The Atlantic Ocean was visible on the the fifth hole of the Ocean Links golf course at Omni Amelia Island Plantation. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor) The par-3 15th on the Ocean Links Course at Amelia Island Plantation was another hole with great views of the Atlantic. (Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor) Indications are that the Oak March Course at Omni Amelia Island Plantation will remain. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)

Florida's Amelia Island has one less golf course after Ocean Links closes abruptly



There will be no more ocean holes at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort on Amelia Island near Jacksonville, Fla., it appears. At least for now.

After bulldozers started plowing up the oceanfront holes on the Ocean Links Course, which was one of two 18-hole courses available to resort guests, it seems unlikely the golf course will survive, although one local group did manage to get an injunction to stop the demolition, at least temporarily. According to a story by Mike Lednovich on gatorgolfmagazine.com, "Attorneys for the 1,400 member Amelia Island Club had filed a complaint against the Omni Plantation saying the closing and demolition of the Ocean Links Golf Course violated the 99-year operating agreement between the resort and the club."

Still, several holes have already been destroyed. Even if the Amelia Island Club is successful, the course will have to be rebuilt.

The demolition came with little warning. It was quickly noticed by local residents who posted pictures on the Fernandina Beach Network site on Facebook on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Lew Turner, an anchor for a local Jacksonville television station, posted this tweet:

The closing of the Ocean Links Course leaves Florida's Amelia Island with just five golf courses, In addition to Oak Marsh, there's Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Amelia River Club, Long Point and The Golf Club at Amelia Island at Summer Beach (Ritz-Carlton).

Oceanfront property is expensive, so developing the land is usually more profitable than running a golf course, and the Ocean Links Course, which was designed by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed, didn't seem to be that busy most of the time. What exactly will be built there, the resort is not saying as of yet. The company issued this statement:

"As of Nov. 12, 2017, Omni Hotels & Resorts has closed Ocean Links golf course and will re-purpose that land into green space to enable all golf resources to be dedicated to enhancing the Oak Marsh golfing experience. We are pleased to share some already-noticeable improvements on Oak Marsh (the other 18-hole course at the resort), including renovation of all bunkers, restoration and resurfacing of all coquina areas, replacement of bridges on holes 15 and 17, and replacement and restoration of all bulkheads."

In truth, the other course at Amelia Island Planation, Oak Marsh, is the better layout of the two courses. Designed by Pete Dye, the Oak Marsh Course is a terrific design that works its way around beautifully preserved wetlands and majestic oak trees. But the 7,000-yard layout doesn't have ocean holes, which gave the Ocean Links course its panache. Its last round of renovations came in 2013, when it received new greens and practice facilities.

The Ocean Links Course was next to the main resort, which was recently renovated or "reimagined" as the company put it, to the tune of $85 million.

The first nine holes of the Ocean Links Course, which tipped out around 6,100 yards, were designed by Dye, but Weed added the other nine. There were five holes laid out along the Atlantic Ocean.

Nov 15, 2017



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Guy's avatar
Guy wrote at 2017-12-06 20:09:41+00:00:

Tough but unique course, especially those 5 Ocean holes, shame because it stood out amongst so many good but similar courses in the area. Watch this space, the suits will be developing this soon..

DWB's avatar
DWB wrote at 2017-11-24 02:15:04+00:00:

Just another example of $ talks, golfers walk.

Sad

Captain Kirk's avatar
Captain Kirk wrote at 2017-11-23 01:23:52+00:00:

Sum Ting Wong, wi tu lo, ho lee fuk, bang ding ow!

Phil 's avatar
Phil wrote at 2017-11-22 22:46:05+00:00:

I used to be stationed at Mayport and would go to Amelia Island on the weekends. This was a great course, sorry to hear what’s going on.

Job's avatar
Job wrote at 2017-11-22 21:15:55+00:00:

Something here smells very fishy....

Frank the golfer. 's avatar
Frank the golfer. wrote at 2017-11-22 20:38:33+00:00:

Madness. That they closed this course. Will not be sending any of my customer to the hotel or golf course anymore.

Jim Grosjean's avatar
Jim Grosjean wrote at 2017-11-22 20:35:25+00:00:

I will really miss those oceanfront holes. The Amelia Island Resort is still nice, however.

Chuck "The Pro"'s avatar
Chuck "The Pro" wrote at 2017-11-22 20:26:05+00:00:

Any company or person that spends $85 million on a course doesn't know "Bo", if u know what I mean! I have seen a lot in my lifetime of poor business decisions & the squandering of money relating to golf or other sports! Too bad!

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2017-11-22 20:36:03+00:00:

It was the overall property that was renovated for $85 million. A golf course that pricy would be one of the most expensive ever from scratch. But still, curious move.

u214924319's avatar
u214924319 wrote at 2017-11-22 19:28:56+00:00:

That is completely disappointing. While I really liked the Oak Marsh Course, The Ocean Links Course was so much more scenic. The views from those 5 Holes were just magnificent. I might have to rethink future trips to the Omni Amelia Island Resort as a result of this decision!

John Kelly's avatar
John Kelly wrote at 2017-11-22 18:37:32+00:00:

Money, Money, Money, it's the motivation for everything, the value of the oceanfront property must be huge and the golf course amenity always play's second fiddle to money, especially if the course is not that busy. Usually there is a contract signed with home owners and property owners as a condition of purchasing, with access to the amenities. if this exists then surely this must take priority. But it all boils down to the money.

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2017-11-19 05:15:19+00:00:

Single? Play Golf? Join the American Singles Golf Association as we celebrate the New Year at Amelia Island, Jan. 2-5, 2018. We'll be at The Ritz-Carlton and play up to four rounds of golf:

Courses. We will play our "competition" rounds at North Hampton Golf Club and The Golf Club of Amelia Island on per the times and schedule below. Green fees, cart and range balls are included each day.

Tuesday, January 2 (day-of-arrival) - Optional Round at Fernandina Beach Golf Club - Tee times at 11am.

Wednesday, January 3 (Competition Round) - 12:00 shotgun start at North Hampton Golf Club (followed by a pic-a-nic style dinner in the clubhouse immediately after golf). Click here to see flyovers.

Thursday, January 4 (Competition Round) - The Golf Club of Amelia Island (The Ritz-Carlton course) - 9:00am shotgun start.

Friday, January 5 (day-of-departure) - Optional Round - Amelia River Golf Club - Tee times starting at 8:20am.

FULL DETAILS AT www.SinglesGolf.com/NewYears

Cory Toth's avatar
Cory Toth wrote at 2017-11-19 01:19:10+00:00:

Take the 5 ocean holes and incorporate them somehow. Shelling out $200+ for Long point amd the Ritz is atrocious given those layouts as well. Oak Maybe better but it’s still not as cool as those 5 holes. Sad. Won’t go back now this coming late winter.


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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.