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Tommy Williamsen

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Nova Scotia
« on: November 12, 2022, 06:09:45 PM »
I will be bringing my wife to Nova Scotia for golf and touring. We are staying and playing at both Cabotís and Highland Links. Are there other courses of note to play, things we should see, and places we should eat? Is it worth the extra time to visit Prince Edward Island?
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

David_Tepper

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2022, 07:24:15 PM »
I played the "new" course at Ashburn GC about 20mi. outside of Halifax almost 30 years ago. It is a Geoffrey Cornish design thru woodlands. Back then some visitor play was allowed. Sorry to say I don't recall much about the course.

I did play Highland Links on that trip and do remember much more about that course. Perhaps that is a comment on the relative merits of the two courses. :) 

I did not play the "old" Asburn course near Halifax, which is a Stanley Thompson design.

https://ashburngolfclub.com/

While in Nova Scotia, be sure to go into a McDonalds and order a "McLobster" sandwich. :)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 07:36:38 PM by David_Tepper »

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2022, 12:44:14 PM »
Be careful where you stay at Highlands Links.  The Keltic Lodge used to be a nice place but service standards have fallen off drastically and it is now a bit of a disaster.  When I was there in 2021 there was a 30 minute wait to get a table at breakfast time.
Check out the reviews at TripAdvisor:  https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g499216-d186152-Reviews-Keltic_Lodge_Resort_And_Spa-Ingonish_Cape_Breton_Island_Nova_Scotia.html and you will see what I mean

So you may want to stay at Cabot as much as possible.  But CB Highlands is a fantastic course and the Cabot Trail is a spectacular drive.  There are other places to stay near CB Highlands but they are fairly modest.

There is a restaurant called Woodroad that it is fantastic: https://www.woodroad.ca/.  It is about 20 minutes north of Cabot.  You have to book weeks or so ahead of time.  They have a set meal each night that starts around 6:30 so that can be tricky if you are playing a late afternoon round of golf.  But it is worth it if you like fine dining.

About 20 minutes south of Cabot there is the Red Shoe Pub which is a fun place that has local music.  https://www.redshoepub.com/
About 10 minutes south of Cabot is the Glen Breton distillery which has a restaurant and distillery tours.
If you have the time PEI is also a very good experience, but it is a bit of a drive from Cape Breton.  You can take the bridge or there is a ferry that is closer to Cape Breton from Pictou, NS to PEI.  There is some half decent golf in PEI but it is not nearly at the same level as the three big courses on Cape Breton that are all, deservedly, in the top 10 in Canada.

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2022, 02:16:36 PM »
Thanks. I did look at Trip Advisor about the Keltic Lodge. The Corson House there seemed to get better reviews.

Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Pete_Pittock

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2022, 06:22:06 PM »
Assuming this fall, the Maritime Museum in Halifax has Titanic artifacts, Halifax WW1 explosion stuff.  Bay of Fundy tides, need trips at high and low tides. I didn't see any golf courses that stood out for me as destinations that presented a different product than the bulk of newer courses. I did play the PEI Green Gables course, which has been de-Mackenzied to a large extent. For a more summery trip Grand Pre, Hopewell Rocks, Oak Island.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2022, 07:01:13 PM »
There's also the Fox Harb'r Resort in Pugwash, NS.  The course is supposed good, but not great.  But the resort is very good.  It was built by Ron Joyce who was the primary owner of the Tim Hortons doughnut chain for many years.  If you have a PJ you can fly directly into their air strip.

Daryl David

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2022, 10:41:56 PM »
Donít play the Links at Crowbush Cove on PEI. If you look up containment mounding in the dictionary, there a photo from the course.  :-X

Mike Worth

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2022, 05:19:22 AM »
I will be bringing my wife to Nova Scotia for golf and touring. We are staying and playing at both Cabotís and Highland Links. Are there other courses of note to play, things we should see, and places we should eat? Is it worth the extra time to visit Prince Edward Island?


Hi Tommy.


I drove to Nova Scotia last year.  Old Ashburn is worth the time ó it recently completed an Ian Andrew restoration. I think itís either a par 67 or 68. Despite its shortness, itís a nice healthy walk. I remember Ian Andrew mentioning to me that #4 is one of the best uphill par fours in Canada (I think it was #4). Although private, a thoughtful email to club management will likely result in access (thatís what I did).


Obviously play Highland Links. The golf was very good as expected. Added bonus - on each tee is a small picture plaque showing what the hole was like when constructed.  On the downside, it was a 5+ hour round ó America has successfully exported the resort course experience to Canada  ???


