitment this course requires. Leave time to enjoy a beverage and revisit your round as it can be a whirlwind. You'll want to relive it.
The state of Florida has about 1300 golf courses. Seeing the 3 courses at Streamsong in the top 6 says quite a bit about the resort. The place is quite captivating. The Blue plays as 2nd fiddle but honestly blends with Red in my mind as undecipherable. The Black offers a little twist to the overall charm of the place. This is a place you just have to see to believe. Never would you imagine you are in Florida. The conditioning is excellent. You will love the width of most all of the fairways. Anyone can play here and enjoy it. They have a super fee structure which adjusts by season and by residency.
Streamsong Blue- now that was something! Tom Doak and his team have sculpted a classic course in this amazing terrain, formerly a phosphate mine.
Coore Crenshaw, and Tom Doak's Renaissance Design are generally considered the best in the business. The Mosaic Company engaged both companies to design a course each at the same time at what is now known as the Streamsong Resort.
Being great friends Tom Doak and Bill Coore routed their respective courses concurrently in such a way as to weave the two courses into one vast landscape. They have produced two high quality courses, and the Streamsong Resort is now a high end golfing destination with a 216 room hotel.
Streamsong Resort is located 84 miles from Orlando- but it is basically in the middle of nowhere! This part of central Florida is somewhat remote from the civilised world, and whilst the weather was lovely while we were there in January (winter), I really don't think I would want to play there in summer. (Hot, humid, with bugs!) No thanks!
But I loved the course. I would love for this to be my home course and play it often. The green complexes were generally larger than normal and provided a number of interesting pin positions. It would take quite a number of plays to see these different pins in action, but it would be something I would like to do.
Quite often the position of the flag had quite an impact on the strategy of the hole, and the shots I was trying to play. The green surrounds offered lots of options for the running ball or one thrown in the air. And we take it for granted a bit, but TD usually provides a route to the green by bouncing the ball in - something very important to the lady players.
The bunkering was both strategic and striking to the eye, and we got a guided tour of that aspect of the course when we played with Mike McCartin who shaped the bunkers.
The routing was well thought out- taking the course through varied terrain, and providing a very nice selection of holes.
We had some water carries, some wider more open holes, and I particularly liked the treed environment at the turn as a break from all the expanses of sand...
It is not often that I play a new course, and say after all 18 holes - "that was a good hole" - but I did at the Blue course at Streamsong. Some holes - like the picture postcard par 3 7th are instantly recalled, but there were any number of holes that I just loved.
I will say that the course is so strong it plays like a members course for a club with educated or seasoned golfers. I guess that must have been the brief to the architect, but I did think it a toughie for joe public.Hopefully the caddies will become experienced enough to guide Joe around!
Notable holes include:
- hole 3, a mid length par 4 with a diagonal water carry off the tee and elevated green
- hole 4, a strong par 4 with an elevated green
- hole 7, a spectacular par 3 over water
- hole 17, a mammoth par 5 with sand everywhere!
- hole 18, a strong, strategic par 5 finishing hole
There are a number of holes where you cannot see the bottom of the flag on your approach shot, and some of these greens have some contouring you need to know about... And on some holes the ladies tees will need to be adjusted
These minor matters aside I would rate Streamsong Blue as one of the better courses built in the last few decades
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
We don't have "ladies' tees" here. We do have forward tees. You may play any tee you wish regardless of gender.
We have been promoting it and sending golfers since way back in time when it was open and we have had great reviews almost always from the courses in the Resort although some find the firm fast conditions plus very fast greens an extremely tough combo for their game considering the very wide open fairways the courses at the Resort have.
I had never been there although my buddies went to play the Red back in 2015 and with the return to our trip to Orlando we decided to play the other original one and with the quality of Design Mr Doak has the expectations were very high.
It is not a so bad transfer time from Orlando, just over 1hr to arrive to Hotel and Courses from where we were staying was a pleasant drive. Do not get alarmed by the distance, if you go to Orlando you can do this drive even twice as all three courses are great. I was able to do a ride over the other 2 and with different styles, all three combine to have a fantastic golf facility and with a great Club House.
We played in a very windy day and with this new World Handicap System I bet the PCC would have been easily +3. I really like the course and struggled with some holes that looked easier (100yds par 3 5th, double bogey and a very silly bogey on par 5 9th plus another double on 17th), the firm conditions plus some demanding tee shots were a great challenge.
Some holes to highlight:
- Par 4 3rd: up the hill to a huge green for the second shot, a great hole.
- Short par 4 6th: although you can drive it, the green might be the toughest on the course.
- Par 3 7th: the most pictured hole in the Resort, there is a small story on the with the Course Marshall but the hole is amazing!
- Short par 4 13th is a great risk/reward hole.
