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Bandon Dunes' Mike Keiser Talks Cabot Links

Mike Keiser -- the man behind Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links

I’m just working through a feature on Cape Breton Island’s Cabot Links, the best new course I’ve seen in some time, and transcribed a recent interview I did with Mike Keiser, the creator of Bandon Dunes in Oregon, currently judged to be the best golf resort in the world, and the co-owner of Cabot. Keiser, who made his fortune in a company that created recycled greeting cards, spoke about Bandon, architect Rod Whitman and the distinct possibility of opening a second course:

G4G: You’ve saw the completed Cabot Links last summer — what was your impression.

Mike Keiser: Your concern was the same as mine — whether the holes away from the ocean, the one near the red barn, would come off. And there’s brilliance in the holes that are away from the ocean. They turned out so well. I’m astonished at what Rod has pulled off.

G4G: But at one time you thought of pulling the plug on the project:

MK: The great recession of 2008 led me to think, ‘What am I doing in Nova Scotia with Rod Whitman. Let me pull the plug. Get me Ben Cowan-Dewar.’ The Dow went to 6,000 and everything I had financial was down 40 or 50%. I had every reason to drop Nova Scotia. But I kept it alive and I decided to spend money much more slowly. We took a full year to buy some sand and move it around. Rod took these industrial shapes and slowly made it dunal. And everyone who goes there talks about the dunes. ‘Let’s go up to the big dune.’ I hear that all the time. But it wasn’t a dune at all.

G4G: And now you’ll open two courses this summer.

MK: It is very nerve wracking. Opening this course in Nova Scotia and a par-3 course at Bandon are two adventuresome moves. Cabot Links used to be a coal mine after all.

G4G: Are you surprised by the reaction to courses like Bandon and Cabot — places off the beaten path that many thought wouldn’t be successful?

MK: I’m a traditionalist. If I told you 10 years ago that people would build links courses and they would be successful, it would have seemed radical. But it has happened. Canadians have missed that because they built around populations. Now it seems obvious. My business plan was to build old links courses and people would like them. And if you build that in Bandon or Tasmania or Nova Scotia – it can be really good. Should we be surprised? No.

G4G: But there are still people who question walking-only courses like Cabot, ones without golf carts.

The 10th hole at Cabot Links

MK: I think golf is intuitively a walking game that got detoured by carts and became what luxury golf has become. But enough people see it as a walking game and it is good for them – it is a walk of five miles.

G4G: Do you think Cabot Links compares well to Bandon Dunes, the original design by David McLay Kidd?

MK: Maybe more so, but that’s because of its origins as a coal mine.  It is fun to play. I wasn’t let down by any of the inland holes.  The total experience hole-by-hole is that I want to see the next one. It is hard to quantify, but I get the feeling when I walk off a course like Cypress. I want to know whether I can play another 18. I think thanks to Rod we’ve pulled it off. If you took Cabot Links and Bandon Dunes and rank the holes, there are as many great holes, maybe more at Cabot. Forgetting that David had coastal dunes and Rod had a coal mine, I think Cabot might even pull it off. I’ll leave that to you.

G4G: There’s a lot of talk about the second course, located on a piece of property north of the existing site.
MK:  As soon as we built the second course at Bandon, with two courses on the ocean, it really jumped. Before it was a curiosity. Now it is one plus one equals three if we build a second course. The two successes led me to believe one plus one equals three. That means if Cabot Links does what we hope it does – and we won’t know until next September – then there’s a second site, which you’ve seen. It has over a mile of ocean front – and that’s exciting.
G4G: What’s the experience been like in Nova Scotia?

MK: I’ve seen the golf course get better and better and the government of Nova Scotia has been extremely proactive in noticing the money that’s been spent and how the town has changed. They’ve discussed an airport in Inverness. That would be unheard of in America. They are very excited about something happening in Cape Breton Island and that makes me even more open to building a second golf course sooner rather than later.

G4G: Will Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design it?

MK: I hope it will be Bill and Ben. We’ll find out when Ben consults with his wife. Is Canada foreign? He’s said if he has to travel a long way he doesn’t want to be away from his family.

G4G: Many people are confounded by why your courses have been successful at a time when golf is struggling.

MK: True links on the ocean is what makes it work. If Bandon Dunes had been in the interior I’m not sure it would have worked. Had I done Bandon in Nebraska there would be no second course. It would be dragging along like Prairie Club is. In Nova Scotia if this was inland, we wouldn’t be talking.

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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 Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

62 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Mike Keiser doesn’t back a losing horse.I imagine that when he saw the Cove below Inverness with four miles of sandy beach, he had visions of Pebble Beach.It was a gamble by a man who knows how to gamble.

