Streamsong’s Aqua Green is Big Poolside Attraction
Two Januarys ago, Streamsong Resort’s Director of Facilities Ron Thompson was asked by Cobra Puma Golf to build a floating green behind its Lakeside Lodge for a pitching contest between Tour Player Ambassadors Lexi Thompson and Blair O’Neal. It was meant to be a temporary fixture, part of the festivities for the PGA TOUR Superstore Summit held there that January, but the event was such a hit that the green was kept around.
“We just left it there,” Thompson said of the 16 x 16-foot miniature island green, a 60-yard shot from the resort swimming pool deck. “Guests would come down from their rooms, buy a bag of 25 floater balls and hang out there and have a good time with it.”
Thompson and his team built the green with wood and enough Styrofoam to get it to float just above the surface of the water. But as time went on, it became obvious that a bigger, more visually appealing floating green was needed, which is what led the Central Florida resort to Aqua Greens. As luck would have it, Aqua Greens just happened to have a refurbished green coming in because the previous customer wanted something larger, and the 16 x 24-foot, kidney-shaped green was installed in the lake behind the lodge last June in the exact location once held by Thompson’s temporary green.
To no one’s surprise, the new floating green continues to be a smash hit with Streamsong’s guests. Besides the pool itself, there’s also a pool bar located in close proximity to the hitting mat and golf amenity, making it a popular place for golfers to hang out and relax after their rounds, and continue the trash talking and betting games that started earlier on one of Streamsong’s three top-rated golf courses.
The location of the island green also makes it a natural for corporate events and parties, such as the annual Streamsong Invitational tournament held every January. The amateurs and PGA Professionals competing in the 54-hole, four-ball, stroke play tournament also take part in a pitching contest on the diminutive hole, hitting three shots each off the mat to the floating green. The golfer that sticks it on the green or hits the most balls on the green wins a Streamsong gift card.
“We had all of these top pros at the event two years ago, with the old green, and they were all over it but not hitting it,” said Thompson. “It’s a challenging distance. Not many can stick it on that green. You have to hope for the right wind and land it on the very front of the green or have it hit the stick and drop in.”
In addition to aqua green, Streamsong Resort also has a 120-yard par-3 “extra” hole next to the putting green behind the main clubhouse for the Red and Blue courses. Referred to as the Bye Hole, it’s used as a practice hole as well as a finishing hole to settle any bets or matches on the Red or Blue courses. It is not an island green, however.
Often dubbed the Bandon Dunes of the Southeast, Streamsong is widely regarded as one of the top golf resorts in America. It boasts three of Golf Digest magazine’s top 100 courses in America, headlined by Streamsong Red at No. 19. Streamsong Blue comes in at No. 24 in the most recent rankings for 2019-’20, while the newest addition, Streamsong Black, debuts at No. 32.