What others have said about the lodging there seems true Ė Ė while I didnít stay there it looked run down.


If youíre going to be near Baddeck and have time, I was told Bell Bay is decent enough (I didnít play it).  One of the great things about GCA is itís a repository of information because itís been around for so long.  You can search ďBaddeckĒ and get a wealth of opinions about Bell Bay going almost back to when it was constructed (1999).
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 07:39:01 AM by Mike Worth »

Drew Harvie

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2022, 12:13:12 PM »
Far better places in the maritimes than PEI, especially for golf

Brett Meyer

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2022, 01:30:20 PM »
I travelled to Cabot from Michigan this past summer and there were two ways (other than a really long drive) to do it: (1) fly into Halifax and drive 3-4 hours or (2) fly into Sydney through Toronto or Montreal and drive 1-2 hours for Cabot and Cape Breton Highlands.

We did (2) so I can't comment on anything between Halifax and Cape Breton Island. But I thought flying directly into Sydney was great. It was easy to rent a car and there's a very good course called the Lakes about 1/2 hour south. We stayed and played there one day, then drove up to Cape Breton Highlands, 2 hours at most. As Mike mentioned, there's also Bulls Bay in Baddeck, which we caught on the way back to Sydney from Cabot. While not as good as the Lakes, it's a worthwhile stop. The town of Baddeck has several nice restaurants and is even more worth a stop than Bulls Bay.

Altogether, it's a perfect 5-6 day trip from Sydney. There are two good 'other' courses on the way to/from Cape Breton Highlands and Cabot, so you never have to drive for too long before your next stop. And if you're inclined to nature sightseeing, you could add a few days in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. But on that, I'd also echo concerns about the Keltic Lodge. We stayed in one of the cottages and it was pretty bad--at first, we couldn't turn the cold water in the two-tap shower on. Then once we got it on, we couldn't turn it off, which required maintenance guys playing around with it until about midnight.

So the quality of the accommodations is a bit spotty. But the main lodge looked better.

Scott Weersing

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2022, 09:49:09 AM »
You could spend a week just in Cape Breton Island and the area around Halifax.


Sure PEI is great too if you like red sand beaches and cliffs and lighthouses.


I would recommend flying AA from Philly to Halifax. I wanted to avoid the problems with Toronto airport.


The Halifax airport is north of the town and it is easy to drive up from Halifax to Cape Breton Island. I went with my wife and a daughter, age 8, to both PEI and Cape Breton Island in August.


I would also recommend visiting the cemetery in Halifax with the graves of the Titanic passengers. Also visit the Halifax public gardens.




Ian Andrew

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2022, 10:55:21 AM »
I remember Ian Andrew mentioning to me that #4 is one of the best uphill par fours in Canada (I think it was #4). Although private, a thoughtful email to club management will likely result in access (thatís what I did).


3rd hole is a personal favourite, there's a half a dozen great holes on that course, just short ...
Of note: not all of it was done by Stanley Thompson, but a fun course to play and recommended.


Keltic Lodge
Corson House is fine, was renovated, stayed there last year and thought it was good.


Food
Neil's Harbour chowder on you drive around Cabot
Coastal Burger if you want High cholesterol  :o
Charlottetown has many great places to eat
Alma Lobster Shop in Fundy (best Lobster Roll I have every eaten ... ever)
5 Fisherman in Halifax


Hikes
Ben Franny is tough, but extremely enjoyable if you like a tough hike.
Skyline Loop is the easiest and has a spectacular view, parking is tough in the summer


Golf
Consider Antigonish as an alternative, I happen to like Lingan in Sydney too
Fundy Park (9 holes) is awesome


Life Beyond Golf ...


Surfing
Can surf at Ingonish!
You can surf the Tidal Bore too!
Whale watching depending on season


Parks
Arsaig Provincial Park (NS) is really cool
Greenwich Dunes, Stanhope Beach are fabulous in PEI
Fundy National in NB, Hopewell Rocks (both are must see's)
 
Fishing
Brook Trout in NS, Salmon in NB, lots of fly fishing options


People are incredible, mix golf and scenery and you'll get a better trip.


Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Nova Scotia
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2022, 11:35:00 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. We will have more than enough to do. We are going for the first and second weeks in October. October golf looks stunning.


I researched the Corson House, and it did look good. Anyone ever stay at Seascape Coastal Retreat?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 11:39:19 AM by Tommy Williamsen »
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

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