Florida’s Streamsong Red: A Masterpiece on Reclaimed Land

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The acclaimed Streamsong Resort is tucked away in central Florida’s remote and rugged mining country. Built on reclaimed land once ravaged by phosphate mining, the Red Course is a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design that has rapidly emerged as one of America’s top public courses.

One of three great courses at the Streamsong Resort, the Red course transports golfers from central Florida’s remote interior to a windswept links-style landscape dotted with sand dunes. It sprawls across former phosphate mining land, incorporating the mines’ dramatic contours and lakes into a one-of-a-kind strategic course.

In this post, we’ll feature Streamsong’s Red course, its development and design choices, and critical acclaim. We’ll close with a course walkthrough, recommended further reading, and some videos to bring the course to life.

If you enjoy these course writeups, consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter to receive updates on new posts, partners, and discount codes. For more information, check out the other courses featured in our Legendary Links series, which will soon be published in a book, “Links Around the World.”

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Streamsong Resort Red Course - The Greenside Gallery

About Streamsong

The Streamsong Golf Resort is located in central Florida, situated among towering sand dunes on land that was formerly a phosphate mine. The resort features three highly-ranked golf courses designed by some of the top architects in the game.

The first two courses opened in 2012 – Streamsong Blue, designed by Tom Doak, and Streamsong Red, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s team. These two routings share some crossover holes and feature dramatic elevation changes, sandy waste areas, and scenic lakes among the dunes. In 2017, Gil Hanse’s Streamsong Black opened as the third course. This Par 73 layout has been hailed as one of Hanse’s best designs, with rolling terrain and sandy ridges modeled after Australia’s acclaimed Sand Belt courses.

All three Streamsong courses are consistently ranked among the top public and resort courses in the U.S. Streamsong also offers premium lodging, dining, and amenities to complete the world-class golf experience. The resort aims to provide a pure golf experience immersed in the natural landscape, “the way golf was meant to be,” according to Streamsong. Streamsong offers a unique and acclaimed golf destination in central Florida with its remote setting and architect-designed courses.

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Development and Design

Streamsong Resort was developed on reclaimed phosphate mining land owned by The Mosaic Company near Fort Meade, Florida. Mosaic sought innovative ways to redevelop the 16,000 acres of land left behind after phosphate mining. They decided to build a world-class golf resort, bringing in renowned golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to design the first course, Streamsong Red, which opened in 2012.

The land that became Streamsong Red was initially mined for phosphate, leaving behind sand, contour changes, and bodies of water. Coore and Crenshaw worked carefully within the landscape to route and shape the course, moving very little dirt or sand. They incorporated the elevation changes, sand piles, and lakes into the design to create a unique golf experience. The architects were committed to maintaining the natural beauty and restoring native plants and grasses throughout the course.

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Reception and Rankings

The course has received widespread critical acclaim since its opening in 2012. Golf Digest almost immediately rated it among the Top 50 Courses in the U.S. when it debuted on the rankings list in 2013. It reached as high as #16 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in 2017. Golf Magazine also ranked Streamsong Red in its 2017-18 list of Top 100 Courses You Can Play, where it placed #24 overall and #3 among courses in Florida.

The course has drawn praise for its strategic design and incorporation of the unique mining site terrain. Tom Doak called Streamsong Red “the best new course I have seen in the last 20 years.” Architect Gil Hanse praised the routing and variety of shots created by Coore and Crenshaw. Golfers also compliment the fast greens, risk-reward options, and scenic views. Despite its remote location, Streamsong Red has received a tremendous positive reception since its opening and is considered one of the top public golf courses in the country.

In his book, “Sand and Golf,” George Waters highlights Streamsong’s Blue and Red courses, stating, “Streamsong looks and feels like a natural links, not the site of a former phosphate mine.” The Par-3 7th on the Blue looks like a links course for sure but retains an inland feel, being fronted by a pond. Bill Coore called the site “some of the most unusual, interesting and dramatic landforms we have ever encountered…the landscape is different than anything we’ve ever worked with.”

