The Grand Opening Experience of Streamsong Black PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

The magnificent par 3 - fifth hole at Streamsong Black




It was a gorgeous sunny Monday afternoon at Streamsong Resort

for the Grand Opening of their latest (sure to be Top 100) layout - Gil

Hanse's Black Course. September 25th, 2017 was a day that many in

the golf design, resort and media industry had circled on their calendars.

It's always an honor to get the invite to events such as this and when

Streamsong and Kemper Sports team up to host an celebration of this

magnitude, you know it'll be a day to remember.



In the coming days we'll give a detailed hole by hole description of

Hanse's new creation in it's entirety, but in this post it's all about

giving you the experience of being on hand for the Grand Opening.



This was the official itinerary for the day. I was fortunate to be in group

1b with Streamsong Director of Golf Scott Wilson, Golfweek's resident

course architecture expert Bradley Klein and PGA Magazine's Ryan

Adams. Group 1a was Course Designer Gil Hanse, Mosaic CFO and

Streamsong visionary Rich Mack, Kemper Sports President Josh Lesnik,

and Golf Channel's Matt Ginella.








For me personally, it was 8 months of anticipation since I bumped into

Mosaic's Vice President of Land Development and Management - Tom

Sunnarborg at January's PGA Show in Orlando. When we discussed the

opening of Streamsong Black back then, Tom just flashed that big smile

of his and said, "The grand opening will be in late September, and You

won't be disappointed". Five and a half years ago it was Sunnarborg

that gave me a site tour of the Red & Blue courses during the grow in

period, so he was pretty confident that I'd appreciate what Gil Hanse

& Jim Wagner had created with the resort's third course. The resort

can now stake claim to being the only destination on earth with Doak,

Coore/Crenshaw, and Gil Hanse designs in one location.









Gil Hanse spoke genuinely about how this project meant so much to him

and his design partner Jim Wagner. He described the joy of getting the

opportunity to work with an untouched parcel of land of the scale and sand

component that's an architects dream. Hanse became emotional as he

expressed how appreciative he was to Rich Mack and Mosaic (the parent

company of Streamsong) for including Jim's name on the clubhouse plaque

(pictured above).

He went on to thank everyone involved with the project and gave special

thanks to Streamsong Director of Agronomy Rusty Mercer and his staff.

Gotta love when the guys who do much of the heavy lifting day to day

get a round of applause.







Tom Sunnarborg, Gil Hanse and Rich Mack at the Grand Opening ceremony.








Rich Mack, Mosaic's visionary behind what we now know as Streamsong Resort,

and Black Course designer Gil Hanse cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening











The new clubhouse and Bone Valley Tavern restaurant at Streamsong Black

is your first impression driving up to the entry of the resort's latest attraction.

Award winning architect Alberto Alfonso, who created the unique design for

Streamsong's original resort lodge and clubhouse, crafted another gem just

a mile down the road from the mothership. Sleek, elegant and simple in both

it's style and function, the clubhouse at the Black is unlike any I've seen at a

golf facility. As you play the course, it's streamlined and low profile look so

brilliant on the horizon. Afterwards enjoy watching the sunset or gazing at

the stars with a drink beside the fire pit.







The par 4 second hole.



As group of nearly 100 or so golf media and other dignitaries within the

industry, we teed of at 1:30 pm after a warm welcome of food, drinks

and the opening ceremony. As I stated earlier, being in group 1(b) was a

fortunate draw that also may have allowed me to have the best caddie in

the house - Brian Wilson. B.W was spot on with reads and club selections

all round long, but more importantly was pleasant and invested in my

experience. We had absolute chamber of commerce conditions for an

event in central Florida in late September - mid 80's and sunny with a

enough of a breeze to make the walk enjoyable and club selection a bit

of a challenge at times.


Is there anything better than walking a brand new (sure to be top 100)

golf course with really great people and having your sticks looped by an

upbeat and skilled caddie? The course was everything Hanse said it was,

big, bold and fun (I'll get into more specifics and details in the upcoming

course review). The group did all they could to help me triumph in my

beverage wager with Matt Ginella who said "Game On" walking off the

eleventh tee at +1 when he heard I was even par. But nobody could keep

me from faltering coming in, including three putts at the 13th and 17th.

Then after the best knock of the day on the 530 yard finale, all we had left

was 208 (and the only thought was about trying to make 3 and getting back

to level par) but the 4 iron approach got a little too much of the big ball before

the dimpled one, and plunged into the ravine that fronts the most dramatic

finisher at the resort. The only double of the day was the result. As I caught

up with Matty G in the Bone Valley Tavern afterwards, he confessed that he

also misplayed the 18th and finished at the same score (+4) for the round. A

rematch will have to be in order for sure (perhaps a home and home with

Winter Park 9/ Palm Beach Par3) . . .





Some images from the new Black Course:


Greenside at the sixth









Fairway view on the Thirteenth









Short par 3 fifteenth









Just outside the clubhouse is Gil Hanse's "Gauntlet" putting course.








Ryan Adams (from PGA Magazine) and I came right off the 18th green

after our round and took on "The Gauntlet". This is an ideal spot like the

"Punchbowl" at Bandon Dunes for drinks and casual competition before

or after dinner with friends.






Some of the really cool grand opening keepsakes from the day.






As far as new course openings go, this

was about as grand an event as you

could imagine. Head Golf Professional

Scott Wilson was the perfect host, as

were all of the fine folks at Streamsong

and Kemper Sports.


As far as the Black Course is concerned,

if you like hitting lots of fairways and

enjoy having a variety of different types

of approach shots into large greens, then

the Black will thrill you. The challenge

really begins once you reach the greens

on Gil's big and bold new design. These

are truly some of the most fascinating

putting surfaces you'll ever encounter -

an instant must play. It checked all the

boxes of fun and challenging golf for me.


Oh and wait until you see the uber

Punchbowl ninth green! It's Raynor on

steroids . . .


There's no doubt in my mind that the

Black is destined to be an instant Top

100 ranked course.


I loved this gun metal gray Streamsong

logo (pictured right) that's affixed to the

clubhouse wall that faces The Gauntlet

putting course. They didn't miss a detail





As we enjoyed the delicious gourmet tavern selections after the round in the

clubhouse at Bone Valley, Scott Wilson probably could sense that I was a tad

disappointed to finish with that train wreck at the last, but being the class act

he is, reminded me that we would've had a hell of a best ball score.


After thank-yous and goodbyes were said, I headed for the valet station just

as the sun was vanishing on the horizon. As I looked back at everyone inside

the clubhouse having a great time celebrating this fabulous new place, I thought

about the tens of thousands that will do the same in years and decades to come.

I couldn't help but think about Rich Mack's vision to turn this old phosphate mining

property in the middle of nowhere into the destination it has become today.

Just remarkable.


With a long winding road ahead, there was nothing left but to hit the road, and

channel an American music icon that we had just lost . . .


I rolled on as the sky drew dark

I put the pedal down to make some time

There's something good waitin' down this road

I'm pickin' up whatever's mine

Yeah, runnin down a dream . . .

R.I.P Tom Petty




For more information on Streamsong Black: