Among the old phosphate mines, Streamsong Resort carves a niche for golfers
BOWLING GREEN, Fla. (FOX 13) - Carved into the middle of Polk County is a golf resort that is making its reputation as one of the best-known places to say "fore!"
Streamsong's 16,000 acres are about 30 miles inland and 25 miles south of Lakeland in Polk County's Bowling Green. After you leave Interstate 75, there are plenty of turns down two-lane roads. A 200-room lodge is a sudden sign of humanity.
"You are going to see nothing (around here)," said Scott Wilson, the director of golf. "It is nice and quiet. You might hear a train or a plane. You hear the rustling of the grass, the wind, it's really special."
Since 2013, the resort, which is owned by the Mosaic mining company, has won over 50 awards. Golfing publications have placed the resort’s three courses at the top of best links open to the public.
Streamsong may be most famous for being on an old phosphate mine. The remnants of it are the dunes, some 100 feet tall. They were made as part of the mining process. Now they are part of the course.
"You have what you have, you don't have to move much dirt, and there it is, there is a golf course," said Wilson. "It is unnaturally natural."
They don't just compete for customers on the course though.
"A lot of golfers like to shoot after their round, fish early morning before their round," said Tyler Ramsdell, the director of recreation.
They've found customers are used to customizing everything, so in addition to the golf, there’s a spa, pool, clay shooting and fishing.
"A lot of times there are no words, they catch a fish, it's just smiles," said Ramsdell. "You can just see you created a moment for them. The main thing we try to do is create moments and experiences people won't forget."
Mosaic is among Polk County’s top-three property tax-payers. While laws shield sales and tourist tax receipts, Streamsong's high profile means a stream of tourists with higher-end dollars.
If you're not staying there, a round costs at least $125.