Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links

Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course

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 pro

    Graham Hudson (Manager of Operations)

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Tree-lined parkland. Gently undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb on the back-nine.

  • Surroundings:

    Woodland, wetland and briefly riverside (Clyburn Brook).

  • Designer:

    Stanley Thompson

Back
tees
Club
tees
Front
tees
Yards
6592
6161
5203
Par
72
72
72
SSS or slope
73.3
70.9
72.6

Location

Latitude:

46.655829

Longitude:

-60.384765

How to get there:

2 km NE of Ingonish Beach / 116 km N of Sydney.

Cape Breton Highlands Links

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.

Est. 1938

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.

List of courses: Cape Breton (Cabot Trail)
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links
  • Photo of Cape Breton Highlands Links

Visitors

Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Must book in advance.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18-holes at peak times in high season (July thru' Sept): $125 (all days).

Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].

Other information

Walking permitted. Golf carts available to rent.

Practice facilities

Limited

Did you know?

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.

Published ranking

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).

Where2Stay

  • Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa

    383 Middlehead Peninsula, Ingonish, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0.

    +1 (902) 285 2880

    Visit 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.

    • Golf at this hotel:

      No

    • Golf within 10 km:

      Cape Breton Highlands (o.5 km)

    • Golf within 30 km:

      No

Find a course

Or

Tournaments

FedEx Cup playoffs: the PGA Tour’s season finale starts in Memphis (TPC Southwind; Aug 11-14) and culminates in Atlanta (East Lake; Aug 25-28) … for the winner, the biggest prize in world golf … $18 million.

British Women’s Open: the year’s final women’s major championship heads for mighty Muirfield in East Lothian, Scotland, with Anna Nordqvist defending (Aug 4-7).

Who's Who

Anna Nordqvist: major championships aside, Solheim Cup stalwart Nordqvist notched up her first official Ladies European Tour win at the 2022 Ladies Dutch Open (aka Big Green Egg Open).

Cameron Smith: the Aussie PGA Tour player shot a blistering final round 64 to record his first major championship win at the home of golf in the 150th Open Championship.

Cameron Smith Champion of The Open 2022

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

Golf Son Gual

Golf Son Gual is home to a course frequently rated the No.1 layout on the holiday island of Mallorca. Opening for play in 2007, this Thomas Himmel design combines the openness of a links-style layout with the stylish bunkering and not infrequent water hazards more typically associated with parkland courses.

Son Gual is located just a few kilometres from Palma (Mallorca). Palma's Old City shows clear influences from the city's Arab past.

Popular videos

You can subscribe to the Where2Golf channel on YT if you like to see more video content. You'll find a "Subscribe" button on any of our YouTube videos. Or if you want a quick and direct access subscribe here. Once done, any new published videos will show up in your Subscriptions feed.

Ryder Cup 2021 at Whistling Straits

What is the Golf World Top 100?

Woking Golf club