    • I became aware of Mike Kaiser several years ago. He is the real thing with many followers. Inverness will look to him in the future as the man who helped ensure its sustainability. Other than this we will all be moving at some point to the nearest srvices–look around you. Thank God there are some innovative business persons out there who will take the risk on Cape Breton. The rest have come grabbed the money and RAN. — Inverness count your Blessings. Now do your part in making it work.

  • Mike you seem to have a big vision for Inverness,I am a resident of Inverness and I love my beach ,however Cabot took our beach away from us and making all these plannes without the town being informed ,we are Inverness and we seem to have no say in any thing,your talking an air port .well talk to the town ,,,we dont want a friggen air port here ,we want to keep our nice quiet town in tact ,not that we dont want change we just want a say in things and Ben should be telling you that, you took away one beach and now we are all crowed in one small section with no room for parking ,its not fair and we will not stand for it .Cabot Links will not tell the town’s people any thing !!!! Its is a fact the Cabot Links just moved in and took over our town ,,,,Mike if you care please respond to my reply!!!

  • Well when I was Inverness a few years ago, it was a sad town. There were too many boarded up stores on the main drag and it simply looked like a dying area. I was Inverness this past July for the course opening on a beautiful Saturday, the streets were busy, restaurants were full and people in some of the stores told me it was the best day they have had in a long time. Now there is a new Inn being built at the Golf Course= more jobs. There is now a chance of jobs for some of the young people as well An airport and another course would only add to these prospects. Oh and by the way the beach was filled with people on that Saturday.

    • Don there was always lots of people around Inverness every summer and also in the fall for Celtic Colours International Festival. You should come. It is quite an experience of the music and culture here in Cape Breton.
      Cape Breton is the No. 1 island destination in Canada and continental United States, according to Travel and Leisure magazine’s 2011 World’s Best Awards. This is not the first time that we have been awarded this title. I do believe it has a lot to do with the beaches and untouched beauty in the area.

  • I am so excited for the prospects of this town now that we have, and may have, 2 world class golf courses. The people of this town that complain about no beach access, obviously don’t go to the beach. I’m a big beach goer, and I have not had any troubles getting to any part of our beautiful beach. This is just a reason to gripe about something, that’s going to be great for Inverness. As far as the airport goes, I’m all for it. I live beside where the proposed site of the airport is going to go, and I’m not worried about it. There’s not going to be Boeing 747’s flying in here, just small private jets. If people with money want to fly into this town to golf and spend money at the local businesses, that by all means, let them do that. Inverness was on it’s face, so to speak, and we needed a lift to help us, and Mike Keiser is doing that! Go for it Mike!!

  • I am not complaining about “No beach access”, but what I am complaining about is the fact of the access that is no longer on the northside of town where I live. A walk to the beach with my child would take 5 mins down the road, exactly 0.5 km. The proposed “pathway” to replace this, is a 3.5km walk. When I stand out in my front yard, I used to see a beautiful ocean, and how lucky we are to have it, and to have it so close and accessible. Now what I see from my street where I have lived for 33 years is hardly any ocean, no road, no path, I see a club house, a parking lot, and new hotels in the making! Yes , it is true we didnt have much in this town, but we always had the beach to take advantage of. And for the prior comment of people that are complaining about no beach access obviously dont go to the beach? That couldnt be anything further from the truth! My child and I havent gone as much since this whole construction began, since i dont drive and have to go almost 4kms to get there! One question I have is how and when did cabot links turn into a resort???

  • Angie and Sharon: I don’t really see the issue, and I’ve been to Inverness many times over the last five years. This beach access issue has been blown up to the point where some seem to have lost sight of the fact that Cabot is bringing jobs and visitors to a town that was basically downtrodden in my experience. Previously there was no reason to come to Inverness — now you have something that’s world class and you want to complain about it? It strikes me there are a couple of different ways to the beach, especially the roadway that runs down to the old ice building, and so I’m not sure where the complaint comes from. People always want things to stay the same, to never inconvenience them in any way. I suspect the people from the area now employed by the club, or the local businesses that will suddenly see an influx of new visitors, probably have a different take on this.

  • To RT and Crystal,get your friggin heads out of the sand,just another example of people believing that Cabot Links is this big wonderful deveopment going to save our poor little town ,well let me set you two poor misled souls right!The only ones that will benifit from Cabot Links is CABOT LINKS,yes thats right!do really think that there clients are going to eat in our restaurants or shop in our stores??? think about it,Its a friggin RESORT!!!! once they are on a resort they dont leave,and you Crystal should be ashamed of your self ,you live here ,do really think the people of Inverness want any kind of air polution or air noise here, NO,Mike Keiser even said himself that he would never get away with that in Americia!So go back to the rocks Crystal and have another beer if you can find room at your end of the beach this summer!

