Amelia Island is a golf lover's dream, boasting five golf courses brimming with stunning views and coastal breezes (a boon for staying cool and a bane for controlling a golf ball). Altogether, there are nearly 100 holes of golf to be played by golfers of every skill level. Any of these courses—designed by notable course architects like Pete Dye and Bobby Weed—are a great option for a day on the links. Florida's First Coast of Golf can help book tee times and find accommodations packages.
Golf Club of Amelia Island
Golf Digest named this Mark McCumber-Gene Littler course one of the "Best Places to Play." It's easy to see why, as the diverse par-72 layout is nestled against the Atlantic Ocean but includes moss-draped oaks and rolling marshes. The course is challenging, yet forgiving enough to remain fun. Adding to the experience are carts equipped with GPS, outstanding service and amenities, and experienced staff. Go ahead, try to beat the course record of 63.
One of two Omni Amelia Island Plantation courses (Oak Marsh is the other), this picturesque, 6,775-yard course is a favorite among locals. Guests can reserve a tee time a day in advance. Tom Fazio's award-winning design challenges golfers through natural hazards, tight fairways and elevated greens. Play through three distinct settings—the marshes, thick oak and pine forests, and oceanfront dunes—and shot carry water hazards on eight different occasions. However, players will be rewarded on back-to-back oceanfront par threes, as well as breathtaking views of the Amelia River.
This classic Pete Dye course was built in 1972, not long after Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head was completed. It's famous for its tight fairways and small greens. For 6,500 yards, meander through serpentine salt marsh creeks and moss-draped oaks. Survive the water hazards on 14 holes, and stay out of a variety of bunkers throughout to beat the course's challenging 72 par. Oak Marsh played host to the 1991 PGA Section Championship and 1992 Society of Seniors Championship, as well as a host of resort tournaments.
Fernandina Beach Golf Club
Amelia Island's municipal golf course features 27 holes of impeccable golf. Each 9-hole course—North, South and West—stretches more than 3,000 yards from the championship tees. For tournament-quality play, try the West/South combination. The West Course boasts wide fairways while the South challenges accuracy with an abundance of wildlife and water hazards. Obstacles abound on all three courses as golfers navigate bends, bunkers and more water hazards. Brush up beforehand on the practice greens, which are maintained with the same level of care and professionalism as the main course.
Amelia River Golf Club
Tom Jackson designed this challenging par-72 course around a forest of live oaks, Sabal Palms and wax myrtles. The first few holes border the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. Wide open fairways are reminiscent of traditional Scottish links. But things change at the sixth hole, where blind spots, clusters of trees and sand bunkers create more difficulty. Good luck on the par-three 17th hole, which is on an island green that demands an accurate shot. The experience includes an eight-acre driving range, chipping and putting greens and on-site golf pro.