Streamsong – Bowling Green, Fla.
The addition of Streamsong’s Black course
continued a strong run of openings and
renovations for Gil Hanse and his design team.
Hanse transformed 300 acres of strip-mined
desolation into a par- 73 layout that twists and
turns through the undulating terrain. As a
result, Streamsong now has a third top-ranked
course to go with the resort’s existing Red
course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and
the Blue course by Tom Doak. The trio transports golfers to a different part of the world,
as the rolling elevation changes will make you
forget that you’re in Florida.
The resort’s Lakeside Lodge features 216
custom-built guest rooms and suites, with
views of the surrounding lakes and wildlife
habitat. It offers a combination of modern sophistication and rustic flare, giving it a unique
vibe that matches the golf course aesthetics.
The clubhouse features 12 cabin-themed
guest rooms, a hospitality room, the golf shop
and an outdoor terrace overlooking a lake and
the dramatic golf course terrain. Four casual
and fine dining restaurants include Restaurant
Fifty-Nine, Bone Valley Tavern, P2O5 and
Sotto Terra. There are also multiple bars including a rooftop lounge.
Beyond the golf and accommodations,
Streamsong is the perfect destination for the
active outdoorsman. It offers a number of engaging activities such as clay shooting, guided
bass fishing, archery and hiking trails.
Sun Valley Resort – Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley Resort is recognized as America’s
first ski resort, having opened in 1936. It
rests in the shadows of Bald Mountain, which
stretches 9,150 feet above sea level and offers
more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.
While winter sports are the resort’s bread and
butter, Sun Valley also boasts a full lineup of
summer activities that include 45 holes of
The Robert Trent Jones designed Trail Creek
opened in 1980 and is the most mature of the
three courses. Golf Digest recently named it
among the Top 75 Resort Courses in America.
Most holes on the traditional alpine-style
layout are majestically framed by towering cot-
tonwood trees with the beautiful Trail Creek
meandering through the course and coming
into play on seven of the first nine holes. The
semi-private Elkhorn Golf Club combines a
parkland feel with mountain golf to deliver
a unique 18-hole experience. The front nine
RTJ, Jr. designed the back.
White Clouds is the newest offering at
Sun Valley. The nine-hole layout sits atop a
ridge and is best described as “alpine links.”
Following industry trends, it provides guests
with a shorter alternative to a full-length
round of golf. Shorter, however, does not
mean easier. It’s an intriguing golf experience
with each hole requiring your full attention
and shot-making ability.
Sun Valley is far more than just golf. It’s a
family-oriented destination that offers some
of the best amenities you’ll find at any resort.
They offer one of the only free outdoor symphonies in the country, yearlong indoor and
outdoor ice skating, hiking trails, horseback
riding, mountain bike trails and more. To view
it all, you can take the gondola to the top of
Bald Mountain and enjoy the breathtaking
views from The Roundhouse restaurant.
TPC Danzante Bay – Loreto, Mexico
TPC Danzante Bay rests on the coastline of
the Sea of Cortez – an oceanic wonder Jacques
Cousteau once called “the world’s aquarium.”
It’s not an exaggeration to call the much-ac-claimed 17th hole one of the best par 3s in
the world. Designer Rees Jones calls it “My
Mauna Kea” – a nod to the Hawaiian course
designed by his father (Robert Trent Jones)
that’s home to one of the most recognizable
par 3s on the planet.
Interestingly enough, the 17th hole was not
part of the original layout. But after developer
Owen Perry and Jones saw the jagged land
they knew it would be worth the extra effort.
After cresting a ridge beyond the 16th green,
golfers are met with a view of the Sea of
Cortez that sits 250 feet below the tee box. It
can be played as long as 164 yards, and the
shortest tee resides just 80 yards from the
The wonderment of the remaining holes is
not to be lost in the magnificence of the 17th.
There could be three or four signature holes if
you counted them up. You’ll remember every
shot you strike at the par- 5 second, par- 3 third
and par- 4 seventh.
The track meanders through cavernous canyons, treks across desert landscapes and offers
breathtaking seaside golf – all accomplished
within 18 holes. Stunning views of the Sea of
Cortez are sprinkled throughout, and during
the right season you can see whales frolicking
in the crystal blue waters.
The course is the crown jewel of the luxury
master-planned community, with a variety
of real estate plots that include a limited
collection of Baja contemporary single-family
estates (2-5 bedrooms), starting from $1.7
The 188-suite resort faces the sea and offers
three restaurants, five swimming pools, beautiful beaches, tennis courts, miles of hiking
trails, glass-bottom kayaks, sport fishing and a
40,000-square foot spa. m
At the time this article was written, Tony Starks was the
Associate Editor of PGA Magazine. He currently serves as
the lead copywriter for TaylorMade Golf.
The 17th hole at TPC Danzante Bay
is one of the most recognizable
par 3s on the planet.