Jacksonville and Amelia Island in Northeast Florida boast over 1,220 holes of golf, making it the perfect getaway for golfers looking for pristine course conditions at affordable rates. Whether a beginner or a single-digit handicapper, the area presents outstanding opportunities and beautiful scenery.
A barrier island rich in history, Amelia Island flaunts long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife and clean waters. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. The "River City by the Sea," Jacksonville is bisected by the north-flowing St. Johns River and home to more than 50 golf courses for every level of expertise and budget.
Florida’s First Coast of Golf can help book tee times for courses across the region as well as accommodations packages. Find value dates, last-minute hot deals and sample itineraries online or call 800.530.5248.
1. Windsor Parke Golf Club at the Beaches: The National Golf Course Owners Association recognized this course as being "beginner-friendly." Located between the beaches and downtown Jacksonville, the course is easily accessible as well as scenic with its elevations and bunkering. 13823 Sutton Park Drive North, Jacksonville, 904.223.4653, www.windsorparke.com
2. Fernandina Beach Golf Club, a popular municipal golf facility, offering impeccable greens featuring Champion Bermuda Grass, generous fairways and twenty-seven holes of play. Each course measures well over 3000 yards from the championship tees. You can't beat the rates: 18 holes walking @ $20, Riding @ $41. Book your tee time online: www.fernandinabeachgolfclub.com/golf
3. Amelia River Golf Club: Known as one of the best-conditioned courses in the area. Smooth TifEagle greens, sculpted around majestic live oaks, sabal palms, Southern pines and wax myrtles match its beauty with brawn. Ball control and accuracy are keys to a great round here. You'll discover four sets of tees for all skill levels. Lakes and ponds grace several holes including the signature island hole, the par three 17th. The round concludes on the 18th hole with a stunning view of the Amelia River. Rates: Before noon $79; after noon $59. 4477 Buchaneer Trail, 904.491.8500, www.golfameliariver.com
4. Golf Club at North Hampton: You'll feel like you're on an old Scottish links course with wild grasses and rolling hills at the Arnold Palmer-designed course in Fernandina Beach. Palmer's par-72, championship design wraps around 10 spring-fed lakes lined with coquina boulders and elevations over 40 feet. 22680 N. Hampton Club Way, Fernandina Beach, 904.548.0000, www.hamptongolfclubs.com
5. Blue Sky Golf Club: Formerly Mill Cove, this facility recently underwent more than a $1.5-million renovation to the clubhouse and golf course. Blue Sky also updated their driving range with day and night practice capabilities and 3-hole, 6-hole, 9-hole and 18-hole golf options. The facility requires no dress code, and you can enjoy all of the great recreational amenities such as billiards, corn hole and over 20 flat-screen TVs. Reasonable rates range from a low of $5.95 for 3-holes Monday to Thursday, and up to $39.95 for 18 holes before 3 pm on Fridays through Sunday. 1700 Monument Road, Jacksonville, 904.446.2899, www.golfbluesky.com.
6. Bent Creek Country Club: In Jacksonville’s Westside, tee off at the city's premier public course. The 6,620-yard, par-71 course crafted by renowned architect Bobby Weed with consulting services by Mark McCumber. The certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary meanders through towering pines, and alongside creeks. The championship layout boasts Bermuda grass greens, plush fairways, and a state-of-the-art lighted practice facility. Management will make reasonable accommodations to ensure that golfers with disabilities can enjoy the course. Online rates are as low as $16.99 per player. 10440 Tournament Lane, 904.779.0800, www.golfbentcreek.com
7. Amelia Island Plantation Resort: This stunning golf course is a destination itself, with five scenic holes right on the Atlantic Ocean. Named a “Top 121 Golf Resort in the World,” by Conde Nast, Amelia Island Plantation Resort at the Omni has three courses and a golf academy. 39 Beach Lagoon Road, Fernandina Beach, 904.261.6161, www.omnihotels.com/hotels/amelia-island-plantation/golf/ocean-links-course