  • I totally understand why people are upset over the beach access being taken away from our end of town. Hopefully through all of this many or most of you will have jobs and profit from all of this. In my opinion once the “upper class” lol start reeling in the big cash all will be lost of the town we once new. Inverness will no longer be our town and most of the Higher up employees will be from the outer circles of Inverness. It always turns out that way. With money comes greed and dishonesty so Invernessers like you sharon keep your eyes and ears wide open. The “politics” of it all ,we all have seen where that ends up! God Bless our sweet little home town.

  • Sharon and Loretta: You guys can’t see the woods for the trees. And if you think creating a spot where a few private jets can land will ruin you little town, you’re naive at best.

    Before Cabot Links, Inverness was a town that had spent decades trying to recover from a point when its only industry departed. What the town has going for itself is its wonderful location — something the golf course capitalizes on.

    Perhaps this jump starts a revitalization of the town — it looks to me like it already has.

    You’ve now got something world class in Inverness that will bring 20,000 new people to the town each summer. If you can’t find a way to capitalize on that it is unfortunate. It is a big opportunity for a small seaside town. If you’re worried that it’ll change the sleepy image you have of the town, well that day has already come and gone.

    And how, exactly, does one exist in a place like Inverness without driving?

    • And how, exactly, does one exist in a place like Inverness without driving?

      ‘You complain about a world-class resort replacing a plastic bag riddled old road (anyone else remember that stinkin’ recycling depot??) with beautiful rolling green hills and happy tourists.
      Folks only ever DROVE down that road anyways!
      If you loved beach rd #2 so much, why was it always a total disgrace to the environment/community and beach? Perhaps CONTRIBUTING to your community by picking up all those bags would have shown outsiders we actually cared about this place. Thank you Cabot for cleaning up that awful mess.

      (I like your posts RT, keep ’em up!)

  • RT,do you live in Inverness????If not a visite does not give you the right to “think” you know what is best for this Town,I on the other hand have lived here all my life and I do have the right to voice my opinion of what is best for MY town!We had a world class beach taken from us,is that right?NO, it was a few people from our IDA that make all these plans with out any input from the town,but I will not get into that with an outsider.As far as driving in Inverness,lol I don’t know or do I care from where you come from ,but here in Inverness most people walk to where thay want to go and a lot walk because they have no other choice! So unless you know what your talking about please keep you opinions to you self,you have no idea of what the real picture is here and what it is doing to our Town ,a Golf Course was one thing a RESORT is another!…I am any thing but naive! as you say 20,ooo new people to our town in a summer and all to Cabot Links ,they are the only ones going to make money off those people,Inverness was all ways know for its beautiful beaches ,now we have one small beach that we have access to, I wonder how 20,000 new people are going to squeeze in to that one small area of beach???

  • “So unless you know what your (sic) talking about please keep your opinions to you self (sic).” — Sharon

    Pot, meet the kettle.

    Sharon — where did the beach go? You say it was taken from you — last I saw the beach was one long expanse. You’re saying you can’t get there now?

    Sometimes the good of the few has to be set aside for the good of the many. Cabot Links will take Inverness from a sleepy town with few employment opportunities and hopefully offer some who live there a chance at something greater. It is transformational.

    And I haven’t only been to Inverness once. Do your homework and you’ll see I’ve been many times and spent a lot of time in the town and spoken with a lot of people there. Never once did I get the sense that your opinion was held by anyone. Rather, most were thrilled the golf course was coming. And you speak of a resort like it is a sewage plant going in — not something that will raise the property values of all the homes in the town.

    And whether you like it or not, the time you idealize has passed you by.

  • JM2 lol lol I love that some people will post such a totaly stupit comment and not have the balls to put ther own name behind it lol by the way JM are you related to the Ryans fom Inverness.you sound just like them.

  • RT,…….crap meet the fan

    why the hell should I do my homework on you ,you can even put up your real name,so people like you are not even worth my time!

    and you can bet I will be braking down Cabot’s door for one of there min,wage jobs ,yip my life dream is to serve there rich clients ha ,and by the way come to Inverness and talk to the real people here not just the cabot yes men!!!

  • Sharon: RT stands for Robert Thompson. It is my blog and site you’ve been commenting on and me that you’ve been debating.

    I’d be delighted to get your perspective when I visit this summer, as I plan to. I don’t think you’re going to enlighten me much though. There was nothing world class in Inverness before — not even your beloved beach. Now there is and from the media reports, it appears all you’ve done is dump on it. This looks to be all about your problem — not what is better for the community.

    If you do some reading — try a tool called Google — and use my name and Cabot Links as the search, you’ll see I’ve been following this and writing about it on a national level for the better part of seven years. I have a deeper understanding of this project than you suspect.

