HANSE’S BLACK COURSE ADDS TO STREAMSONG

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RORY SPEARS Director of Creation and Content for the Golfers on Golf Radio and Golfersongolf.com stands in front of the 18th green on Gil Hanse’s Streamsong Black Course in central Florida. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and or friend him on Facebook

BACK IN THE BLACK is what the Streamsong is, with the opening of architects Gil Hanse’s Black Course at the Central Florida resort.

What opened a few years back with Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s Red Course, and Tom Doak’s Blue Course, has now grown to family of three courses.

That number will grow to four over the next few years, when the resorts White Course is built, and it seems to be very common knowledge around the dunes of Streamsong that ownership is listening to bids and idea’s from designers who want in on that course.

The Par 5, 1st hole on Streamsong Black.

But for now it’s 54 holes or maybe 55 if you wish to count the extra par 3 hole (good for settling bets) that Doak added behind the 18th green of his Blue Course.

The Black Course takes Streamsong’s golfers to a different part of the resorts massive amount of land. Located away from the Red and Blue Course, Black takes advantage of a little more elbow room as Hanse spread’s it’s 18 holes out pretty well. As a result, golfers will feel some serious elevation change especially on the front nine.

The first hole gives the golfer a great feel for what the round will be like. It’s a Par 5, that moves around from tee to green. On your tee shot there is plenty of elbow room. You can pull it a bit left and make a shorter route into the green, if your fade or slice kicks in and sends you out to the right, you will still be in great shape hitting your second shot. A well placed third shot from a wedge or short iron, should give you a look at birdie.

This landmark greets golfers on the way to the third tee of Streamsong Black.

The second hole is a short par 4 with the back two tees between 326 and 361. There is a wide fairway but waste bunker area’s on both sides.

But you need to be on the money with your approach shot, the second green is one that Donald Ross would be proud of. This elevated crowned green leaves a majority of golfers chipping or putting up the backside on their third shot after having their approach shot go over, and then hoping to get back close  to the pin to save par. A common line being mumbled after putting out on the second green, is something to the extent of, what was Hanse thinking here? It’s a question that begs for an answer.

The elevated Par 3, 5th hole, smart play here is to REALLY use enough club, don’t want to be short.

By the fourth hole elevation change from a lower to an upper fairway comes into play. The Par 3, 5th hole requires a serious uphill play.

Then the course settles downward and loops the golfers back into the ninth green, where Hanse has created a stellar punchbowl green. A well placed approach shot can leave you with a short putt for birdie and or par.

The back nine winds the routing through smaller dunes and open area’s, with the exception being the par 5, 12th hole, that leaves some uphill carry on the approach shot. Down the stretch there are two late par 3’s that are fun to play. The 15th hole is the first one, and can play under 100 yards even though 100-125 yards is normal. Beware of the front pin, unless you can use the slope and back up your wedge into the green. The par 3, 17th plays closer to two hundred yards, but a little left-right on your tee ball should bring you in close enough for a birdie putt.

CLICK HEAR TO HEAR Our interview with Streamsong Director of Golf Scott Wilson, and his thoughts on the new Streamsong Black course by Gil Hanse.

The 18th hole is the third Par 5, on the back nine, so the Black Course ends up with a par of 73, yardage ranges from the front Gold tee’s at 5293, to Silver at 6,240, the Black tee’s are 6,759 and the Green tips are 7,331.

For more information on Streamsong’s three courses, lodge, spa, restaurants and other activities please visit streamsongresort.com.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.