After playing the Red Course on the previous afternoon, my second day at Streamsong Resort started bright and early with breakfast in the restaurant at 6:30am. For the morning game Hans and I would be joined by Fred who was another early arrival from our group. The three of us were going to be the first group off on Tom Doak’s Blue Course at 7:35am, so we were being extra attentive to stay on schedule and make sure we didn’t start the resort’s day off on a bad foot. By time we finished our breakfast, found our clubs and rolled a few putts it was time to hit the first tee. The yardages below are from the 6,698 yard black tees that we played.
Hole 1 – Par 4 – 330 Yards
The opening hole on the Blue course is a tempting short par 4 that, under the proper conditions, could be driveable for longer hitters. There isn’t much of an opening between the bunkers for rolling the ball onto the green, so the smart shot is hitting a club that will leave a short wedge shot into the green.
Below is a view up closer to the green that illustrates how accurate a shot must be to run onto the green. I think that to have any real chance of reaching the green a player would have to carry the ball a good 280-290 yards.
Hole 2 – Par 5 – 530 Yards
Next we have a nice par 5 with a fairly forgiving tee shot. The aggressive line for big hitters is to hug the bunker on the right side of the fairway to get into position to reach the green in two. For the normal folks who will play this as a 3 shot hole the tee ball can be safely hit just about anywhere out to the left.
Below is a look into the green from 3rd shot territory.
Here is a closer view of the green itself.
Hole 3 – Par 4 – 370 Yards
At the third hole we have a classic risk/reward shot. The more a player challenges the water the shorter their approach shot will be. From the black tees a very safe shot is to aim just to the right of the bunker in the middle of the fairway. That will leave roughly a 150 yard shot into the green.
Below is a view of the green from about 60 yards out.
Hole 4 – Par 4 – 417 Yards
This lengthy par 4 can be a bit of a challenge. There is plenty of room in the fairway, but going too far to the right will lengthen the hole and bring the huge bunker near the green into play. I think the middle or left side here is the best position.
Here is a view of the green from about 100 yards out. Notice the large bunker that is about 50 yards from the green. Getting in this bunker is not likely to result in anything good.
Hole 5 – Par 3 – 121 Yards
At the 5th hole we get our first par 3 on the course and its a great one. Depending on the wind and the hole location this shot can be anything from a short iron to a hybrid. With a green that is 75 yards deep this hole can really be set up differently from day to day. The construction project in the background and that you will see in some of photos of their course is the hotel.
Oh yeah, and don’t hit it left or else you end up with a situation like Hans is in below.
Here is a view of the green from the front. Its not really visible in this photo but there is a bit of a bowl in the back right of this green.
Hole 6 – Par 4 – 317 Yards
Here we have another fun short par 4. Again, I suspect that this will be driveable for some longer hitting players, especially with the lack of bunkers in front of the green. I hit a really good drive on this hole and still came up about 50 yards short.
As mentioned just above, there are no bunkers fronting this green which makes it very accessible for longer hitters.
Below is a look at the green from the back left corner walking to the next hole’s tee.
Hole 7 – Par 3 – 188 Yards
I was in no way prepared for the sight I found when I walked onto the 7th tee box. Even though this hole seemed to be the most used by the media in the lead up to the resort’s opening, I found it to be even more awe inspiring in person. I don’t know what this landscape reminded me of it but sure wasn’t Florida. The green here is huge so it is no guaranteed two putt.
Hole 8 – Par 4 – 437 Yards
The 8th hole is a stout par 4 that requires a couple of good shots to reach the green in regulation. The bunker in the middle of the fairway takes a good 270 yards in the air to carry, so opting to play to the left or right of the bunker is going to be a good plan for most players.
A long iron or hybrid into this green is a likely scenario for most players. Drives that are further left in the fairway are going to bring the waste area into play more than those that are on the right side of the fairway.
Hole 9 – Par 5 – 541 Yards
After a long par 4 we follow that up with a fairly lengthy par 5. The bunkers on the right can be carried, but the much more sensible play is to hit the drive out to the left. There is a TON of room available over there and I’m not sure its possible to go too far left. This is a 3 shot hole so my philosophy is to avoid the trouble at all costs.
Here is a look at the green.