  • As a person who grew up in Inverness but has moved away to find work, I think the golf course will offer people options I did not had, which was to stay and live at home. I will admit I am not educated fully on the ins and outs of the golf course but a big concern for me is that Inverness was so desperate to get this golf course that it did not cover it’s assets well enough. I believe Inverness should have leased the land instead of giving away ocean front property. Or least had a contract that it be returned to the town if something happened and the golf course closed down. Also royalties should have been paid longer then 15 years. Values of homes and property will go up which will in turn increase property taxes and I’m not sure if a lot of people in Inverness can afford that. I agree that any jobs are better then none and hopefully there will be some good jobs and not just minimum wage serving and cleaning jobs. As for the airport my main concern would be that wealthier clients would fly in for the day, play golf eat supper at the golf course and leave. Which in turn will actually take away from tourists spending money in the town. There are many benefits to the course and I guess everything that concerned me it is too late to fix.

  • I think it is very sad that a beautiful well written article about our town has to be tore apart with this crap!!! If you are a “true Invernesser”, pro golf course or not..you would not be on this site making us all look like a bunch of rednecks for the world to see!!!! I pride myself on the thought of tourists choosing our little Inverness as a place to come and visit. I love meeting new people from all over the world, and feel very honoured as an Invernesser that they choose to come here!!! Well what a welcome mat this site is for them!!! I feel very sad tonight reading all this slander…and very embarrased! Just know out there…this is a select few(who should be saving it for there town hall meeting) and not how all the town feels!!!

  • S, I am not related to the Ryans I just happen to work for GASHA and have the displeasure of dealing with you here and there. As for Cabot ‘suddenly’ becoming a resort…it is modeled, and has been since the start, after Bandon Dunes – a RESORT!

  • I also agree that the beach access argument is getting out of hand. I know walkers beach was beautiful, but so is having the opportunity to have your kids and grand kids live in Inverness with you. For the people complaining for access yes it a huge loss but do any of you have children friends or family that have moved away? What if they could get jobs home and be able to live there with you, year round? Isnt that worth more then 2 months at the beach?

  • OMG I just can not believe the comments from some people.Robert, I don;t know who the hell you are ,but do you relise we lost a fish plant that employed 150 seasonly and now a tree nursary ,so a hand full of jobs at crapy wadges will not make up for that ,for the love of god get your ass out of your ass! and I am not hostial to jobs here ,but I am when workers are
    dis respected and getting only min.wage. we are not despert workers here and Cabot will not revise our town and get our men and woman back from Fort Mac …jeeeeees get with it !!!

  • AND to FM,yes I do have Family that had to move away for work ,but when they see what is happening here and what we lost they are VERY upset,for the love of god get the real picture here!!!I am so tired of people like you!!!and as far as beach access …we were told that we would have it !!!all I want is our beach back, road and all!!! It is what we were led to believe would happen from our IDA ,now let them answer to the town!!!!you are not worth my second thought!!! jeese you sound just like the people who created this proplem!!!! so who are you ???do you not have the balls to put your name behind your comment?

  • Sharon: I think you should spend less time worrying about the beach and more time on your spelling and grammar.

    As to who I am, check out the box on the screen with my picture — my bio is attached.

    It is called the Internet — and we’ve been using it for a while.

    No wonder you can’t figure out how to get to the beach.

  • Whoa people! We seem to have lost touch with what we’ve started talking about. This isn’t a pissing match to see who can yell the loudest! All I had stated in my last comment was MY opinion, and everyone who lives in this town or otherwise is entitled to THEIR opinion. Just because we don’t agree to see eye to eye doesn’t mean that you are right and I am wrong, and vice versa. I am still, and will continue to be, excited about the prospects that will come to this town and the employment opportunities as well because of the golf course. Maybe people who had to move away for work will now want to come home and start a family here. We know we could use more kids going to our school, so we won’t be one of the unlucky ones to have our school lost. As far as your comments Sharon about “go have another beer”, well that was hurtful. But yes, I will be having some beer on the beach this year. You should try it too. It’s still there!!

  • Sharon if you all this extra time on your hands, why don’t you put all your energy into saving our O.R. Instead of acting like some one owes you something.The Cabot links is the nicest thing that could of happened to OUR town.at least some people are trying to make it a better place, and instead of knocking it, be happy like the majority of people are.what did you ever do to make YOUR town a place where families could stay together.And yes the beach is a nice beach which you can always get to,and yes I understand that’s it’s the only beach you probably you know, so off course you think it’s world class. And Sharon don’t relay to everyone that your opinions are what the people of Inverness believe,that is very far from the truth.All the great articles I am reading about our town and am very proud and excited for the opening of the Cabot links.

