U.S. Open Sectional Heads to Streamsong Black
STREAMSONG, Fla. - Dubbed the longest day of golf, 14 U.S. Open sectional qualifiers will be held around the country with players vying for a spot in the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Florida’s sectional qualifier will head to the Black Course at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida on June 3 for 36 holes and a chance to earn an invitation to the U.S. Open.
One of Streamsong Resort's three courses, the Black Course opened in 2017. The Red and Blue courses were first on the property and were a unique collaboration between some of the brightest and most respected minds in golf architecture. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed the Red, while Tom Doak designed the blue. However, they were given the same property to work with, so the two courses weave between one another throughout the 18 holes.
Streamsong continued making waves with their decision to bring in Gil Hanse to design the Black course. Hanse has recently taken on restoration projects at some of the most prestigious and storied clubs in America, such as Los Angeles CC, Merion GC, Oakland Hills CC and Winged Foot GC. He is also compiling an impressive list of solo designs as well, including the Olympic Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Separated from the Red and Blue courses, the Black course operates on nearly 300 acres and is fairly notorious for its scale. The landing areas in fairways are very generous, but the immense and rumpled nature of the greens shrinks the fairways considerably as it requires that players think about where it would be best to approach the given hole locations from.
Most greens on the Red and Blue courses are anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, fairly large when compared to the industry as a whole. The greens on Black are regularly pushing 20,000 square feet, with a stretch of holes from number 8 to number 12 each over 20,000 and some even pushing 30,000 square feet.
Options are abound at the Black course. The firm condition of the fairways requires players to pause, think about their club selection and target line rather than blindly pulling driver and aiming down the center. Wrong decisions can lead to balls running through the fairways into the well positioned bunkers and expansive sandy waste areas.
The bold contours and vastness of the green complexes ensure that the target line off the tee changes when the hole location changes. Green surrounds are encompassed by short grass rather than rough, making it playable for higher handicaps while presenting a number of possibilities for players with imagination and capability. Introducing thought and indecision into a player's mind is a tremendous way to challenge top-level players, while still being engaging for all skill levels, a theme which is prevalent throughout the golf course.
The resort first opened in 2013, but its origin goes much further back. Streamsong’s developer, The Mosaic Company has owned the 16,000 acres that Streamsong operates for more than 50 years and mined the land for phosphates in the 1960s. The scale of the property is often noted upon visitors’ first trips and for good reason. The massive sand dunes were created during the phosphate mining process and make for tremendous vistas. Since being mined in the 1960s, the property has been left to nature, resulting in native grasses covering the sand dunes and a look unique to Florida.
Streamsong is no stranger to hosting state and national events. In 2016, Streamsong hosted the 2nd U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship on the Blue course. The Florida State Golf Association hosted the State Four-Ball Championship on the Blue course in 2015 and will host the Boys' and Girls' Junior Championships on the Red and Blue courses in late June and early July.