Review for Streamsong (Blue)

Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Review:

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 Streamsong (Blue) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer 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 Streamsong (Blue) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer 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.

Date: March 05, 2018


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