Keltic Out Rd,
Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0
Office+1 (800) 441 1118 (toll free)
Pro shop+1 (902) 285 2600
Fax+1 (902) 285 2734
Golf proGraham Hudson (Manager of Operations)
18 holes. Tree-lined parkland. Gently undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb on the back-nine.
Woodland, wetland and briefly riverside (Clyburn Brook).
2 km NE of Ingonish Beach / 116 km N of Sydney.
Cape Breton Highlands Links (formerly just Highlands Links): There's no escaping the stunning Cape Breton scenery that surrounds this historically revered course. Whether oceanside or playing along Clyburn Brook in an enchanting woodland, every hole commands its special place in proceedings. Stanley Thompson's imaginative out-and-back layout remains a golfing adventure, with many demanding and classic holes to play. Taking the edge off what was once a World Top100 course, this state-owned facility now appears to be subject to rather indifferent maintenance standards.
Many claim this as Thompson's greatest design. That's debatable, especially with five more of his designs routinely in Canada's Top 10. What is beyond dispute is Highlands Links' idyllic "Scottish" setting. The course enjoys a backdrop of tree-clad mountains, lagoons, bays and the Atlantic Ocean. In the foreground pristine woodland, beautiful wetlands and shallow rivers also grace the scene.
Thompson's excellent, though ever challenging layout, is mainly routed through woodland and wetland areas, while also offering occasional stunning sea views. The often dramatically rolling tumbling fairways lead to subtly breaking greens. Creative bunkering frequently threatens, while on occasions mimicking the surrounding mountain scenery, as at the signature par-3 3rd (Lochan). The flattest stretch on the course comes at the par-5 11th (Bonnie Burn) and long par-3 12th (Laird), both played in the valley floor of Clyburn Brook. At 6 and 7 and again at 15 and 16 there are scenic back-to-back par-5s to be played. The 7th (Killiecrankie) is a beautiful looking hole, though daunting from the tee, hence its local nickname "Killer".
Quality of maintenance aside, Highlands Links is a "must play" course if you are visiting Cape Breton's Cabot Trail. Here is an essential part of Thompson's outstanding legacy to golf, even if it's not as "polished" as the other sparkling gems in his illustrious collection.
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.
Must book in advance.
Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].
Walking permitted. Golf carts available to rent.
Cape Breton Highlands Links became the first course in Atlantic Canada to gain certification from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.
Legendary Canadian golf course designer Stanley Thompson routinely has five of his layouts in the ranking of Canada's Top 10 courses: Jasper Park Lodge (1925), Banff Springs (1928), St George's (1928), Capilano (1937) and Cape Breton Highlands (1939). A sixth Thompson design, Westmount G&CC (1931), is currently rated by ScoreGolf magazine just outside the Top10.
World: formerly ranked world's 98th best course (GOLF magazine, 2011; not in subsequent editions of this ranking).
Canada: 8th best course, and 7th best public course in Canada (ScoreGolf magazine 2018/19).
383 Middlehead Peninsula, Ingonish, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0.
+1 (902) 285 2880Visit website
Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa is a Cape Breton Island gem. Spectacularly perched on a headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the resort has been welcoming guests since 1940. The refreshing coastal air and warm hospitality, is complemented by exquisite dining, a renowned spa and championship golf on the Cape Breton Highlands.
Cape Breton Highlands (o.5 km)
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