Like most regions of North America, eastern Canada has enjoyed a golf boom since the early 90s. One of the most prominent new golfing destinations is Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, located in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Nova Scotia.
We visited the Rodd Resort at Brudennel River about three years ago. The track at Brudennel is a classic parkland course with lush grass and beautiful mature trees everywhere — a very enjoyable outing. While we were there, Dundarave, the second 18 at Brudennel was being created before our eyes. In other words, it’s only a couple of years old, and I gather from the descriptions, much more of a new style “designer” course with lots of bunkers, undulations, big greens, and so on.
Another outstanding course (with accompanying Rodd Resort), The Links at Crowbush Cove is not far away. This course was the site (that very week) of the infamous Canadian Skins Game when John Daly was supposed to have hit a 200 yard drive with his putter. We couldn’t get on the course, but friends of mine say it is a fantastic layout. Reviewers seem to agree too, ranking it among the best courses in North America.
The fourth championship track in PEI is Mill River, located at the other end of the island (the west end). This is another highly rated parkland course, with yet another Rodd Resort on site. The price is right too. A three night stay at any of these Rodd Resorts with three rounds of golf is in the range of $500 (Canadian) per person. Compare that to roughly $600 cad per person, plus 15% “service charge” for a three night stay at the Rocky Crest Resort in Ontario.
Back on the mainland, Nova Scotia has an equally diverse range of golf courses and resorts. Perhaps the best known golf destination is the rugged region of Cape Breton.The feature course is Highlands Links way out on the western tip of the island. This course was designed by Stanley Thompson, and has been rated the #1 Public Course in Canada, with green fees that are lower than one might expect for a course of this stature.
Create a three or four night stay in Cape Breton and play the other fine courses: Dundee part of the Dundee Resort on the hills surrounding Bras D’Or Lakes, Le Portage in the Acadian village of Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail, and Bell Bay a newer Thomas McBroom creation, also on Bras D’Or Lakes. Together these courses are referred to as the “Fabulous Foursome”. A three night stay at one of five Cape Breton Resorts with three rounds of golf will run approximately $400 (cad) per person in high season. Significantly lower rates are available in spring and fall. This could be the best golfing deal in all of Canada.
Next door in New Brunswick the golfing scene is not quite as neatly packaged as in PEI and Nova Scotia. But a bit of searching will unearth some gems. For instance, The Algonquin Golf Course and Academy in the quaint town of St. Andrews by the Sea is certainly worth a visit. And you could do a lot worse than a few rounds at the Rees Jones designed Royal Oaks, in Moncton. A three night stay at the Rodd Parkhouse Inn in Moncton (with three rounds of golf at the highly rated Royal Oaks), should be less than $400 per person. Another interesting looking course is The Lynx at Kingswood Park near Fredricton, with green fees in the $50-$75 range. Send for a copy of the New Brunswick Golf Guide and Map, or search the Golf New Brunswick web site for golf tours and vacations.