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JWinick

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Cabot Links Advice
« on: March 06, 2018, 09:41:07 AM »
We are planning a trip this summer, combining it with a trip to the Northeast.    We arrive on a Saturday night, play 36 Sunday and 18 Monday.   We may add a third day.    It sounds like renting a car and driving from Halifax is the only option, as the shuttle service seems to be way overpriced.   Anyone done this trip?   Any advice?   

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 09:42:45 AM »
Don't consider Cabot without including Highlands Links. The fact that the road between the two is the Cabot Trail just makes it even more stupid to do one without the other.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

BHoover

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 10:12:01 AM »
Who has time for 36 holes? When deals are being made, 9 holes is the way to go.

SL_Solow

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 10:30:50 AM »
I agree with Adam.  Try to find the time to get to the Highland Links. The Celtic Lodge is a remarkable place as well.  the drive from Halifax is a pain but absent a closer air option which i understand is in the offing) it is really the only way.  If you go to the Highland Links, remember to add extra time on the return drive.

Frank M

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 10:36:27 AM »
Regarding a third day, I'm not sure how often you plan to get back to Cape Breton, but if not sure or the only trip, I would add the extra day to play Highlands Links. What I would do is play 36 Sunday, 18 Monday morning, drive the Cabot Trail to Highlands Links and then play Highlands early Tuesday. Then I would try to add another 18 (if your up for it) at The Lakes on the way south Tuesday. The Lakes isn't spectacular architecturally, but it is a good course good, has hosted a PGA TOUR Canada event, and most importantly for this particular trip, will let you take in some great, dramatic Cape Breton scenery as the course works up and down a ski hill.

Regarding flights, not sure where you are coming from but there are flights that go into Sydney, Nova Scotia. In Canada both Air Canada and Westjet fly to Sydney and it's just under 2 hours from either Cabot or Highlands. It all depends on what the rest of your trip looks like, though, as Halifax may be easier if you are doing the Northeast.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 01:18:09 PM »
No offence Frank but I would skip the Lakes as Cabot and Highlands Links are World top 100 and the Lakes is nowhere near that class.


The drive from Halifax to Cabot is about 3.25 hours but it is an easy drive as there is very little traffic in NS. If you got an early time at Cabot you might be able to play 18 at Cabot early in the morning, drive the Cabot Trail and the play a twilight 18 at Highlands as the sun doesnít set until around 9 in NS in the summer.

Frank M

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 02:00:11 PM »
No offence Frank but I would skip the Lakes as Cabot and Highlands Links are World top 100 and the Lakes is nowhere near that class.

It would take a lot more than that to offend me Wayne  ;D

That said, I'm the type of guy that likes to see as many golf courses and regions as I can. I understand your point of view, they are surely World Top 100's, but if I'm not returning or not going to return anytime in the foreseeable future, I would try to add an extra round at a different golf course and experience a different region and a little more of the slice of heaven that is Cape Breton.

Additionally, I should have mentioned this in my last post, if you want a golf course that's a bit more convenient to get to (along the way to Highlands via the Cabot Trail) and a unique play on the island, play Cabot early morning, than drive over and play Le Portage, then make your way to Highlands Links along the Cabot Trail. You could actually add two additional courses (Le Portage and Lakes) if you do this with my suggested itinerary above. So my schedule would look like this:

Sunday - Play 36 Cabot
Monday - Early morning: Cabot, After lunch: Le Portage, then drive over to Highlands Links with a glorious setting sun.
Tuesday - Early morning Highlands Links, Afternoon: The Lakes

Again, this is taking in my preference for seeing as many regions and golf courses as possible.

Also, as you leave Cheticamp make sure to stop at Aucoin Bakery. They make awesome stuff and perfect to snack on while stopping at the various scenic outlooks along the trail...I love that place.

JWinick

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 01:14:10 PM »

Adam, that's great advice.   How far apart are they?

Don't consider Cabot without including Highlands Links. The fact that the road between the two is the Cabot Trail just makes it even more stupid to do one without the other.

