G4G Advice: Where to play on Canada’s East Coast

The fabled seventh hole at Highlands Links, one of the best three shot holes in the world.

The fabled seventh hole at Highlands Links, one of the best three shot holes in the world.

Reader George sent me a note asking about where to play on the East Coast of Canada:

Mr. Thompson,
Ran across your site while researching PEI and Nova Scotia golf.
Can you recommend a golf package company that arranges custom trips to those two maritime provinces. I have used Wide World of Golf for other trips, but they do only western Canada.
While you’re at it, would you delete or add to this list?:   Highlands Links. Crowbush, Dundarave, Glen Arbour, Fox Harb’r, Bell Bay, Brudenell, Mill River, Digby Pines, Northumberland, Eagles Glen, Anderson’s Creek. We are planning 8 or 9 games.
Thank you if you can help.

George: What an ambitious trip to a great region of Canada. Nice to see.

Truth be told, there’s nothing you couldn’t do for yourself in the area with a little research.  I don’t know of anyone who arranges trips to the area — but you could do it with some web research and a Visa card. Without knowing the details of how many travel companions will be coming with you, here is my advice.
 In terms of a trip, it depends on where you are coming from — if you are flying into Halifax, play Glen Arbour, then drive north and play Bell Bay. Stay in Baddeck (and meet Ted Stonehouse, the GM at Bell Bay and one of the great guys in golf), and then head to Highlands Links.  I’d always play an extra game at Highlands and stay at the Keltic Lodge. Play 36 and stay overnight.

From there I’d drive the Cabot Trail north and perhaps stop at Le Portage on the other side of the island. You could drive off the island the same day. The trip is four or five hours to Fox Harb’r. Playing Fox Harb’r depends on your level of interest in the facility. The golf course is good, but not great, and probably over-priced depending on your budget. Northumberland Links is very neat, with a couple of cool holes and very affordable. I’d say this is a real Canadian hidden gem.
Digby Pines is great — but not really on any trip route I can think of. It is kind of out of the way.
As for PEI — Crowbush and Dundarave are quite good. I have not played Andersons Creek, and Brudenell is a fine old course, but not outstanding. I’d stay at the RODD properties there.

A story I wrote on this subject can be found at T&L Golf’s site.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently a columnist with and Ontario Golf, and a contributing writer to ScoreGolf, his blog, Going for the Green, was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • If you are travelling to Cape Breton, it would be criminal not to play at Cabot. I would also add Green Gables to your PEI list.

  • Agreed- criminal to leave Cabot Links and Cliffs off your list. Give Fox H a giant miss-don’t even slow down. You’d want to play The Lakes course and Brudenell, as it is better that Crowbush (which is completely over rated in every category.) Enjoy the Maritimes!!!

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