Best Golf Courses in Nova Scotia

Planning on visiting Nova Scotia? This maritime Canadian province counts with many colourful towns, iconic lighthouses, vineyards, islands and lakes. Loyal to its roots, the Canadian peninsula has also some Scottish vibe in it: authentic malt distilleries, Gaelic signs, Highland dances, and of course, golfing: Since the 1920s there has been golf tournaments played in this province, and has become one of the indispensable spots to play this sport in Canada.That is why Nova Scotia counts with some beautiful tracks that golf lovers will enjoy to the fullest. Playing here will make you experience the authentic feel of true golf. So in order to not get overwhelmed by the huge amount of courses in the province, we have made you a list of the best ones you can try out during your visit. Game on!

Best Golf Courses in (Province/State)

1. Cabot Cliffs (Cape Breton)

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Situated only one kilometre from Cabot Links, this astonishing course opened in 2015, and has become the favourite golfing spot for many golf players who have experience some rounds here, taking the place of the Links. Sometimes it is said to have some similarities with the famous Californian course of Cypress Point, with large and undulated greens, indulgent fairways and a design that makes it quite fun while enjoying some jaw-breaking views to the Atlantic.Its name suits it perfectly: the course is situated on top of the Gulf St. Lawrence, reaching heights of 60 metres, and making the track more rolling than its neighbour, the Links. Each hole is special here, there is a particularity: it has the same number of par 3, par 4 and par five holes, three of each in both nines. Do not get misled by the first, and somehow simple first hole: the second one, with an elevated tee followed by an uphill approach to the green will leave you breathless. If we have to choose one signature hole, without a doubt will say the 16th: a par 3 that is compared to the 16th hole of Cypress Point, as one of the most inspiring holes of the whole world, with a really challenging small green at the top of a cliff that will make your adrenaline rush in your blood.The playing season for this course is the same as the Links: from May to October, with rates which oscillate between C$60 and C$200 depending on the month (May is the cheapest, being more expensive during the days between July and October). About the services, it offers everything you can expect in a top-class course like this: wonderful and comfortable accommodations with free international calls, two restaurants (check out the seafood!) and a seating place behind the 18th hole, where you can rest while enjoying the fantastic views.You can check their web for information, it has great content and is a real pleasure for the eyes. It is shared with its neighbour, the Links, so it is a great way to easily compare both courses.

2. Cabot Links (Cape Breton)

Rating: 4.9/5.0

Cabot Links was opened in 2012, and was an absolute and pleasing surprise. Before the arrival of Cabot Cliffs, the Links was named the best course of Canada in 2015 Canadian Golf magazine’s Top 100 course, and ranked 93rd on the Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses of the world. Nova Scotia owes its world golfing recognition to this course. A classical links course, with greens which are larger and slower than usual. Its difficulty is less dramatic than the Cliffs, but still challenging. They say that Cabot Cliffs was trying to make every hole in a spectacular way, while the Links has some ups and downs which make the good ones stand out. Its signature hole, clearly the 14th: a par 3 clearly inspired by the 7th at Californian Pebble Beach. A downhill hole with some stunning views of the ocean in the background. Beware of the wind, as will have an important effect on the ball!It is an only-walkable course, so forget about the golf cart. However, you have the option of employing a caddie or rent a pull-cart if your back can’t stand it. The prices and services are the same as the Cliffs.

3. Highlands (Cape Breton)

Rating: 4.6/5.0

Stanley Thompson designed this golfing gem in 1941, and Ian Andrews restored it in 2015. Until the arrival of the neighbours mentioned above, it was undoubtedly the best golf course in Nova Scotia. Surrounded by a national forest, this course melts with nature in a magnificent way, giving the round a solitude and harmony for those who love the silent sounds of trees and birds while playing their game. It is a quite fun course to play, with some downhill par 3s that will make you smile while preparing for your tee shots. One clear example of this is the 10th one, a straight downhill hole quite fun, with a putting green surrounded by some hills full of trees. But if we have to choose one, we stay with the 3rd: a nice par 3 hole over a pond and reaching to a green with five bunkers around it. A great challenge to try to go for the birdie!The bad news is that the dense forest surrounding each hole will make it difficult to find any missing balls.The accommodations are located in the Keltic Lodge Resort Hotel, a great chance to enjoy rooms with a splendid views of the Atlantic Ocean.