- Par 4 18th: this one is a Monster, maybe the toughest on the course.
A great course which still needs some maturity and some improvements in Operations, but still a great test and a well worth visit.
The Blue course at Streamsong is a Tom Doak design. The Blue has ginormous fairways, deep bunkers and relatively small greens. I found it more forgiving than the Red. Tons of dirt were moved to create these courses. Remember, these courses are in an old mine and it gets hot.
You ease into this course, so score early. The first three holes are good birdie opptys. The tee for the first hole is from the highest point on the property. A short par four, a decent drive will give you a flip wedge to the green. On the par 5 second, favor the left off the tee and on the 3rd favor the right. The par 4 fourth is a golfer’s golf hole. A demanding long par 4 with a myriad of fairway bunkers that create the illusion of danger on your drive. Trust me, there is plenty of room, especially on the right side of the fairway. Hit an extra club to this elevated green that is protected left and right by deep BABs. One of the best holes on property. The short par 3 5th should be one of the easiest holes , but with a green that is over 70 yards long and is some places only about 10 yards wide, three putts are not uncommon. The 6th is a gimme par 4. The 7th is widely acclaimed as the signature hole, a long par 3 with a carry over water. It parallels the 16th on the Red course. If the pin is back, make sure you take an extra club. The 8th is a tricky bugger. Off the tee it does not look that difficult. There is a bunker in the middle of the fairway which forces you to decide left or right. Right is longer, however, there is a small water hazard left that is just in range off the tee. Any guesses where I ended up? Favor the left side on the par 5 9th. Depending upon the tees and the quality of your drive, you may have a blind second shot. The hole is relatively straight.
The back starts with a gimme par 3 followed up with purportedly the toughest hole on the course. Yes, 11 is long and there are some fairway bunkers left, but….. Holes 12-14 are excellent birdie opptys. On 12 favor left of center off the tee. You can drive through the fairway and there is a water hazard on the right and front protecting the green. The 13th is a classic risk reward driveable par 4. To be successful you gotta hit it straight. The throat has a landing area that is only about 10 yards wide. Right you are in the bunker, if you are left and lucky you will stay in play. Otherwise you may end up in the water hazard. The 14th is an uphill par 5 with a forced carry that will determine how big is your appetite. This is well designed hole. While it is conceivable to get home in two, the bunkers tiered on the left side from 100 yards in will give you pause. The layup area is also very small. A classic conundrum, should I stay or should I go. The safest layup is about 125 yards out, so I threw caution to the wind and paid for my indiscretion. The finishing holes on Blue are strong. The 16th is a long uphill par 3. It lists to the right so aim left of the flag. In my opinion, the par 5 17th is one of the best designed holes I have ever played. At 590 yards with an elevated green it is already challenging enough. Let’s add fairway bunkers right and left. How about a chasm that must be cleared on the second shot? Let’s throw in some cross bunkers to separate heroes from cowards, young from old, wise from foolish. Don’t forget the greenside bunkers. The 18th has a catapult landing area left of center. If you can get there you will have a short iron in. If not, thanks for playing here is your door prize.
I enjoyed Blue. I think it is over rated and over-priced.. Some really good holes, some pedestrian and some very forgettable.
My favorite course at Streamsong is the Blue course, designed by Tom Doak. The course is consistent and builds throughout to a terrific set of finishing holes. It also doesn't have quite as many overly undulated greens as Mr. Doak sometimes has on his courses. All three of the courses at Streamsong are links-like incorporating seamlessley with the terrain and landscape. I have played the Blue three times.
The first hole is a short par 4 with the tee way up on a sand hill providing excellent views of the clubhouse and much of the red and blue courses. You can even see some of the black course. It's an easy hole where Mr. Doak tries to hide the green with mounds but it is apparent what you need to do. I found making par was relatively easy even is you drive left into the sand. I like this as a starting hole as a player could make 3 to 6, although likely to make 4. The green is large with undulations primarily running away from the approach shot, but it is not unfair.
Two is a par 5 requiring a downhill tee shot. It is well bunkered around the raised green and a nice par 5 with a chance for birdie or even eagle but a bogey would also be a common score. This adds to the gentle/kind beginning to the round.
The third is a par 4 that requires an uphill second shot. You can shorten this hole by driving left but it brings the water and tall grass into play. It has a large green with some severe undulations but not too silly. This is a visually attractive hole from tee to on the green.
The fourth is a hard par 4. You cannot go left into the sand which parallels much of the left side of the fairway and expect to get to the green with your second shot as the sand goes on and on. Compounding the difficulty is a very elevated green. A par here is a good score. It is a hole that cleverly balances difficulty with fun. If a player is going to miss the fairway on the tee shot, it is better to miss to the right. A birdie would require an exceptional second or a magnificent putt.
