The search for Streamsong

By |  July 29, 2013

These next few trips will have the added time scheduled in so I can sneak down for a round at Streamsong. I’m going to take my bosses with me, and score some points. I’d advise you to do the same.

The title of this column may be “Keeping up with the Jones,” but sometimes, I can’t keep up with myself.

Take this issue, for example. I‘m finishing off the month’s cover story at 35,000 feet as I fly over the Atlantic Ocean en route to England. Cover stories are typically written weeks in advance. I’m the guy finishing mine hours before deadline, before I touch down for a week overseas.

Oof!

I really couldn’t wait to get this cover story out. When I made a trek through Florida earlier in the year, several superintendents asked me if I had visited Streamsong yet. I attempted to arrange a last-minute tour, but it didn’t work out.

I returned to Florida a few weeks later, and this time I was prepared. I contacted my friends at KemperSports and they set up my visit.

The drive was as discouraging as could be. My GPS couldn’t help me, and after an hour of being lost (I hate being lost) I swallowed my pride and called course superintendent Rusty Mercer. “I’m lost,” I groaned. “I know,” Mercer responded. “Everyone gets lost trying to find us. But I’m going to get you here.”

Mercer gave me step-by-step directions, concise and accurate. There were moments I thought I was lost again, based on how deep I was in the backwoods of Florida, but then a landmark would pop up telling me I was on the right path.

But here’s a hint: If you are driving to visit the maintenance building, don’t bother driving up to the clubhouse to ask directions. It’s a long, windy road, and they’ll just tell you to turn around and go back the way you came. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peek at the course from the clubhouse, and it’ll kill you to see the course and not get out. So close, yet so far away.

Mercer greeted me at his shop and we chatted briefly. Rain was threatening, and he asked me what I wanted to do. Of course I wanted to see the two courses: the Red, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, and the Blue, designed by Tom Doak. We grabbed our rain gear, hopped on his Gator, and headed out.

The superintendents who tipped me off to the course were right. Streamsong is a special place you have to see to believe. I tweeted and blogged some photos from the course, but they certainly didn’t do the course justice. This month’s cover photo about does it justice. But nothing can take the place of standing there in person. I know there’s a lot of hyperbole surrounding the course, but it really is a sight to behold.

I know I find myself once, maybe twice a year in Orlando. These next few trips will have the added time scheduled in so I can sneak down for a round at Streamsong. I’m going to take my bosses with me, and score some points. I’d advise you to do the same.

Come to think of it, the 2014 Golf Industry Show is in Orlando. Take my advice and schedule some time to get down there. Tell Rusty and head pro Scott Wilson that Seth from Golfdom sent you.

As nice as the course is, the crew working there is even nicer. Rusty, Scott, Kyle Harris and the crew are all great guys who want to see the course and resort do well. As Scott told me, there are no egos at Streamsong. “Everyone is just awed by the property,” he told me, “And we want to see it succeed.”

As you’ll see in my cover story, there are a lot of interesting things going on at Streamsong. I hope my story does the course some justice. Because once you find it, you’ll immediately want to figure out how quickly you can get back.

Email Jones at: sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

 

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