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The Course

Coore and Crenshaw designed Streamsong Red as a strategic, risk-reward golf course with no rough and wide fairways. The par-72 course measures 7,110 yards, with a course rating of 74.1 and a slope rating of 137. Streamsong Red plays as a hybrid, with links-style characteristics shared with some parkland-style target-golf, with water hazards in play. The course features large, fast greens with significant undulation and runoff areas. The routing maximizes scenic views across the reclaimed mining land.

The opening holes set the tone with thoughtful design, highlighted by creatively placed bunkers and the land’s natural contours. The water that comes into play, particularly on the par-3 7th, adds another dimension.

Coore & Crenshaw start players off with a challenging 474-yard par-4 1st hole that runs uphill to an elevated, back-to-front sloping green guarded by bunkers. It’s followed by the 555-yard par-5 2nd, a risk/reward hole with water right, and an ideal line obstructed by hazards. The 404-yard par-4 3rd demands an accurate tee shot between bunkers to a right-to-left sloping green, followed by the short risk-reward 4th with a shallow, sloped green requiring two accurate shots.

The brute 453-yard par-4 5th features a sand dune on the left side and doglegs right along a lake, leading to a two-tiered green, while the 185-yard par-3 6th plays to a massive green framed by dunes and bunkers. The 527-yard par-5 7th has water left with an ideal line that shortens the hole; layups must contend with a mound partially blocking the green. The 147-yard par-3 8th is notable for its beautiful bunkering and uniquely shaped green. Finally, the front nine wraps up with the drivable 312-yard par-4 9th, which has massive bunkers and a sloped green that repels shots long or left.

PhotoReal 3rd hole at streamsong red course midday

The Back Nine

The back nine presents a blend of challenging and visually stunning holes, requiring strategic play and offering a variety of landscapes. It begins with three straight, challenging par-4s featuring natural landscapes and strategic bunkering.

The 13th, a long par-5, requires strategic navigation around natural hazards and bunkering down the right side. The 14th is a picturesque par-3, featuring a challenging approach over water to a well-guarded green, while the long par-4 15th, one of the course’s best, is highlighted by a massive bunker and a sloping green.

The final stretch starts with the visually stunning 16th, a modern take on the “Biarritz par-3,” playing over water to a long green. The 17th is a par-4 that blends into its natural landscape with strategic bunkering, and the course concludes with the dramatic par-5 18th, offering a chance at birdie for a strong finish amid an amphitheater-like setting with massive sand dunes.

Visit Streamsong Red online at https://www.streamsongresort.com/golf-courses/streamsong-red/, where they supply a flyover of each hole on the course.

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PuttView Golf Books

PuttView Books are detailed yardage and green maps designed to help golfers save strokes, especially under tournament conditions. They offer precise visual representations of courses, including topographic slope percentages, fairway arrows for slopes over 4%, and a dual view of greens accurate to the millimeter. The books are printed on high-quality waterproof paper, sized to fit traditional yardage book covers, and are USGA legal. 

Customers praise PuttView Books for their stunning detail, stylish presentation, and the confidence they instill in decision-making on the course. With 30,000 courses represented, your home course is bound to be available, as are all three Streamsong Courses.

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Further Reading

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Sand and Golf
by George Waters

Summary: “Sand and Golf” explores how sandy terrain uniquely suits golf, studying similarities and differences between courses worldwide with sandy features. It examines all aspects of the relationship between sand and golf, from the sport’s origins in Scottish coastal dunes to its global spread onto sandy sites. Written by golf architect George Waters with a preface by renowned designer Tom Doak, it details through examples and illustrations why firm, rugged, windy sandy terrain makes creative shot-making integral to the game. The book appeals to knowledgeable golfers interested in course design and architecture, analyzing the art and science behind why golf belongs on sand.

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Anatomy of a Golf Course
by Tom Doak

Summary: The book explains the thought process and strategies used by golf course architects in designing courses, including factors like hole length, placement of hazards, and routing. It aims to help golfers understand why certain design choices are made so they can better approach playing the course. Written by acclaimed golf architect Tom Doak, it appeals to both knowledgeable golfers and beginners interested in course design and architecture. The book also includes an appendix with examples of noteworthy golf courses that are worth studying.


Streamsong Red – Review
Streamsong Red – Hole by Hole
Streamsong Red – Flyover

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