The Streamsong Resort is in the middle of nowhere, and that’s fine for its golfing guests.
Sometimes being in the middle of nowhere has its perks, and you can’t find many places in the middle of nowhere like Bowling Green, Florida, which isn’t even a proper town or point in the middle of state. Tampa is an hour north and Sarasota is over an hour to the southwest. Most of the driving in the area is on unlit dirt roads.
Even more secluded is the sprawling Streamsong resort, which stretches over 16,000 hectares and whose remoteness is part of its charm. You’re more likely to spot a deer or alligator in the grass than a human in a pickup truck. Which makes Streamsong very, very quiet, apart from the sound of golf balls being hit over three state-of-the-art courses called Blue, Red and Black. According to Golf Digest, “Blue has bigger greens. Red has more roll-offs. Blue has the deeper bunkers. Red has more complicated bunker edges. Blue has more gambling water carried away by tea. ”(Black was added after this article came out.)
The Black Course is the newest of three in the Streamsong Resort.
The entire company attaches great importance to harmony with its natural surroundings, and since central Florida is as flat as a tortilla, the courses hike over scrub, tall grass and sand dunes, the slopes of which make them some of the highest peaks in the state. The golf courses were designed by Coore / Crenshaw, Doak and Hanse and all three were voted among the 100 best in the world by GOLF and Golfweek magazines. Both the Fall Classic (October 24-27) and the Resort’s Holiday Cup (December 11-13) are already sold out.
The land, once much greener and home to mastodons, hornless rhinos, humpback camels, and 9-foot crocodiles, was discovered with massive phosphate rock deposits – its numerous fossils gave it the name Bone Valley – and provided central Florida with a highly profitable industry. a major player with the Mosaic Company (as well as one of the largest landowners in Florida). When the phosphate was fished out, Mosaic recaptured the land with the help of biologists, botanists and environmental engineers.
Perch fishing can be arranged at the man-made lakes at Streamsong Resort.
I don’t play golf (I agree with Mark Twain when he said, “Golf is a good pampered stroll”) but as in any top resort, the streamsong had plenty of options for me to enjoy, including a modern spa, perch fishing and clay pigeon shooting at different skill levels. And if you really want peace and seclusion, where the purring of a golf cart is the loudest sound on campus, Streamsong is ideal. Simply taking a pristine stroll through the grounds and courses puts you in a kind of exploratory trance of a terrain that appears like a green, well-mowed, habitable planet. The sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular when storks and other birds wake up, so a morning stroll before the fierce Florida heat sets in is almost as refreshing as a dip in the infinity pool. The lakes on the property are very nicely laid out and landscaped. So if you’re not fishing, it’s worth going out in a boat with a guide to weave your way through the murky water in one mad movement.
The Streamsong Resort banquet building is an excellent study of modernity.
Alfonso Architects have given Streamsong a uniquely modern character, unlike so many southern golf resorts that look like Disneyworld hotels or replacement villas in the south. The facade isn’t particularly appealing and looks more like a corporate office than a welcoming resort, but the back of the building has some Mondrian-style panels and an adjoining very fine, minimalist banquet room overlooking the pool area. The lobby and hallways are exceptionally spacious with a ceiling drapery designed to resemble a giant sheet. The landscaping could use some flower beds as paint, as could the rooms.
The rooms at Streamsong Resort are spacious and take advantage of the area’s seagull landscape.
I found the front desk very welcoming and they immediately helped out with a snafu if I had to go back to catch a plane in Tampa.
There are 216 very good sized rooms with California style bathrooms and a central desk with two TV screens. Fortunately, the books on the shelf, most of which are what James Patterson’s paperback last guest left, are laudable classics, from Moby Dick to the poems of Wallace Stevens.
There are four excellent and very different restaurants at Streamsong, as well as taco and BBQ stalls on the golf courses, all of which deserve a detailed account which I will provide in an upcoming article.
Streamsong Resort feels like a 007 is trying to relax.
As mentioned earlier, the AcquaPietra Spa is a remarkable and beautifully blue-lit grotto-like space with nine treatment rooms. I was scheduled for a massage, but when I arrived I found a reason to refuse, and it is worth a caveat to be passed on to those who, like myself, are concerned about the counterproductive machinations of the Florida governor amid the state’s pandemic feel the traveler. His anger against vaccination and masking requirements has forbidden institutions like Streamsong from even asking if their employees are vaccinated – it wasn’t my assigned masseuse and only one waitress I’ve met – even though most executives wear badges, which show that they are vaccinated. The rest of the staff, who are believed not to have been vaccinated that way, are wearing masks. If that’s enough protection for a guest, fine, but worth pointing out and I wasn’t the first resort guest to ask.