JWinick

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »

My main concern is we are already driving 3 hours from Halifax, so it's another 4 hours to go play Highland.   I'm not sure that is worth it.    We also are going to play some courses in the Boston area, so I think we may do better there, or spend a third day at Cabot.   

No offence Frank but I would skip the Lakes as Cabot and Highlands Links are World top 100 and the Lakes is nowhere near that class.

It would take a lot more than that to offend me Wayne  ;D

That said, I'm the type of guy that likes to see as many golf courses and regions as I can. I understand your point of view, they are surely World Top 100's, but if I'm not returning or not going to return anytime in the foreseeable future, I would try to add an extra round at a different golf course and experience a different region and a little more of the slice of heaven that is Cape Breton.

Additionally, I should have mentioned this in my last post, if you want a golf course that's a bit more convenient to get to (along the way to Highlands via the Cabot Trail) and a unique play on the island, play Cabot early morning, than drive over and play Le Portage, then make your way to Highlands Links along the Cabot Trail. You could actually add two additional courses (Le Portage and Lakes) if you do this with my suggested itinerary above. So my schedule would look like this:

Sunday - Play 36 Cabot
Monday - Early morning: Cabot, After lunch: Le Portage, then drive over to Highlands Links with a glorious setting sun.
Tuesday - Early morning Highlands Links, Afternoon: The Lakes

Again, this is taking in my preference for seeing as many regions and golf courses as possible.

Also, as you leave Cheticamp make sure to stop at Aucoin Bakery. They make awesome stuff and perfect to snack on while stopping at the various scenic outlooks along the trail...I love that place.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 01:30:25 PM »
Look into flying either into or out of Sydney. That puts you less than two hours from Highlands. Halifax to Cabot is about three hours óinto one and out of the other and the logistics stack up quite nicely
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2018, 02:34:56 PM »

My main concern is we are already driving 3 hours from Halifax, so it's another 4 hours to go play Highland.   I'm not sure that is worth it.    We also are going to play some courses in the Boston area, so I think we may do better there, or spend a third day at Cabot.   

No offence Frank but I would skip the Lakes as Cabot and Highlands Links are World top 100 and the Lakes is nowhere near that class.

It would take a lot more than that to offend me Wayne  ;D

That said, I'm the type of guy that likes to see as many golf courses and regions as I can. I understand your point of view, they are surely World Top 100's, but if I'm not returning or not going to return anytime in the foreseeable future, I would try to add an extra round at a different golf course and experience a different region and a little more of the slice of heaven that is Cape Breton.

Additionally, I should have mentioned this in my last post, if you want a golf course that's a bit more convenient to get to (along the way to Highlands via the Cabot Trail) and a unique play on the island, play Cabot early morning, than drive over and play Le Portage, then make your way to Highlands Links along the Cabot Trail. You could actually add two additional courses (Le Portage and Lakes) if you do this with my suggested itinerary above. So my schedule would look like this:

Sunday - Play 36 Cabot
Monday - Early morning: Cabot, After lunch: Le Portage, then drive over to Highlands Links with a glorious setting sun.
Tuesday - Early morning Highlands Links, Afternoon: The Lakes

Again, this is taking in my preference for seeing as many regions and golf courses as possible.

Also, as you leave Cheticamp make sure to stop at Aucoin Bakery. They make awesome stuff and perfect to snack on while stopping at the various scenic outlooks along the trail...I love that place.


4 hours driving to play the best golf course in Canada. Itís worth it.

John Cowden

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 06:05:50 PM »
I booked two days of golf (72 holes) at Highland Links some 13 years ago on a grand golf holiday to NS and PEI.  I then talked my wife into another day at Keltic Lodge because the course was just so fricken great  I had to play it again!  Donít miss it! 

Tim Martin

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 06:27:20 PM »

My main concern is we are already driving 3 hours from Halifax, so it's another 4 hours to go play Highland.   I'm not sure that is worth it.    We also are going to play some courses in the Boston area, so I think we may do better there, or spend a third day at Cabot.   

No offence Frank but I would skip the Lakes as Cabot and Highlands Links are World top 100 and the Lakes is nowhere near that class.

