November 28, 2017 By: Joe Passov – Golfers and design aficionados have lots to celebrate. Although new course openings have slowed in recent years, a clutch of original creations — from the likes of Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Gil Hanse — joined some inspired renovations to make 2017 memorable. New on this year’s list of best new courses is a special citation awarded to the pack of remarkable par-3 tracks that have popped up on the landscape — a welcome and inclusive trend. The short of it? Great design keeps elevating the game in great ways.
BEST NEW COURSE OF THE YEAR
Streamsong Resort (Black)
7,331 yards, par 73
Team the design skills of Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner with a massive sandy tract in central Florida and expectations for success will soar. When there are already two top-ranked courses on property — Coore-Crenshaw’s Red and Tom Doak’s Blue — the pressure to produce a winner becomes even more intense, although Hanse didn’t see it that way. The standard set by Coore, Crenshaw and Doak was so high that he and Wagner only needed to match it. They’ve accomplished just that — and then some. The Black course at Streamsong Resort opened in September, and it’s brawnier than its siblings, with wider fairways, bigger bunkers, larger greens, more expansive views, and tremendous memorability from hole to hole. Debate will be fierce in the years ahead as to which of the Streamsong courses is top dog. In the meantime, we’ll let the Black bask in its glory as GOLF’s Best New Course of the Year.