Tom Fazio and Pete Dye are two names that frequently share the marquee when visiting resorts on the coast of the southeastern United States. The Amelia Island Resort (formerly Amelia Island Plantation) is one where Fazio’s design is generally accepted as the superior.
A big reason why is the superb portions of property that the architect had to work with. Much of the route works its way around saltwater marshes on the southern tip (or “Long Point”) of this barrier island. Although it’s not an easy walk to and from, Fazio brought the course out to the Atlantic beach for nos. 15 and 16, two consecutive par threes that offer beautiful views and tough breezes to combat.
Fazio is noted for his championship-caliber courses but Long Point was never intended to be one; it stretches to less than 6,600 yards from its back tees. The skilled player may find par a relatively simple task, however birdies can still test the mettle. No. 11 may outstrip nos. 15 and 16 as the most scenic hole but it also provides strategic challenges. A short, Cape-style par five, it will take two measured shots to skirt the marsh that borders the hole down the left side.
Amelia Island is a terrific place. The Long Point club as part of the resorts two golf courses. Oak Marsh being the other. Long Point is tougher to access as they hold it closed for member play sometimes while Oak Marsh is always open. The perspective would be then that the Long Point Club would be a better offering. That wouldn't be my opinion. Long Point is in great shape. The green complexes are ordinary. The course is prototypical Florida. Drp by the resort it is quite nice and play the two courses and my bet is you enjoy the Oak Marsh more.
Terrific golf course. Another great place for extra golf.
In my opinion Long Point is the best course on Amelia island. A Fazio design that opened in 1987. Fazio leveraged what nature gave him as there are 3 distinct feels to the course, the inland holes are heavily wooded with oaks. The Spanish moss provides a deep south feel. Then there are the marsh holes and finally the two ocean front par 3s. This is not a long course by today’s standards.
The first hole is a par five that is essentially a continuous mogul. If you cannot hit sidehill, downhill or uphill you are already in trouble. Your approach is to an elevated green, make sure you take an extra club. The second is a long par four dogleg right. Favor the right side both off the tee and on your approach. The third is a long tough par three with a undulating green. I do not understand at 222 yards how it can be the 15th handicap hole. The par 4 fourth is a dogleg left. You want to cut this corner. The par 5 6th is reachable but is a classic risk/reward hole with water down the second half of the right side. The par 4 seventh is similar to the first hole with a lot of mogulling. To close out the front the par 4s eight and ninth are long and difficult. The eighth requires a solid tee shot, be cautious of the marsh that starts about 110 yards from the green. The second shot is nearly all carry.
The back is a about 10% shorter. On the par 4 10th favor the left side off the tee. There is water left on your approach to a double tiered green. The par five 11th may be the best hole on the course. A dogleg left with marsh and water on the inside elbow and bunkers on the right. The 11th may have the smallest green on the course and it is well protected. The par 4s 12-14 are all birdieable but each has its own challenges. The 12th has water down the left, if you miss the 13th green, good luck making your up and down and the 14th has a narrow left to right sloping fairway. The 15th and 16th are back to back par 3s paralleling the ocean. While not long, 166 and 158 respectively do not underestimate them. Get past the eye candy affect and pay attention to both the wind and pin location. The 15th is tougher, stay below the hole and the 16th has a forgiving bowl feature that funnels shots to the middle. I feel badly for the 17th hole as anything would be a letdown after 15 and 16. The 18th is a tight but reachable straight par five.
I was impressed that there was no Florida par 3 with carry over water. Interesting but not great. Fazio did a lot with what he had.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the Amelia Island property when I stayed here a good few years ago, it was tired and in desperate need of updating, but I understand that renovation has now completed, so it could well be a classy resort these days. I enjoyed all three courses at Amelia Island, far more than the overall resort and found Fazio’s Long Point to be an interesting and varied challenge that played tough in a stiff breeze despite its modest yardage, I thought the one-shot holes were particularly enjoyable with the mid to long 3rd my favourite among the pines and oaks but the short 15th along the shore was memorable for the ocean vista and the fact I carded a two! Pete Dye’s Oak Marsh is at least the Long Point’s equal in my view.