4. The Links at Brunello (Timberlea, Halifax)

Rating: 4.4/5.0

This scenic course is located on the community of Timberlea, in Halifax, is the best option for playing golf if you are staying near the capital of Nova Scotia. But beware of the misleading name: although it is named Links, it does not feel or look like a links course. It has a decent difficulty, with wide fairways, few bunkers and capacious greens countered by some uphill and unforgiving holes. There is also long distances and elevations between holes, so renting a golf cart could be a great idea. The hole that appeals the most is the 10th: located close to the clubhouse, this hole is a par 3 has everything that makes Brunello unique: uphill, some rocks and great surrounding trees. And if you want to stop playing golf for a moment, Brunello offers a wide variety of other activities, such as tennis, hiking or walking, and winter activities like ice skating or tobogganing. Their website is beautifully done and really intuitive, and there you can check all the information really easily.

5. Fox Harb’r (Wallace, Cumberland)

Rating: 4.1/5.0

Designed by Graham Cooke in the year 2000, Fox Harb’r is a luxurious resort perfect for couples that want to treat themselves apart from golfing. It counts with great accommodations and a spa that will make the end of the days an absolute delight. It also has their own landing strip for personal jets. Nothing flashy, right? The ostentatious resort is located in the Northumberland Strait, in the rural town of Wallace, named after the famous Scottish hero William Wallace. The course has a fantastic conditioning, and a 14th hole which stands out as the most attractive one: a downhill par 4 ending up with a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, with a stunning house in the making the background an absolute paradise. About the services, you can expect a great hospitality and a friendly staff who will try to make you feel comfortable at all times.The prices here are between C$150 and C$220, including carts, a great driving range and locker rooms.

6. Glen arbour (Hammond Planes, Halifax)

Rating:  4.0/5.0

While not being one of the elite courses of Canada, Glen Arbour is a solid and great course, which offers great lakes, a well maintained course and a friendly service. If you are around Halifax, this is a nice choice that will make you a really good impression.With a bit uninspiring start, the course get better and better, having a front nine quite challenging with some uphill wholes, to end up with a more generous back nine. Be sure of carrying some extra balls, as the trees surrounding count with a dense undergrowth that will make it hard to find the missing balls. The 7th hole stands out as the signature hole for this course, a short par 3 over a pond that reaches a green separated from the water with some hardwood planks. The prices are affordable, varying from C$60 to C$100 for a daily fee depending on the month, being June, July and August the most expensive ones.

7. Chester Golf Club (Chester)

Rating: 4.2/5.0

Situated in the stunning coastal village of Chester, this course obviously has some breath-taking views. Being cheaper than the other courses seen until now (around C$70), it is really well maintained and it is definitely worth the price you pay for it. Check out their online website to see each hole really well explained. Our favourite is the 8th: the shortest par 3 to try to get our best shot of the day, with the islands surrounding Chester on the background. And please, do not forget the seafood. In the clubhouse you can try the famous chowder, and see (and taste) by yourself why it is internationally famous!

8. The Lakes Golf Club (Ben Eoin)

Rating: 4.2/5.0

The Lakes count with the remarkable surroundings of Ben Eoin, a town located in Cape Breton. While it can’t be compared with the Cliffs or the Links level of maintenance, for sure it can in terms of beauty. The course is fit for players of all levels, with some amazing holes. The 6th is the one for us, with a tee shot that will make you feel you are in heaven. Enjoying some of the best views of Cape Breton, watching your tee shot launch is an absolute inspiration for any golfer.Apart from golf, they also have the Bar & Grill, a nice restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while contemplating the astonishing views.

9. Bell Bay Golf Club (Baddeck)

Rating: 4.1/5.0

If you are near the north eastern side of Cape Breton, this course is a great choice. Designed by the Canadian golf course architect Tom McBroom, it opened in 1998, being named by Golf Digest the best new course in Canada that year. In the beautiful town of Baddeck, this course allows you to play while overlooking some views of the Bras d’Or lakes. It is known by its final four holes, one of the best finishing series ever, featuring the most attractive hole of the course, the final 18th a par 5 with some panoramic views that will make you end the day in a glorious way. Proof of the quality of this track is the hosting of some Canadian famous championships, such as the Canadian Amateur Open in 2005 or the Canadian Club Championship in 2006.

10. Parrsboro Golf Club (Parrsboro)

Rating: 4.0/5.0

The last position of the list is for this short course of Parrsboro, 9 holes perfect for those who are seeking a quick and delightful round while entertaining themselves with the magnificent views of the Minas Basin. It is open to public from May to October, with some low rates between C$25 and C$30.Do not be fooled by the easy appearance of the holes, because there are some tricky par 3s that will be quite a challenge, like the 7th. Its clubhouse was built in the year 2000 to replace an old farmhouse that had been there since the course opening in 1980.

Wrap up

Playing in any of these courses will make your trip to Nova Scotia a memorable one. Not only will you get amazed by the seaside views, sunsets or islands around it, but also have some challenges that will make your golfing experience here an absolute delight.Because, is there any better way of appreciating the beauty of a country than playing some rounds in one of its best golf courses? For us, the answer is clear!


Author: Abraham

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