Evening sunset over Streamsong Reds opening hole
As the sun rises I am looking forward to playing Streamsongís red course. I did have a sneak preview last night as I was out photographing the blue while the sun went down, which only made me more restless to get out there. I am first out and with that beautiful morning sun hitting the dew-covered grass I tee off from my elevated view. I aim at the large right-hand bunker and play for the draw into the fairway, but I hit it straight Ė lucky itís long enough to carry the bunker Ė and I am off.
I have Smitty with me again today and because we are out before 8am you have to walk. But Streamsong is a walking course so you donít have to worry about long schlepps between tees. You can tell from the routing of the first that the red is going to be a tougher proposition than the blue, but the aesthetics of the course are no less stunning. The dunes are all in place and that links feel is there, and after playing the blue yesterday I know itís over an hourís drive away, but I still feel itís just over one of the dunes.
If you can get out early I would highly recommend it. The light is beautiful and the course is truly stunning. Looking back from the bridge that takes you to the second fairway, itís moments like these that I feel truly blessed to play the game of golf.
I am not going to run through holes as they are all stunning and as I stand on the elevated tee at the par-3 sixth Ė you get a sneak preview of the green when you putt on the fifth Ė I spot my first alligator of the trip. I am told they stay mainly in the water this time of year (late June) to keep cool. By the way, the zigzag thing is wrong as their eyes are on the sides of their head and zigzagging will play into their hands or should I say mouth! But thankfully they donít go for anything bigger than dogs and small children and unfortunately I left mine at home!
There are some great driving holes on the red and none more so than the seventh where you drive from an elevated tee over water and dunes. You need to thread the ball between the bunkers and waste areas and I must admit itís a great adrenalin rush when I see my ball hit the fairway and my caddy Smitty say itís perfect. The course has four teeing options so if you feel some carries are too much for you, just move up a tee or two. The course measures 7,148 yards from the greens down to 5,184 from the gold tees so you have plenty of options.
All the par-3s are great holes but the 16th gets a special mention because of its 72-yard green, which as you can imagine will play a big part in club selection. Then there is the massive dip that runs right across the green. Hitting the dance-floor is the easy part Ė reading a 70 yard putt on a rollercoaster green is a whole different story!
Another two strong holes bring a stunning round to an end and youíll be thankful of the wide fairway on the 18th. Itís a great hole to finish on and gives you a great birdie opportunity. Not that you will need anymore encouragement to come back and play this wonderful track, but nothing beats finishing on a high. Itís when you start on a high you know youíre in a special place, and Streamsong is that and much more.
A fitting finale, the 540-yard par 5, 18th hole
Early morning sun at the 5th Looking down on the 6th The 72-yard long 16th green