RBC Canadian Open

Hamilton Golf & Country Club


Streamsong's Third Layout, Gil Hanse's Black


©2016 LC Lambrecht

September 22, 2017

If you've yet to play Gil Hanse's terrific Rio Olympics course in Brazil—we're looking at you, PGA Tour players—a more-than-reasonable substitute is Hanse's Black Course at Streamsong, the just-opened third 18 at the famed Central Florida resort. In fact, the Black is a bigger, broader, bolder version of Rio. The course is reshaped from a decades-old phosphate strip mine, and Hanse provided strategic character by building everything from a hidden punchbowl green to a par 4 with dual putting surfaces, and by prescribing tightly mowed turf everywhere.

Water is used sparingly, with just a meandering stream on the third and fourth and a lagoon cove guarding the 18th green. Hanse's massive, ragged-edged bunkers add to the windswept allure of the site. A full-service practice area called The Roundabout includes a 340-yard shortcut hole back to the clubhouse for those who wish to play just nine holes. But why would anyone want to do that here?