  • Can I just say, Sharon, are you just upset that now there’s actual work in town and now you have no reason to stay at home and putt around?
    Really.. You do NOT represent the TOWN. You represent yourself.
    I have lived in Inverness my whole life. Walker’s beach was my childhood beach as well. Do you see anyone else but yourself creating such a big pathetic stink over a path? If you want to go to the beach go to Inverness Beach Village, or go down Beach Road number one, or if you are really missing “Walker’s” Beach try exercising and walking the length of the boardwalk where you end where Walker’s beach is.
    Our town is beautiful, without the clay hills, I can sit and look at the rolling healthy green hills now, so peaceful, and Cabot Links is a Lodge, not a resort. It’s not going to be a ‘Gated” Community, it will help the town flourish. There has already been a HUGE influx of revenue to the town because of Cabot Links, they buy all there food locally, they contract people for plowing/construction/everything locally, the flowers on their tables in the restaurant … bought locally.
    It isn’t just a “couple of dollars” it’s actual revenue.
    That’s worth losing a path any day!
    We still get the luxury of our beautiful beaches, our gorgeous sunsets, and everything else this town is wonderful for… and now, we have employment, the sleepy town is waking up, there are jobs, people who have had to move away have been hired and get to move home, it’s a wonderful thing.
    Sharon, please stop saying you represent the whole town. You’re just one opinion. At the very least if you’re going to say you represent the town, please make sure to do a spell check, and maybe proof read you sentences before posting. I don’t think getting your “ass” out of your “ass” makes much sense to anyone. Trying to get your point across must be hard when you can’t even do it in a very “intelligent” manner.
    Maybe all your energy should be focused on the hospital issue… Something that is an actual issue…
    I still can’t believe we’re talking about this path.
    *sigh*

  • The beach access issue was resolved in June 2011. Maybe it is time to move on?

    Dear editor, Inverness, Oran June 29th/2011
    ‘We have followed the media coverage of the discussion about access to Inverness beach as construction of the golf course continues. We want to offer a perspective which has been missed in these accounts’….and so the letter goes on …. ‘We apologize to those in our community who are upset and who believe the Inverness Development Association did not act in their best interest. We regret the negative comments made regarding Cabot Links developers as a result of misinformation. The IDA values its relationship with Cabot Links, as it does with all groups and individuals who work together for the betterment of the community. It is our hope that, by sharing the information in this letter, it will remind us that Cabot Links, the IDA and government partners have worked throughout these many years with the best interests of the community in mind.’
    Tony MacDonald,
    President
    Tom Ryan, Past
    President
    Vincent MacMaster, Past
    President
    Lloyd Gillis, Past
    President
    John MacIsaac/Jim Ryan
    Past IDA Golf Committee
    Chairs
    Inverness Development
    Association
    Rankin MacDonald, Past
    President
    (If you wish to read the entire article, the full version is available at the Oran Office).

  • Sharon, will my opinion matter more or less if you know my full name? You want it so you can take a cheap dig at me like you did crystal? I am entitled to my opinion just as much as you and as for the golf course not taking anyone home from fort mac, where did Katy ma Leod work at one time before the golf course? Halifax and fort McMurray, I know Keigan mac lean worked in fort mcmurry but did not have to return this summer because he worked at the gold course. I am sure there is more and maybe it won’t bring people back from out west but it will potentially give new generations the option to stay. As for the fish plant providing so many jobs, I know that was hard and sometimes dirty work that caused a terrible smell to spread through the town at times and pollute the air on the road to the beach. So I would think people might be happier to work on a beautiful golf course and not being elbow deep in stinky shells. So you have your opinion that the golf course has taken away your beach access, r an adult and respect that others have a different opinion and that some families are very happy to have their children stay closer to home.

  • jees ,John the same way you found it !!!!
    and Happy Camper , just to let you know the beach issue was not resolved in June 2011,maybe it was as far as cabot was concerned but not for a lot of people in Inverness,it is still a big deal to a lot of us, and to Crystal I agree it was a POT SHOT and I agree ,there is nothing better then a cold beer on the beach! and NO I do not use SPELL CHECK lol lol my bad, and yes I can give it and I can take it !!!! I guess I did not make some new friends here lol now relax!

  • OHH and to MAC D or who ever you are ,I did not SAY I represent this town, my thoughts only ,although there are alot that will agree with me,and please do not assume to know me ,you don’t,because if you did you would know that I helped with the first Rally for the Hospital and also with the one for tommorw and I also help clean our beach every summer!!! no better people then in Inverness and not a more beautiful place to live.