It would take a lot more than that to offend me Wayne  ;D

That said, I'm the type of guy that likes to see as many golf courses and regions as I can. I understand your point of view, they are surely World Top 100's, but if I'm not returning or not going to return anytime in the foreseeable future, I would try to add an extra round at a different golf course and experience a different region and a little more of the slice of heaven that is Cape Breton.

Additionally, I should have mentioned this in my last post, if you want a golf course that's a bit more convenient to get to (along the way to Highlands via the Cabot Trail) and a unique play on the island, play Cabot early morning, than drive over and play Le Portage, then make your way to Highlands Links along the Cabot Trail. You could actually add two additional courses (Le Portage and Lakes) if you do this with my suggested itinerary above. So my schedule would look like this:

Sunday - Play 36 Cabot
Monday - Early morning: Cabot, After lunch: Le Portage, then drive over to Highlands Links with a glorious setting sun.
Tuesday - Early morning Highlands Links, Afternoon: The Lakes

Again, this is taking in my preference for seeing as many regions and golf courses as possible.

Also, as you leave Cheticamp make sure to stop at Aucoin Bakery. They make awesome stuff and perfect to snack on while stopping at the various scenic outlooks along the trail...I love that place.


4 hours driving to play the best golf course in Canada. Itís worth it.


Seems like solid advice from Mark who I am betting has seen as many or more courses in Canada than anyone on the board.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 06:34:37 PM by Tim Martin »

jeffwarne

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 07:22:30 PM »
We are planning a trip this summer, combining it with a trip to the Northeast.    We arrive on a Saturday night, play 36 Sunday and 18 Monday.   We may add a third day.    It sounds like renting a car and driving from Halifax is the only option, as the shuttle service seems to be way overpriced.   Anyone done this trip?   Any advice?   


If you add a third day, drive to Highland Links from Cabot via the Cabot Trail.
You won't regret it
As suggested, if you can fly to Sydney that helps.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 10:16:57 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Joe Bausch

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@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

William_G

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2018, 09:58:10 PM »
Having flown into Halifax and driven to Cabot and then driven to Highland Links and back to Halifax

I would say that the drive in my rental car was fantastic as it was a BMW 530i

3 plus hours to Cabot

4 plus hours from Highland to Halifax

the drive around Cape Breton is beautiful

the golf at Cabot Links and Cliffs is fantastic

Highland Links is a must see and an timeless homage to Thompson, bronze statue and all

stayed at the Alt Hotel (super easy) at the airport both ways as the early and late flights in and out worked best

rental car pick-up/drop off is right out the hotel door

cheers

« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 11:05:33 PM by William_G »
It's all about the golf!

John Ezekowitz

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2018, 10:03:16 PM »
If you are flying to and from Halifax on Air Canada from either Boston or Newark, you can do what we've done the past two years:


Thursday morning flight to HFZ landing around 10. You can get to Cabot by 3 and play 18 that evening. Play Cabot Friday-Saturday (or drive to Highland) and, if you are an addict like us, Sunday first off for 18 before driving back to Halifax for a 4 pm flight back to the US.


As others have mentioned, the drive to and from Halifax is consistently 3-3.25 hours because there is very little traffic on good highways the whole way.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2018, 10:15:06 PM »
Sydney is a bit closer but that only helps if you are flying from some place that has direct flights as doing a Halifax to Sydney hop doesnít make sense as you are always better off just getting in a rental car from Halifax. And even then it may not make sense as flight times into and out of Sydney can be stupid, like arriving at 11:30 pm and leaving at 6 am. That has been the case for flights from Toronto in recent years although last year Air Canada did have a reasonably timed flight from Toronto to Sydney during the summer.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2018, 11:55:37 AM »
I was under the impression it was another 4 hours from Cabot to Highland Link, but its only just over 2 hours away according to Google Maps.


Seems like it'd be a no brainer to include that in the trip, given how much effort it takes to get to the general area anyways...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:00:46 PM by Kalen Braley »

Frank M

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2018, 12:07:32 PM »
I was under the impression it was another 4 hours from Cabot to Highland Link, but its only just over 2 hours away according to Google Maps.

