The Most Beautiful Golf Course in Florida?
Beauty is subjective, and just as no woman would ever be voted by every man in the world as the most beautiful, neither would a course be called the most scenic in Florida by every golfer who's every swung an iron in the Sunshine State.
Still, ladies and gentleman, I submit for your pleasure: Ocean Links at the Amelia Island Plantation.
This is a course that stepped out of a John James Audubon painting. It whispers to you, caresses you with ocean breezes and then lulls you inland with birdsong.
Well, you get the idea. It's a beauty. No less than five holes are oceanfront, and that is a rare gem. These aren't just ocean glimpses, like many courses that advertise ocean views. These are full-on oceanfront holes, with fairways and greens that parallel the dune ridge that fronts the beach.
The views are breathtaking. The tees and greens on the oceanfront holes are elevated, opening up sweeping panoramas of one of the Earth's great bodies of water.
The course's beauty doesn't suffer at all as it turns inland, curling though the ages-old, island landscape where the wild Timucua Indians once roamed.
I've played the course several times. My most recent visit was this past weekend, and I have to say, it's in the best shape I've ever seen it. The new owners of the plantation, Omni, have done a superb job on this gorgeous layout.
As for the golf, it's also superb, matching the views. It isn't overly long – it tops out at around 6,500 yards from the tips – but it's full of interesting angles and the greens are smallish and tricky, many of them elevated. There is quite a bit of water to deal with as well.
Enjoy the video below. I purposely left off a sound track so you could hear the roar of the ocean, the wind and the sounds of nature as the course turns inland.