  • As somone who has very deep roots in Inverness and having moved to Cape Breton from Ontario recently I can honestly say that the likes of ‘Sharon’ do not represent the true Invernesser. Most Invernessers are intelligent, well spoken and caring people who understand exactly what Cabot Links brings, not only to Inverness but the entire area. I am appalled at the attempts at arguments from you, Sharon – you are an embarrassment and your credibility (look it up) is sub zero so I think you should just stop and refrain from the hillbilly diatribe and inappropriate insults to YOUR neighbours. If you can’t figure out how to get yourself to the miles of beaches that line Inverness then you have bigger issues to worry about than a golf course. I’ll give you a hint, go outside and follow the sounds of the waves…..you’ll find it eventually I promise.

    Additionally, those 125 jobs that you feel are beneath you? I’m sure you have a very stimulating career but please don’t belittle those that will be anxious for these new jobs.

  • Robert: Enjoyed the above article and your past musings on Cabot Links and Inverness. Please don’t let the vitriolic views of a very small minority of people here diminish your apparent enthusiasm for the golf course or our community.
    The arrival of Cabot Links has been a boon to Inverness, no ifs, ands or buts. While the loss of Beach Road No. 2 was a source of acrimony for some (I, for one, still manage get to our beloved beach – hard not to, it’s so big), it was a small price to pay considering the many benefits we have derived already from having a world-class golf course where a slag heap used to exist. In the brief time Ben Cowan-Dewar has taken up residency, he, his family, and the organization he represents have been nothing short of good citizens, corporate or otherwise. Cabot Links’ investment in this town is beyond just a company looking to make money and the people be damned. They have hired locally at every turn; have supported local sports teams and organizations with donations of money, expertise and equipment; and have people talking about our community for reasons that are positive.
    I recently became a home-owner in Inverness again. The home I bought wasn’t for the $30,000 or $40,000 you could have gotten it for 20 years ago, but neither was it for the $200,000 or $300,000 you would pay for it in most other parts of this country. The times change and we have to change with them, otherwise we stagnate and die.
    And while some people can sneer at 125 jobs, you won’t get any complaints from anyone I know who is more than willing to work for $11 an hour in Inverness than to make better money in Fort Mac or anywhere else.
    As you can tell from the majority of respondents to your blog, most of us welcome the arrival of Cabot Links and hope it remains a part of our community for many years to come. You will notice that they all write eloquently and thoughtfully, and do not bad-mouth others, even when their opinion is different than the mainstream. Keep up the good work, and good words, for Inverness!

  • I am delighted to be employed by Cabot Links & cannot wait for the new season to begin.They are a great organization to work for.To work in such beautiful surroundings is such an asset.Our community is very fortunate.

  • The golf course is literally the best thing to ever happen to this town. The only other thing that comes close is the discovery of coal, which did create the town, but then all but ruined it when the coal dried up. Maybe by some miracle the vocal detractors will realize the benefits, but until then almost everyone is excited to see things really moving in a positive direction. 125 jobs is just the beginning, who knows what could happen in 5 more years?

  • As someone considering a trip to Cape Breton now that Cabot Links will join Cape Breton Highlands as a destination golf course, I’ll give my perspective. The Bandon courses are a stand-alone resort, isolated from the town of Bandon. Cabot Links is more like St. Andrews or North Berwick, an integral part of the town. It’s not unusual to see non-golfers walking across courses in England or Scotland, likely due to the property being “common land.” The course is obviously concerned about lawsuits from people hit by golf balls. But having residents crossing the course is in line with the links golf experience, so there would appear to be room for compromise. Clearly, if you hate the idea of tourists daring to set foot in the area, you won’t be happy. But I would guess that you’ll see people planning loops like I am, driving the Cabot Trail, playing Highlands Links and maybe Bell Bay or Le Portage, and leaving a few dollars behind. The added tourism might just be enough to keep other businesses alive, like the harness racing track in Inverness.

  • You Know Jim ,I am happy to hear what you said, I will be walking to my beach this summer and I will be respectful of golfers as I know they will be resecptful of us,after all it was our beach that was taken away! and we do have a right to access!!!!!

    how ever I did do a lot of reading on Bandon and I do not agree , bandon may be out side of ther town ,but the down side is real…..re: new york times ( one mans gains is another mans loss( just so scard it will happen here!)

  • OMG … the hate mail….I am not surprised…..just to let those that don’t like what I have to say …. there are PROS and CONS to everything….I happen to voice my CONS ,and I am so scard that those people are putting all there (eggs in one backest) it is the reality of it all!!1 my interstest is for the business owners of Inverness!!!!

  • OHH and Robert!!!!I so welcome your visite to Inverness this summer ,Look me up …as I said before there are pros and cons to everything!!!!!give me a chance to get my opinion across!!!! I love my town and want the best for it.