Five is a short par 3 with the back right of the green being perhaps too silly due to a big ridge but did not see the ridge come into play for any of us in the three rounds. The tee shot generally plays into the wind but I found the hole to be easy as long as you do not hit left of the green where bunkers or a steep falloff are waiting for a bad shot.
The sixth is a short par 4 with a feature I do not care for which is a bunker somewhat in the middle of the fairway. There is plenty of fairway to the left of this bunker and a narrower amount to the right. My issue is that it penalizes too much the average length hitter for a perfect tee shot. Mr. Doak also protects the right side of the fairway with more bunkers. It’s a common thing to do on a short par 4, to penalize a good drive as the architect wants to reward the big hitter or to force the shorter hitter to take an angle into the green. But a big hitter could drive the green so I do not know how often this middle fairway bunker is in play for them. To be fair, Mr. Doak didn't have good land here due to a large hill behind the green. Everyone else in my group (six others) loved this hole so perhaps it is a bias personal to me as the hole favors the longer hitter. Doesn’t the long hitter already have enough advantages? I did like the angle of the green which provides a better line for the player going left off the tee; so a longer shot in but a better view of the green.
Seven is an all-world par 3 over water with a green that somewhat borders on unfair if the pin was placed on top of one of the knobs, but I do not think it is often placed there. It is a beautiful hole from the tee shot all the way to walking on the green. A ball hit right has the chance to still end up on the green, much like 15 at Ballyneal. This is the hole often seen in the advertising for Streamsong.
A hard par 4 follows where the average hitter must consider water down the left for the second shot. The green and bunkering are very good here, both on the tee shot and the approach shot. This is an excellent golf hole with a green that requires real thinking on the putt.
Nine is a long par 5 with a superb green complex. It is perhaps the best hole on the front nine and that is saying something after playing the previous two holes. The tee shot requires a long shot to get to the top of the fairway and the second shot can be hit fully as the real key is in the third shot. The final shot is to a large green that is really difficult to find a flat spot offering an easy putt.
The back nine begins with a medium length par 3 with excellent bunkering and a fair green. This hole is sneaky difficult due to the green complex. I can see scores ranging from 2 to 6 here.
I think eleven is one of the weaker holes as a long par 4 with nothing really special except its length. It is not an easy hole, but it lacks the visual excitement that most of the other holes have.
Twelve is a medium length par 4 with excellent bunkering for the tee shot and the approach shot that very well captures the use of water. The green can be viewed by some as silly depending on pin location. This is a very pretty hole from the tee.
Thirteen is a short par 4 that can be driven. It is a fun hole assuming you judge the wind correctly and can hit one or two straight shots. The green is large but fair. The miss on the tee shot is to the right into the sand because you can at least see the green. Missing to the left side of the green can either end up in the water or in a large bunker that is situated well below the green leaving a blind second shot.
The shortest par 5 is next requiring a drive over the water. A big hitter can reduce this hole to a mid-iron second shot, possibly less. It is another large, but fair green. I found this to be a gentle par 5 before the course really starts to show its teeth again.
The fifteenth has one of the widest fairways I've ever seen other than at Old Macdonald, to a green protected on the left by a mound with some ridges. It is a fair hole despite the green having some big ridges in it.
Sixteen is a long par 3 with a green that is sneaky with its undulations, but not over the top. I can see few birdies here and a lot of 5’s.
Seventeen is a brutal par 5 for the short or average length hitter. The long hitter has a big advantage here. I found it to be the most difficult hole on the course. I had my chances here, but couldn't convert. But I liked the hole so much that I wasn't disappointed. I really liked the strategy of going over the hill or laying up short and then considering how to play to this green which appears to be narrow but is not. It is a fun green to judge the perfect putt or chip given its complicated slants.
Eighteen is a long par 4 with good bunkering throughout the hole. It is one of the better finishing holes I have ever played on a resort golf course. It has a massive green that will funnel balls either back onto the green or towards the center. If you go long behind the green, you will not save par unless the cup is in the front. This hole makes you want to keep playing.
I like Streamsong Blue a lot. It does have a few weak holes but the course builds and builds throughout. It is more consistent than the Red or Black. As is typical with Mr. Doak, the real challenge is in the second shot and the short game. The green complexes are all good. There is good variation in the type of bunker, whether raised or slightly flatter, or ragged or more finished, and Mr. Doak and crew always seem to always choose the right look. The greens do have a few unfair undulations but in my three rounds where I witnessed players having to contend with them, the pins were never placed to where you did not think you had no possibility of two putting. You get to use every club in your bag multiple times. The course requires a deft touch/finesse around the greens on chipping, pitching, or putting. A good caddie is very important here.
