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

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