  • And one more thought ….I DO want job’s here in Inverness.and I am happy for those that have job’s with Cabot ,I know what it is like to have a job you love ,because I have a job I love!!!! so those that have tryed to down -grade me ….look at yourselfs…..!!!!… I know who you are ………so keep it up if you like ,I will not back down…….untill then….: ) have a nice day!!!

  • ohhh JM , I just can’t let this go…..As you said, you just moved back to Inverness….well I have lived here all my life …and I take insult to what you have to say …..this is all because we (walkers beach ) was talking away from us! so as you said you just moved back here ,how can you say “that the likes of me” do not repersent Inverness,I am now appalled at the likes of you!!! you do not know me at all!!!!!!!!! ohh and look up how to get to 3 milels of our beach…..and you will see that we have no access to our beaches……except a very small parcel on our boardwalk………our #one assest was always our beaches…. it makes me so sad.
    and I will not give up the fight!!!!!

  • Sharon, you can’t seem to let anything go. What’s done is done! If you want to chance walking through the golf course to get to – as you say it – YOUR beach, then by all means, please do so. You have all this energy to put a stop to something that’s already been done. Stop beating a dead horse. This issue is over. Why don’t you go to the lake and try saving that!

    • whooo ,CMT I think I hit a nerve,”stop beating a dead horse”,well I can just say to you in a very nice way IT IS FAR FROM OVER, and to cabot just give us our path,and that will end that part of it,to every thing else ,well time will tell!!!,and believe me it will be not only me that will walk to our beach this summer,right through the course!!!!!!! see you all in the summer!!!! ohh and I am very active in what’s going on at the Lake ,jees please know me before you assume anything,I know you are one of them that think I am a “hillbilly” well lol you know you are wrong!!! perfect of the “pot calling the kittle”and why should I except that it is done? just because you and your friends say it is so ???? ohhh there are more voices in Inverness then you seem to think!!!

  • To Bill Dunphy,well you seem to have all the answers,as I have seen in you scuttlebutt lol ,just a laugh,Bill you have known me for what 20 years now,and you knowI speak what I think and will always stand up for what is right!and when your girls were small you took them to our beach to ,now think if you had to take them there now,do you want to walk 2.5 km to get there and all it takes to get kids there???,,,don’t you want to take your grandkids there as I do??ohh and you say most write eloquently.and thoughtfully,well why don’t you try it in your scuttlebutt, when someone writes into the ORAN and wants to voice there opinion in whats going on with CABOT???????and you have your say in the same issue as acting editor????so please don’t go there with me!! nice try to make people think that I am the only one thinking this way ….300 people at a town Hall meeting voicing there concerns as I did , do not make us a few people.I am ashamed at you right now!!!!! and yes this is not the oran and I will never respond to your rants on us in the oran!!! now have a great day !
    I just wish you people that run me down in what I have to say had kids and maybe no car to take there kids to the beach and then maybe you will know what I mean!! as some are now saying “welcome to Cape Breton USA”

  • Sharon — I think you’ve replied to everyone now. After the latest set of comments, I think we’re done on the topic. You’ve proven to have a very particular perspective on this, one that I don’t share. I think you’ll find the issue is a dead one — strikes me there’s a golf course now, one that is generating a significant number of new jobs for the region and generating more attention for Inverness than any time in the last four or five decades. I appreciate you simply don’t want any change, but I don’t think you’re in the majority on this and I don’t see any political will in changing the situation.

    From this point I consider this topic closed.

    • Well Robert you may want this closed,but I will never give up.how ever you are right in one point the golf course is here,want I want more then any thing is to protect our waterfront,what is left ,this is a bigger developent that the town was ready for,and you are wrong to a point, I want change for this town ,but at what cost???? that is my major fear!and as you said you will be visiting Inverness this summer ,talk to some other residents of Inverness ,the ones on the waterfront! untill the summer ,take care : ))

  • Sharon you strike a nerve with a lot of people in this town. Your endless bantering and personal jibes at people, just goes to show how unintelligent you really are. I’m sure there’s a handful of people that agree with your side of the issue, however, not many of them have ‘backed you up’ on this blog, have they! Believe me when I say that for the most part, Invernessers are very happy to have this course in our town. You seem to just throw shit at the wall to see if it will stick!!! MOVE ON!

