Visit the beach on the Ocean Links at Omni Amelia Island Plantation in northeast Florida

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- There are moments when the Ocean Links golf course at Omni Amelia Island Plantation trumps the best courses of Florida.

What Ocean Links lacks in length, the par-70 design by Bobby Weed compensates with visual stimulation. Its five holes on the shoreline wiggle a narrow path through the dunes, just steps from the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. They are pure magic.

The two back-to-back beachfront par 3s -- nos. 5 and 6 -- introduce the first of six chances to make an ace. The fifth and sixth greens slant like ramps, making them tough to hit and hold in the crosswinds off the ocean, and even tougher to putt upon. The demanding par-3 15th hole plays directly uphill into this breeze.

The two other beachfront holes -- the par-4 fourth and par-4 16th -- look short on the card. Like every other hole on the Ocean Links, they are deceivingly difficult.

Inland, the holes are just as good if not as scenic, twisting around lagoons and lakes. Touring Ocean Links in a golf cart is a treat from start to finish.

Apr 21, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.