The Blue course felt a bit more natural and requires a bit more variety in shot-making than the Black or Red. While both the Red and the Blue have changes in elevation, the Blue seems to have a bit more than the Red, particularly early in the round, whereas the Black’s changes in elevation do not appear as natural. I think the Red has more “better” holes but lacks the consistency throughout that the Blue has. I think the Black has perhaps the best routing but it has one truly terrible hole and three bad greens which hurt the golf course.
Much like at Bandon Dunes, I could play this course many times and always be excited to discover new features, new defenses, new breaks, and be pleasantly surprised at the joy in the challenge.
The red and the blue courses at Streamsong were almost interchangeable to me. Both generally nondescript boring layouts not worthy of the cost or inconvenience.
There are some fantastic golf holes on the Blue course and I really enjoyed my round there. I played it in mid March of 2018 and yes it was already HOT, so keep that in mind when going to Streamsong. The first hole was a memorable tee shot from the top of a sand dune which also offers a great view of the clubhouse. I found the course to be pretty playable but it is fair to say that the green complexes were difficult and certainly could be described as the courses defense. 17 and 18 were fantastic finishing holes with the ladder offering a backdrop of the beautiful modern clubhouse. Greens were fast and course played fairly firm. It was also so nice to play golf in Florida without 500 houses lining every fairway. The signature par 3 over the water on the Blue is unforgettable. Can't wait to go back and play the Black and the Red.
Every golf course ranking I’ve seen has the Red course rated ahead of the Blue, this website included, so naturally I thought my opinion would conform with this, but to my surprise I’m giving the edge to the Blue.
Let’s get its shortcomings out of the way first; the options provided by Coore & Crenshaw on the Red aren’t as plentiful on the Blue, the greens are tricky, contoured and they’re quick, personally I found them the trickiest of all three courses, and the walks between holes are more of a schlep than on the Red making for longer rounds, but boy there are some beautiful golf holes on this course.
What struck me with the Blue is that there’s more rise and fall, characterised immediately with the 100’ high dune that you tee it up on at the first. I also felt that the Blue was more in keeping with its surroundings. Some will feel that it’s less spectacular than the Red but the course feels less manipulated to me. If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed that this was the first course to occupy the land at Streamsong.
Whilst fairways are wide, both the greens and fairways are set at peculiar angles with club selection off the tee to find the right part of the fairway being paramount. The entrance to several greens also go unguarded by bunkers, instead Doak opts to use short grass and slopes with collection points as a hazard. And whilst most view the Blue as the easier layout, miss some of the greens on the wrong side and you’re making double if not more. The challenge for me also came from getting the ball close with a wedge, particularly when chipping. Whilst this observation also applies to a lesser degree on the Red, there are some harsh slopes and borrows in the greens that you need to guard from, not easy when you’re trying to nip the ball off tightly mown turf.
Whilst the course felt more cohesive than the Red, it was the individuality of some of the holes that won me over. If I was to list my favourite ten holes across the resort, half of them would be at the Blue. The 1st with the mountainous high dune and the tucked green is completely non-conforming with most modern day golf architecture and is more akin to the golden age designs in Scotland before earth could be easily moved. Elevation changes are a feature of the opening four holes with the 4th being what I’d describe as a wow hole, where you hit your approach to the top of a hill flanked by towering sand traps and is one of a number of holes which features these odd centre-bunker tufts of grass like trolls heads that have been buried in the sand. The green on this hole again is straight out of golden-age design with the green, unprotected, just following the lie of the land.
A par three then follows that although only a pitch has an intimidating drop-off into deep sand on the left and could play completely differently from one day to the next with pin position on this 70-yard deep green completely changing the complexion of the hole. 7, another great par three is pure theatre; sitting adjacent to the Red’s 16th it’s the signature hole of the resort and playing it, lives up to that billing. Set amongst the dunes that envelope it and only accessible by the beautifully curved footbridge over the alligator infested lake only adds to the tension. Like the Red, there is still maybe a mid-round dip in quality but this is only minor, and late on in the back 9, it does rise back to the same heady heights that it set early in the round. On the day, the 12th was played into the wind making it a fierce carry over water where the lake continued along the length of the latter half of the hole that will make any sliced approach end with a splash. 13 and 14 complement one another well with a wonderful short par four followed by a climbing par 5 with one of those “carry as much as you dare” tee shots over the lake. 17 and 18 then may be the best on the course. The tee on 17 is set amongst the sandy wasteland whilst further up the fairway await a string of diagonally placed cross bunkers at the approach to a rise in the fairway that punish a slightly mishit chance at the green or leave the less brave with a much longer mid to long iron approach to a two tiered green. Similarly, 18 is a spectacular setting with the backdrop of the clubhouse and a fairway that flows like a wave from left to right with some spectacularly placed bunkers that bespeckle the lower right hand side of the fairway.