  • I like your comments AF and Jim Baird. It is quite normal to have non golfers walk through the course. Hopefully Cabot Links will set out a path that is safe instead of having people walk unguided through the course. Happy golfing 🙂

  • Well I must say shame on you for your stupidity about Invernessers. You see I’d like to know who you golf lovers have been talking to besides Sharon? I’ve spoken to many of the” True Invernessers”, the ones who worked through your so called SHIT….. The ones who never left that town and who also never got help from that place either. When you look at this people their withered faces could right a book..to see the saddness of how they did nothing but pay,pay and pay some more to fill the pockets of people have only their own greed in mind. All the new buildings and lights throughout the town hahahaha ARE YOU KIDDING ME another addition for the towns people to pay out of their pockets.. tax over tax is what they’ll get… They’ll be railroaded out of what little bit of property they became accustomed to. It all looks fine but watch who comes in and gets the management jobs the jobs that pay decent wages. What is this golf course bringing to the original people of Inverness who are now seniors ….oh let me be a bit clearer on my wording …… the poor end of town where you so silently closed their access to the beach. Does the word Corrupt mean anything well to alot of people I’ve talked to .that’s the first thing that comes out of their mouths. Wait and see they say oh and we will. I would be more concerned in maintaining the medical system down there, making sure there are no cuts in the future. Sharon has the right of Freedom of Speech as we all do. Her opinions are based on a life where her people were raised in that town and not on the snob end either. The ones who worked for a living. As with all other situations its rob from the poor and give to the rich. All who benefit are the well to do so called big shots and all the brown nosers who follow them… To you dear sharon keep on keepin on its your town and you have a right to your opinion . By the way you speak the words of many who are too timid to speak out because in their minds it’ll amount to nothing in the end. Its people like you who stand for the ones who have lost faith in our system. Koodo’s to you lady. Don’t be intimidated!!!!

    • Thank you so much Loretta!See its not just me who knows what is happening here!!!!!!! Pro and Cons people,be open,we don’t live in lala land.

  • Alright alright, enough already. Let’s play nice everyone. Sharon is entitled to her opinions, as is everyone else. Let’s not slander each other. Let’s just agree to disagree. Those who stand for what they believe in will not change their opinion. Let’s not directly put down anyone. This issue should not be a reason for everyone to hate on everyone.
    There are many pro’s to Cabot Links, as people have pointed out, and as far as I can seen, some very miss-guided cons, however the golf course is here, expect change, expect jobs, expect a difference. It doesn’t have to be a bad difference. Try to work together as a community, because like it or not the golf course is now a part of what our community is, and slandering people and saying rude things is not going to change anything.
    True Invernessers are better than this and let’s prove it. Let’s not keep posting on a universal website where the world can see, and show that we are some type of hill billy community who can’t come together and have nothing better to do than post illiterate, condescending things on a forum.
    If you want to work together, show up at the town meetings, accept that others are NOT going to have the same opinion as you. Move on.
    This has evolved into something way off from the actual article at hand, and I am ashamed that it has gotten this far.
    We are all one community, let’s support each other, and agree to disagree.

  • got to this blog from reading of the new course, mike has done wonders with bandon. i live in michigan and im telling you his golf courses are magical. cabot will bring quality people who have a keen interest in golf and respect nature because of the nature of the sport. i laughed at the arguments, and wish to reassure the worried.

    golfers are fun loving people who respect like the surroundings and will venture toward the town, its part of the experience…

  • i found it interesting, i am wondering if Bandon the town felt the same as inverness, i have played bandon, only in winter months and that place reminds much of inverness…

  • Four friends and I spent four nights at Cabot Links August 3-8, with one night up at Highland Links in the middle. It was a fabulous trip! The golf course at Cabot Links is over the top good and will be a Mecca for links-loving golfers for years to come. The experience will only be enhanced once the second course, Cabot Cliffs, opens. We were fortunate to have a tour of the construction and a chance to visit with Rod Whitman once we were able to drag him off his D6 bulldozer. He loves that stuff!

    The Cabot Links became one of my personal Top 25 in the wirld, it is that good a links. Rod’s design is amazing. He routes the course around the hill in the center much like Alister Mackenzie did at several of his famous designs such as Royal Melbourne. The routing is an adventure that takes you completely around the property by the time you reach the 11th green – and then back again! Mike Keiser is spot on, the inland holes like 4, 5, 9, and 18 are outstanding. The 15th and 16th, par 4s along the cliff, might the best holes on the course.

    Contrary to some opinions, we ate dinner at the club once and dined out at the Red Shoe in Mabou and at the Bistro in Inverness. Everywhere we went the locals were charming, funny, and genuinely glad to see guys from south of the border enjoying their hospitality. The enthusiasm for Cabot Links was genuine and hearty.

    And there were a lot of cars parked at the beautiful beach down by the harbor.

    Congratulations to Mike and Ben and Ran for such a strong vision of what Inverness and Cabot Links could be. And bravo! To Rod Whitman, the course is as much fun to play as Sagebrush, which is a major compliment.

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