Links Golf Course Opens in Nova Scotia, Canada

Serious golfers in the U.S. and Canada will love this: This month, Nova Scotia, also referred to as “New Scotland,” will get Canada’s first genuine links course (one of only six in North America, we hear) and see the re-opening of a classic 1941 course. On June 29, all 18 holes will open at Cabot Links in Inverness on the northwest coast of Cape Breton Island, designed by Rod Whitman in the style of classic Scottish courses.
Also in Cape Breton, Highland Links, Stanley Thompson’s course that debuted in 1941 has undergone a major restoration. Architect Ian Andrew has opened up scenic vistas, restored bunkers and increased green speeds for this public course ranked in the world’s top 100.

At Cabot Links, every hole overlooks water (in this case, the Gulf of St. Lawrence). All 18 holes are laid out naturally following the terrain and its sandy soil. Natural seaside grasses make up the rough. Bunkers are numerous and deep to protect the sand from being blown about by strong sea breezes. On some holes, we hear that Whitman has added design elements reminiscent of Prestwick, Biarritz and Pebble Beach.

Also debuting later this summer will be the 48-room Cabot Links Lodge, the Panorama Restaurant and the Cabot Bar. Guest rooms at the lodge will have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the course and the ocean beyond. (Nice touch: We hear the guestrooms have Ralph Lauren furnishings.) The restaurant will serve Nova Scotia lobster, Mabou oysters, Digby scallops and rainbow trout from the nearby Margaree River. The Cabot Bar has more than 40 single malts including Glen Breton from the Glenora Distillery down the road.

And over in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Highland Links have been improved over the last two years under golf course architect Ian Andrews. The final three holes will be completed this summer. Several years ago, a selective tree-clearing program resulted in increased wind effects on shots to the greens, and opened up views of the ocean. We hear that the course resembles the legendary St. Andrews course in Scotland: Holes like “Heich O’Fash,” or “Heap of Trouble;” “Killiecrankie,” the seventh hole, resembles the narrow pass of Killiecrankie in the Scottish Highlands. “Canny Slap,” the fifth hole, is similar to St. Andrew’s eleventh hole, “Eden.”
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