Review of the Month November 2017 - Streamsong (Black)
When Streamsong opened 36 holes featuring Tom Doak's Blue layout and Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore's Red course there was little to question the design quality, which is far beyond the pedestrian level found at many Florida courses.
A third course was planned to join the twosome early on. Given the standard of existing golf, the bar to meet what was already done would be a tough chore for just about any architect. In a brilliant move, the ownership opted to bring on board likely the only person capable in not only equaling what had already been done but also surpassing it.
Gil Hanse is arguably the most sought after architect in all of golf design today. His blast-off has been nothing less than rocket-like in its ascendancy. Hanse's successes are especially noteworthy for the range of his efforts – both in the restoration and in creating new efforts. It was Hanse who won the design job for creating the 18-hole layout for the '16 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Hanse resurrected a tired Doral Blue layout for Donald Trump in Florida. He also played a major role in bringing to the forefront all of the qualities George Thomas originally created for LACC's North Course, which will host the '23 US Open after many years in declining such involvement.
Hanse has worked his magic with other restoration efforts involving the likes of Winged Foot, Aronimink, Oakland Hills, Southern Hills, Plainfield, to name just a few. On the new course scene his design at Rustic Canyon leapfrogged a number of LA-area daily fee courses that were clearly overmatched by this affordable public gem. The same can be said when Hanse partnered with Mark Parsinen at Castle Stuart in Scotland. Other notable layouts include Mossy Oak in Mississippi and Boston Golf Club in Massachusetts, among several others. In short, Hanse took on the Streamsong project and all eyes would be watching to see if he could again step to the forefront and continue his incredible momentum.
The answer is yes he has…
Streamsong clearly provides a golf product that moves completely away from the low level results seen at so many other courses in Florida. There's no doubt the resort is sequestered away from the ongoing festivities of nearby Tampa and Orlando respectively and for some a visit of a few days will suffice. The resort has seen fit to add a number of top tier amenities to keep guests from developing any wanderlust.
In simple terms, if you consider yourself a core golfer and you head to Florida -- Streamsong should be front and center on one's agenda. Hanse stepped into a difficult situation given the momentum already in place, but, as he has done with other efforts, the net result is an imaginative layout that distinguishes itself very, very well.
By M. James WardReview of the Month November 2017 selected by Editor-in-Chief, Keith Baxter – click to read more about Streamsong (Black).