Rich Mack was a man with a dream.
The Mosaic executive who served as the project’s chief visionary — when Streamsong was nothing more than an idea in the minds of a few — said Saturday what was obvious to the hundreds of invited guests who were finally sharing in the reality of what company officials are hoping becomes a world-class resort.
“For us, great was not good enough,” Mack said about the driving philosophy behind Streamsong, and the selection of the golf course’s architects. “This venue needs to be exceptional. The scale of this project needed to be more than something that was simply local. We were looking to create something that was not local, or regional or even of state significance. This needed to be national, and indeed hopefully something that could have an international draw. One of the goals I’ve had from the very beginning is the name of this wonderful resort, Streamsong, is going to be identifiable whether you’re in Illinois, New York, California, Oregon, Minnesota. We think that is a very good thing for the local communities.”
Although the golf courses have been open since Dec. 21, Saturday was the official ribbon-cutting for the two courses and clubhouse that have already earned national and international acclaim.
Mack, Mosaic’s executive vice president and general counsel, noted the project’s genesis came at a time when the nation’s economy was seriously tanking. Despite that, the Streamsong dream persevered, driven by two main goals.
“The first one is we wanted to develop a showcase property that would illustrate what could be done on land that had been previously mined,” Mack said. “In addition, we wanted to create a compelling and memorable golf experience to enjoy for generations to come. Streamsong is a powerful site, and Mosaic is excited to introduce this venue to the world’s golf community as a world class model for economic and environmental sustainability.”
While land reclamation is now a big part of what Mosaic does, it represents the first time they have undertaken such a commercial project on former mining property.
Mack made it a point to thank company officials for green-lighting the resort, and having the “courage and conviction to approve the project.”
The three men most responsible for its golf look, including two-time Masters golf tournament champion Ben Crenshaw, were all at Saturday’s grand opening. Crenshaw was joined by Bill Coore, his design partner, and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf, all of whom have marveled at the 16,000-acre site.
“This property has some of the most unusual, interesting and dramatic land forms we have ever encountered,” Coore noted.
Coore and Crenshaw ultimately were responsible for the 18-hole Red Course, while Doak was in charge of the Blue Course.
“This is such a good piece of land for golf,” he said. “The variety of contours created by the mining process allowed us to create a layout unlike any other,” Doak said.
Streamsong Red was recently tabbed as Golf Magazine’s “Best New Course You Can Play” for 2012. The clubhouse includes 12 guest rooms, a steakhouse themed restaurant, pro shop, and 4,500 of meeting and banquet space. Restaurant Fifty-Nine is open to the public seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The main lodge is presently under construction, and Mosaic officials are targeting a completion date in November. It will include 216 rooms, a conference center, full-service spa, lakeside pool, casual and fine dining, hiking and birding trails, guided bass fishing and a sporting clays range.
When fully up and running, the resort is expected to employ more than 300 people.