Amelia Island, a barrier island located just north of Jacksonville, is a slice of golf heaven with its array of upscale resort, daily-fee, and country club courses. The Amelia River Club, a course many visitors to the island overlook, is a hidden gem that offers a highly varied, fun game and affordable tee times. There s a lot to take in during a round at this Tom Jackson design that opened in 2000. The layout rambles alongside Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, continues otherwise free of course-side development, hosts lots of wildlife, boasts an island green, and finishes by the Amelia River. At The Amelia River Club, the operative word is fun. This is a user-friendly course with energizing challenges that casual golfers can handle without an inordinate amount of stress. Thanks to five sets of tee markers (plus two additional hybrid options on the scorecard), The Amelia River Club enables players to choose a manageable distance between 4,706 yards and 6,860 yards. Jackson s routing features a mix of wide open holes and tight, tree-lined tests. The wooded holes, with their array of majestic live oaks, sabal palms, pines and wax myrtles, are especially pretty. Throughout the round you ll find par 4s and par 5s that bend in different directions and proceed toward every point on the compass. Wind is often a factor, especially on the holes by the airport. A creek and numerous ponds lurk as hazards on the majority of holes, but in most cases there s a way around the water or only a minimal forced carry. While The Amelia River Club provides inviting prospects from the tees, some of the hazards and bunkers on this low-lying playing field may not be easily visible. Over the years the club has earned a reputation for its top-notch greens. The large TifEagle putting surfaces roll smooth, fast and true. The Amelia River Club finishes with a bang. The 17th hole is the club s signature island-green par 3, while the par-5 18th finishes by the edge of the expansive tidal marsh of the Amelia River. If you want to warm up before your round, the club s practice facilities include a driving range, chipping area with sand bunker, and putting green. The Cape Cod-style clubhouse has a well-stocked pro shop and a bar and grill with good food and indoor and outdoor seating. The next time you re near Amelia Island and looking for a tee time, consider The Amelia River Club.