Since the golf courses at Streamsong opened in December of 2012, I’ve heard several thoughts and opinions about it. Many revolved around the ultimate failure of the resort: “it’s in the middle of nowhere”, ‘it’s too far from any major airport’ and “all there is to do is golf” seemed to be among the most popular. Another popular theory was that the entire Streamsong project was just a tax write-off for Mosaic, the parent company; somewhat of a make-good with the Environmental Protection Agency for all those years of phosphate mining and the impact it had on the natural habitat of the area.
It’s been almost two years now and Streamsong is going stronger than ever. When it opened, Streamsong’s offerings we limited: 36 holes of golf (some might say the finest golf in the state), a steakhouse and 12 guestrooms – located on the second floor of the clubhouse. It remained that way until the fall of 2013 when the 216 room lodge officially opened. Each guest room has been custom-built and offers spectacular views of the surrounding lakes and wildlife habitat.
Streamsong is officially located in Bowling Green, FL and is about 60 miles from Tampa and 80 miles from Orlando. Both course has receive all kinds of accolades: both have been recognized by GOLF Magazine in the publication’s “Best New Courses 2012” list. Streamsong Red, designed by Coore & Crenshaw, was named the “Best New U.S. Course You Can Play” while Streamsong Blue, designed by Renaissance Golf Design (with Tom Doak at the helm), received honorable mention in the same category.
Kemper Sports manage the golf operations at the resort, while Interstate Hotels & Resorts has overall management responsibility for the resort.
Originally, Streamsong offered 12 guest rooms which were – and still are – located on the second level in the clubhouse. Nowadays, these rooms share a common area which, by today’s standards, would be considered a “mancave” on steroids. The rooms are spacious, inviting and well-equipped. They are strategically located, allowing guests to spend extra time at the bar the night before or just head downstairs for some putting practice.
Today, there is a 216-room lodge on property, which by and of itself is a masterpiece. It’s made from stone and wood and glass, each with its own story on how it ended up as a part of this structure. Our room was considered a standard guest room; I considered it fantastic. The first thing you see when you walk through the door is the large sectional couch with a chaise on one end. To the right is the extra-large king size bed complete with high quality linens. Separating the two rooms is a large island with not one but two large flat screen televisions – one facing each way. All of the furnishings have a modern look – luxury and comfort are the fares of the day. What really caught my eye were the window treatments – large, thick pieces of lumber linked together beautifully and elegantly and creating total darkness at night.
With a total of only 228 rooms, you would think that four restaurants might be overkill but I was surprised at how busy they were; especially that ‘the season” wasn’t quite upon us. The restaurant is named Fifty-Nine, which to golfers symbols the ultimate achievement in the game – a score attained by only a handful of PGA Tour players. No-one at Streamsong has put up a 59 yet, to the best of my knowledge.
Although it’s billed as a high-tier steakhouse, Fifty-Nine is open for breakfast and lunch too. During our stay, I ate all three meals there at one time or another and was impressed by each one. The breakfast menu is limited – after all, there is only so much you can do with eggs, bacon and home fries – but each dish was individually prepared. The Eggs Benedict Fifty-Nine was incredible. The burgers and sandwiches served at lunch (or dinner) were fresh and fried foods were crisp and tasty. Although steak is what this venue is best known for – and believe me, they live up to their billing – our visit will best be remembered for the caramel bacon sundae. You read right – bacon. And not just bacon – candied bacon; atop toffee crunch ice cream in a cup lined with caramel! It sounds like an odd combination but trust me, it’s delicious!
Streamsong’s other restaurants include P205, which is located on the ground floor of the hotel and serves all three meals of which breakfast is a mainstay (and well done to boot) and Sotto Terra Ristorante, an upscale jacket-required establishment that offers hearty portions of basic Italian fare as well as a variety of fresh seafood.
Just in case you get bored (or beat up) by golf, there other activities at the resort to take part in. Try your hand at a guided bass fishing tour on one of the many lakes on property or take a shot at sporting clays. All firearms and ammo are supplied at the resort. A uniquely designed grotto-style full-service spa featuring eight treatment rooms, a heated pool with a vanishing edge, and a hair and nail salon round out the amenities at this fine luxury resort.
For more information on Streamsong Resort, give them a call at (863) 428-1000 or visit their website at www.streamsongresort.com.