I just got back home from my day at Streamsong. Let me just say this at the top - that was the most awesome day I have ever spent on a golf course. Ever. Where to start....
Okay, at the beginning. We arrived at the course a little after 8am. This was the grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony. The architects - Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw & Tom Doak were there. We were greeted by eager, professional staff who took care of our clubs. I was asked my shirt size & later, when the round started, there was a goodie bag with a shirt, hat & a sleeve of Titleist ProV1's in it.
I walked around the clubhouse, met a few people, then walked out on the veranda overlooking the putting green. I looked to my left & there was Ben Crenshaw. I walked up to him & said "I want to shake the hand of a two-time Masters Champ." He could not have been nicer, and was very proud of Streamsong. He spent a good ten minutes talking to me about the land, the work he, Bill & Tom did. Total gentleman.
We were then treated to a great buffet breakfast, then a Q&A with the architects. After that, they went out to do the ribbon.cutting, then hit ceremonial tee shots. Ben ripped one about 270 down the middle. :)
Finally it was time for golf...but not before we got treated to lunch! We just ate breakfast two hours earlier, but they once again went all-out with a lunch buffet. Finally we get to our carts, where the aforementioned goodie bags were there. Then came the next treat - we had caddies! ChrisCat - my caddy was Billy Green, and he was awesome. Here's a pic of us on, I think it was #7 Red course -
That dude knew that course, and I totally let him guide me around it - "Where do you want me to put this, Billy?" was my standard phrase to him.
Now, the course. So many adjectives I could use, but when you distill them all down, the most appropriate, although not the most scintillating one is, unique. I have never played a course like that before, and certainly not in Florida. That wasn't a Florida course. It most closely resembles Scottish link-style course, with the absence of trees, undulating fairways & multiple shot options. The greens, they said they were Bermuda, but that was the fasted freekin' Bermuda I've ever played on! It took me a few hole to adjust to the speed, as I 3-putted 2 of the first 3 greens. Btu I didn't 3-putt another one after that, and on 16, which is one of the signature holes, a 195-yard par 3 over water to a HUGE, three tiered green, I hit a 3-hybrid to 25 feet & got the speed down perfectly on the putt & ran it in for a very satisfying birdie 2.
As has been stated, the site is an old phosphate mining site. They haven't mined there in almost 50 years, however, and since then Mother Nature has softened the harsh angles of a mining operation into a sloping, windswept, dunes-framed jewel of pure golf. Below are a few pics I took, but the pics previous posted are better, so I won't go overboard with them.
This is a total first-class operation in every aspect. The powers behind this effort have staked major coin in creating Streamsong, and they make no bones about the fact they want it to be like Bandon Dunes - they referenced BD a number of times. They are banking on well-heeled golfers to travel far off the beaten path - and trust me, this is WELL off the beaten path - to go to the middle of nowhere, plunk down a lot of money, and play golf in a very purist, pristine environment. But, I have to add, that even though the grass part of the course is as good as anything I've ever played, the course is framed by wild, unkempt grass and sand. That's by design. Streamsong definitely is rough around the edges...which it should be.
As for my game, it wasn't too bad. Two birdies (yay) 3 doubles (I didn't always put it where Billy said to). I shot an 81. But that didn't matter. It was an awesome day. I can't wait to go back.