That's the quicker route not doing the Cabot Trail.

It seems an unpopular opinion in this thread (the idea of playing as many courses as you can while in the area), but if doing the quicker route instead of Cabot Trail, Bell Bay in Baddeck is almost the exact halfway point between Cabot Links and Highlands Links...about an hour, hour 15 from each. In that case, you could do Cabot early morning Monday, drive over to Bell Bay/Baddeck for lunch, play Bell Bay and head up to Highlands.

Though I seem to be the only one who would play as many courses as possible while in a particular region, I figured I'd add my 2 cents. Bell Bay isn't Top 100 world, but it is Top 100 Canada, and Cape Breton as a destination is arguably one of the top places to visit in the world, so why not experience as much of it as possible?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:10:12 PM by Frank_M »

Kalen Braley

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2018, 12:15:33 PM »
Frank,


Not so according to this link which shows it as a giant loop.  But perhaps the quicker part doesn't have the best bits!  ;)


http://www.cabottrail.com/map.html


P.S.  I would absolutely love a long weekend in these parts.  I have relatives in Maine, maybe I need to go see them and take a detour out there.

Frank M

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2018, 01:13:21 PM »
Not so according to this link which shows it as a giant loop.  But perhaps the quicker part doesn't have the best bits!  ;)


Sorry Kalen not sure I know what you are referring to when you say not so. It is a loop, but the loop around the north part of the island takes longer than going the opposite way on the south side of the loop. Although the extra 30 or 45 minutes (not including stops for scenery) are 100% worth it to me.


Like I said my recommended route is Cabot Trail north through Cheticamp, play Le Portage, through to Highlands and then The Lakes driving back to Halifax

Kalen Braley

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2018, 01:37:36 PM »
Not so according to this link which shows it as a giant loop.  But perhaps the quicker part doesn't have the best bits!  ;)


Sorry Kalen not sure I know what you are referring to when you say not so. It is a loop, but the loop around the north part of the island takes longer than going the opposite way on the south side of the loop. Although the extra 30 or 45 minutes (not including stops for scenery) are 100% worth it to me.


Like I said my recommended route is Cabot Trail north through Cheticamp, play Le Portage, through to Highlands and then The Lakes driving back to Halifax


Frank,


Sounds good!  I hope to get up there sooner that later, but so many destinations on my bucket list at the moment.

Mike Baillie

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2018, 11:08:58 PM »
Jon, my advice to make the best use of 3-4 days.

1. While possibly difficult if you leave the UK on Saturday morning, an arrival in Halifax prior to 2:00 pm enables 18 holes Saturday before sunset in late June / early July. Choose the Links as the round will be quicker and the course closer to both the airport / resort.  Have dinner either at the restaurant or the pub on site.

2. That enables two rounds on both courses plus a trip to Highland Links.  So I would recommend 36 at the Cliffs on Sunday.  On Monday, head to Highland Links via the quickest route. After the round follow the Cabot Trail counter clockwise. It is one of the great 3 hour drives in the world.  Then play 18 at the Links first thing Tuesday morning before heading to the airport.

3 Other non-golf stuff beyond the Cabot Trail.
- breakfast at the Downstreet Coffee Company (owned by Cabot Links) in town
- Sunday dinner at The Glenora Distillery 10 minutes from the resort.  The locals call it just The Distillery.  Other option is a lobster supper around Chetiacamp.
- Monday dinner at the on site restaurant you did not eat at on Saturday
- Tuesday lunch at The Red Shoes Pub in Mabou on the return to the Halifax Airport.  By the way, the possible 3rd course site is near there.  Other option is Saturday lunch on the way in, if time to still get your game in.
- on the Cabot Trail the best drink or snack stop is The Rusty Anchor

Suppose if your time is tight a tough choice of excluding Highland Links or only one round on each course.

William_G

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Re: Cabot Links Advice
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2018, 11:28:43 PM »
make your trip as complicated as possible is always the way to go ::)
It's all about the golf!

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