Tag: Ocean Links Golf Course

Omni violates court order, bulldozes 16th hole bunker Amelia Island Club seeks contempt charges against resort

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

The Amelia Island Club claims The Omni Resort ignored a Nassau County Court injunction barring any further demolition of the Ocean Links Golf Course by bulldozing one of the few bunkers left intact.

The 16th hole at Ocean Links.

In court papers filed Feb. 2, The Amelia Island Club is seeking the court to hold The Omni in contempt of court and to have the resort pay a daily fine for each day until the bunker on the 16th hole is restored to its original condition.

Last Nov. 12, The Omni began an unannounced demolition of the Ocean Links Course destroying all of the greens and 90 percent of the course bunkers.

The Amelia Island Club, claiming The Omni was violating its contract with the club to provide two 18-hole championship golf courses, won a temporary injunction blocking The Omni from conducting any further demolition work.

Both parties agree in late December to the Omni putting down sod on areas that had been cleared to prevent flooding and potential hazardous areas to hotel guests.

However, the court said, “The injunction order otherwise remains in full force and effect. Omni remains enjoined from further removing holes or bunkers, or other demolishing or altering the condition of the course grounds.”

A bulldozer demolishing the 16th hole bunker from court files.

The Amelia Island Club said on Jan. 24, Omni workers had cleared debris from the bunker halfway up the right side of the 16th fairway, “thus leaving the  bunker intact and in pristine condition.”

A day later, The Club said the “Omni brought heavy equipment onto the 16th hole and leveled the bunker.”

The club provided before and after photos of the bunker in their court filing.

“The Omni then intentionally destroyed the bunker, in direct contravention of the injunction order,” the contempt motion stated.

The motion asks the court for the Omni to restore the bunker to its original condition while also paying Amelia Island Club attorney’s fees and imposing a daily fine the court deems appropriate for each day the Omni fails to complete the restoration of the bunker.

A hearing has been set for June 5 before Nassau County Court Judge Steven Fahlgren on the motion to hold The Omni in contempt.

 

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

80% of Ocean Links Greens, Bunkers leveled by Omni Court approves sodding bare areas until lawsuit is settled

By Mike Lednovich, Editor/Publisher

Over 80 percent of the greens and bunker complexes on the Ocean Links Golf Course have been destroyed, according to a court affidavit provided by Golf Course Superintendent Jason Wilson in Nassau County Circuit Court.

Only three of the 18 greens and their bunkers remain intact and unscathed, although Wilson told the court The Omni is not maintaining them.

In mid-November, The Omni Resort began bulldozing the greens and bunkers on the scenic course which includes four holes along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

The demolition of Ocean Links was halted after the Amelia Island Club and its members filed a complaint and a Nassau County Judge granted the club a temporary injunction, blocking The Omni’s plans to close Ocean Links and convert the land into green space.

According to Wilson, only the green and bunker complexes on holes 1, 2 and 6 are untouched.  All other 15 greens have been destroyed and graded. Wilson reported that only four greenside bunkers remain untouched.

On Dec. 27, Judge Steven Fahlgren granted The Omni’s request to modify the preliminary injunction allowing the resort to grade and sod affected areas of Ocean Links to prevent flooding and eliminate potential hazardous conditions to Omni guests.

Also at issue are the 6th hole, one of most scenic on the Ocean Links layout.

Wilson said The Omni would not maintain the 6th green and bunkers because the hotel had planned to reposition the green before it had decided to close the course. Omni lawyers said even if the Amelia Island Club won its fight to keep Ocean Links operating, the resort still was within its rights to reconfigure holes on the golf course.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12 to consider whether owners of Linkside Villas, which are located adjacent to several Ocean Links holes, will be allowed to join the lawsuit against The Omni.

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Court halts demolition of Ocean Links Golf Course Injunction blocks Omni from bulldozing greens, bunkers and fairways

By Mike Lednovich, Editor

A Nassau County Judge Friday has blocked the Omni Plantation from continuing to demolish the Ocean Links Golf Course which it began bulldozing last Monday as County deputies stood guard.

“Until this Court dissolves the injunction or modifies this Order, or until the (Amelia Island) Club and the Omni agree otherwise, the Omni is enjoined and restrained from further demolishing or altering the condition of the Ocean Links Golf Course,” the order stated and was signed by Judge Steven Fahlgren.

Attorneys for the 1,400 member Amelia Island Club had filed a complaint against the Omni Plantation saying the closing and demolition of the Ocean Links Golf Course violated the 99-year operating agreement between the resort and the club.

The hole is plowed under

“The Club also has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits in this case. Based upon the allegations in the Verified Complaint it appears that the Omni is in breach of the Agreement,” the order stated. “This injunction will also serve the public interest. Preserving the status quo will protect the rights of the Club, its members, and any other individuals owning homes adjacent to the Ocean Links Golf Course. And it does not appear that the Omni will suffer any harm if its efforts to convert a golf course into green space are delayed.”

Numerous green complexes, particularly those adjacent to the ocean, have been destroyed and leveled by bulldozers.

The court said the Omni’s actions has already caused damage to Amelia Island Club members.

“The Club will be irreparably harmed if the Omni continues demolishing the Ocean Links Golf Course, and (ii) there is no remedy at law for the Club’s loss. Each day during which demolition continues will exacerbate the condition of the Ocean Links Golf Course. It appears that this will make it more difficult to restore the course to the condition described in Exhibit D to the Agreement. And until the course is restored, the Club and its members are deprived of valuable real property rights that cannot be quantified,” the court stated.

View from the Ocean Links course at Omni Amelia Island

The court said the Parties (the Omni and the Amelia Island Club) had acknowledged and agreed that it is the intention of the Parties to allow continued usage of all the Resort Amenities and Club Amenities for the benefit of the [Omni], the Club, its Members and Member Guests accompanying Club Members, pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. The Agreement’s definition of “Resort Amenities” expressly includes the “Ocean Links Golf Course”

The agreement, established in 2010, also stated “The Omni agreed to operate Ocean Links course with general maintenance and operations standards of comparable first class semi-private golf courses of similar age, circumstances and with comparable resort golf fees located on the southeastern seaboard of the United States.”

The court noted that the Omni had breached its agreement with the Amelia Island Club by:

  • Not maintaining and operating the Ocean Links Golf Course in accordance with the standards identified in  the Agreement.
  • Undertaking to destroy the Ocean Links Golf Course; and
  • Not providing the Club members two 18-hole championship level golf courses.

The next step is for the Omni and Amelia Island Club to meet with a mediator.

The Omni had begun demolition of Ocean Links unannounced to the public, saying it was converting the property into green space and committing its golf resource to its other 18-hole course Oak Marsh.

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.