In a part of Florida that is known for prestigious private and resort golf clubs, the Amelia River Club has been recognized as one of the most prestigious courses in all of North Florida.
The Club is located on Amelia Island, just north of Jacksonville and within minutes of the historic town of Fernandina Beach. It’s and a favorite of both local golfers and visitors to the Amelia Island area for many years. It’s not your typical daily fee facility; the fairways are always in pristine condition with well-manicured fairways and sculpted bunkers that lead to smooth TifEagle greens that roll fast and true.
This Tom Jackson-designed course gives you five sets of tees to choose from and can be played anywhere from 4,706 yards for seniors, juniors and ladies, to 6,860 yards for low handicappers. The scorecard also adds in a couple of Combo yardages so finding one suitable for your game shouldn’t be a problem.
At 6,349 yards from the Blue Tees, Amelia River Club is long enough that you’ll have ample opportunity to “grip it and rip it!” You’ll also need a fair amount of ball control and accuracy if you want to score well. There are no houses in the course, just you, lush green fairways, and that little white ball!
Some of the holes are wide open and highly susceptible to the winds that often blow off the nearby water. Others feature tree-lined fairways sculpted around stands of live oaks, sable palms, pines, and wax myrtles. Water comes into play on at least thirteen holes; creeks cross the fairway in several places and there’s a good chance you won’t know they’re there. You’ll also find a lot of mounding on the peripheries of the fairways. The greens are well-protected with sand traps and grassy mounds.
There’s nothing like starting the day off with one of the toughest holes. Number 1 is a 521-yard par 5 that is the #3 handicap and for the majority of golfers will be a 3-shot hole. Favor the left side off the tee, the landing area is wide open so all you need to do is steer your tee shot clear of the bunkers on the right. A good drive will leave a choice to either layup or go for broke. Your best bet is to lay up short of the water and make birdie with a good chip shot. Miss the green to the right and you’ll have some large trees to deal with.
The 14th and 15th holes are great risk/reward opportunities where longball hitters can make up some strokes on their partners. The par 4, 338-yard 14th hole is a dogleg left although it’s more like a left turn than a dogleg. For longball hitters, going directly at the green over the water requires about a 260-yard carry. Mere mortals will just hit it about 220 yards straight off the tee and leave a short to mid-iron into the green. Number 15 is a slight dogleg left that plays 325 yards and may be reachable with a well-struck drive. There’s a single fairway bunker on the left side and the long, narrow green is protected by three pot bunkers on the left and a large, deep bunker on the right. Good drives on these holes can shave a few strokes.
As it is with several courses in northeast Florida, Amelia River Club’s signature hole is a par 3 with an island green. That seems to be the theme up here! Number 17 plays 147-yard over water into an island green. The triangular green is guarded by a small bunker front left. Distance control and accuracy are needed to score well.
Number 18 is a challenge and a good way to end a great round of golf. It’s a par 5 that plays 518 yards from the Blue Tees. Trees frame the fairway off the tee which can make your drive a little intimidating. It’s a very slight dogleg left so favor the right side off the tee. The fairway widens in the landing area of your layup and then you’ll have a short pitch shot onto a well-elevated and odd-shaped green that’s protected by three bunkers on the right and trees on the left.
Before your round, warm up on Amelia River Club’s full-length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag. If your game needs some work, check out Amelia River Club’s state-of-the-art Performance Center which opened in the fall of 2022. The Performance Center offers club fittings and golf lessons to help you get the most out of that new set of clubs. They use the latest technology including Trackman, which can provide instant feedback and help determine the best clubhead and shafts for your particular golf swing.
In the event you need a lesson, Amelia River Club’s staff will work with you to improve your game. Whether you’re new to golf and want to learn the fundamentals, or you’re a seasoned player who just needs to tweak a few things, they’ll work with you to find the best solution for game improvement. The club’s experienced staff can put together a package that includes preferred lesson scheduling “on-course” playing lessons, and much more. Give them a call to set it in motion!
Inside the Cape Cod-style clubhouse, you’ll find the newly remodeled pro shop with all kinds of golf accessories, necessities, and logoed apparel, as well as the River Bar and Grille. The menu features all kinds of delicious breakfast items, as well as burgers, handheld sandwiches, and salads if you play later in the day. Adult beverages are also available, and the bar and grill are open until 5 pm with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Can’t get enough of the Amelia River Club’s golf facilities? Consider becoming a member. The club offers several membership categories including Single and Family Full Memberships, Corporate and Social Memberships. Your monthly membership fee entitles you to unlimited greens fees and range fees, reduced cart fees, advance tee time booking, and discounts in the pro shop and restaurant. There are no fees after 2 pm if you’re walking. For more information on booking your next round of golf at Amelia River Club, give them a call at (904) 491-8500 or visit their website, where you can book a tee time online. www.ameliarivergolf.com.