Hole 10 – Par 3 – 161 Yards
The back nine starts off with a mid length par 3. With the hole in the back like it is in the photo below the greenside bunker comes into play a bit more than when the hole is in the front.
Here is a look a the green from over on the far right side of the hole.
Hole 11 – Par 4 – 454 Yards
Here we have a very lengthy par 4. The bunkers are not really an issue to carry, so a long ball that finds short grass is the play here.
Below is a look into the green from about 120 yards out. This is a long hole and making par is a great score.
Here is a little closer view of the green.
Hole 12 – Par 4 – 390 Yards
The 12th is a mid length par 4 with relatively no trouble on the tee shot. Something down the middle and long out to do the trick here.
Below is a look at the approach shot into the green. There is a waste area and a bunker to carry in order to successfully find the putting surface. The green is two tiered so when the hole is cut up front it makes for a nice back stop on shots that go a little long.
Here is another view of the green.
Hole 13 – Par 4 – 293 Yards
The temptation to drive the green will be great for many players on this hole, but in my opinion, it is simply not worth the risk. The hole is very narrow and is so short that it will still yield a great birdie opportunity for players who hit a 220 yard shot off the tee.
Here is a closer look at the green. The front is open and accepting of shots running on the ground, but I still think the smart play is not hitting driver here.
Hole 14 – Par 5 – 510 Yards
Below is a view from the 14th tee. Here players are offered the opportunity to challenge the water and shorten the second shot into the green. I found the bunkers in the distance to be a good aiming point and a line that still put me in position to reach the green in two.
Here is a look at the green from about 120 yards out.
Hole 15 – Par 4 – 398 Yards
The 15th hole is a lengthy par 4 without much trouble off the tee. Blasting one down the middle is an excellent tactic here.
Below is a look at the green from 100 yards out or so. From this angle the mound makes an aerial approach the prudent play.
Here is a closer view of the green.
Hole 16 – Par 3 – 215 Yards
The final par 3 on the course is a long one. Playing 215 yards and a little bit uphill make this a tough shot for many players. There is plenty of room to be short and plenty of bail out room on the left.
Below is a little closer look at the green from the left side.
Hole 17 – Par 5 – 573 Yards
I thought this long par 5 was a great hole. Tee balls hit down the middle or left side of the fairway make for the best angle into the green. This is going to be a three shot hole for virtually everyone, so the best plan is to get the tee ball into position to carry the bunkers on the second shot. Note that the bunker on the left side is in play off the tee.
Here is a view of the second shot from near the left fairway bunker.
Below is a view of the green from above the cross bunkers and on the left side of the hole.
Hole 18 – Par 4 – 453 Yards
Tom Doak gives us one last beast of a par 4 to close out the Blue Course. Aiming down the left side of the fairway will yield the best angle into the green and avoid the fairway bunkers down the right side.
Here is the long second shot into the green. The huge bunker in the middle is likely to catch ill conceived layup shots for players who aren’t able to hit the green in two. I suspect there will be a great number of people playing this as a three shot hole when the wind is not favorable.
After we finished up on the 18th green we headed back to the clubhouse and stumbled across the 19th hole just off of the practice putting green. This is a little 100 yard shot to a tiny little green and a fun bet settler. Be sure to take the time to hit a shot here.
When Hans, Fred and I got off the course we met up with the rest of the guys in our group for lunch in the clubhouse. Having seen both courses everyone wanted to know which one I liked better. I think thats always a hard question to answer, especially when the two courses being compared are both so great. That said, I think I favored the Blue course just a little bit. There were some odd spots in the routing that I didn’t love, but I really liked Doak’s huge blowout style bunkers, the variety of different types of holes and the super wide fairways. I think the width actually makes the Blue Course a little bit more scoring friendly than the Red Course. In fact, for one of my rounds on the Blue Course I played with a 19 handicap who shot 42 on the front. If not for a triple on a par 3 he could have been lower. Unfortunately he fell apart on the back and ended up shooting 91 . . . which is a score he was more than happy with.
To sum up my thoughts on the two courses at Streamsong Resort . . . they are both fantastic. I really enjoyed playing both of them and think that having an option like this for warm weather golf in the winter is going to be GREAT for us east coasters. I’ll be interested to see what the future holds for Streamsong Resort. I think we may just be seeing the beginning of something spectacular.