Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course

4-star: generally an excellent standard golf course, well worth visiting.
   Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course Est. 1938

Where2Golf says: 

Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course (formerly called 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 Highland 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, Highland 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 in Canada - Cape Breton (Cabot Trail)

Map of courses in Canada - Cape Breton (Cabot Trail)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Making Contact

Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course
Keltic Out Rd,
Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Office   +1 (800) 441 1118 (toll free)
Pro Shop   +1 (902) 285 2600

  +1 (902) 285 2734

The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf Pro
Graham Hudson (Manager of Operations)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

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
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
  Men Back Men Front Women Front
Yards 6592 6161 5203
Par 72 72 72
SSS or Slope 73.3 70.9 72.6
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

How2Get There?

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

Essential information

Green Fees:
2016 visitor fee, 18-holes at peak times in high season (July thru' Sept): $125 (all days). [Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc]. Credit cards accepted.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Who can play and When?
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.  Must book in advance.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Other Information
Walking permitted. Golf carts available to rent.

Practice facilities
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Did you know?

Cape Breton Highlands 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.

The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Published Ranking
2016 ScoreGolf magazine rating: 7th best course and 3rd best public course in Canada.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses


The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Click to enlarge Google map

Latitude: (46.655829)
Longitude: (-60.384765)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Where2Stay including nearby courses also detailed in

Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa 
383 Middlehead Peninsula, Ingonish, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0.
+1 (902) 285 2880

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
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 10 km Cape Breton Highlands (o.5 km)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 30 km No
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Only golf courses featured in are mentioned above.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses 4

Find a course

Tip: to find a course quickly, type the first few characters of the course name
Golf course location on a golf map
Search this site


Not signed up yet?

Register now

Share us on

   Follow us on FB     follow us on Twitter

Where2Golf spotlights

The Tradition the first senior major championship of 2019 sees Miguel Ángel Jiménez defend at Greystone G&CC in Alabama (May 9-12).
British MastersTommy Fleetwood hosts this popular European Tour event at Hillside GC, close to his home town of Southport (May 9-12).

Who's Who: 
Tiger Woods: “One of the greatest comeback stories in sport, ever, allows Tiger Woods to record his fifteenth major championship win.
Jin Young Kothe rising star in women’s world golf lands her first major championship title at the ANA Inspiration.

Latest golf course reviews
Koksijde Golf ter Hille Golf Club: on what was previously open farmland, an enjoyable and challenging links-style layout has been crafted. Perhaps the inspiration for Koksijde's new course came from a renowned Harry Colt layout that existed in the 1920s just a couple of kilometres to the west. Read more...
The Duke Golf Club: represents the latest in a trio of private courses to arrive on the Dutch golfing scene. All prefixed by the definite article, The Dutch (2010, designer Colin Montgomerie) and The International (2012, Ian Woosnam) have now been joined by The Duke, which firmly targets a business clientele and the corporate golf market. Read more...
Drentse Golfclub De Gelpenberg: as the oldest golf course in the Dutch province of Drenthe, De Gelpenberg offers a partly-wooded and partly-open heathland layout, guaranteed to test all facets of your game. It is arguably the best of the country's more northerly layouts, together with Lauswolt (50 km away to the north-west).
Golfbaan Stippelberg: located 25 kilometres north-east of Eindhoven, this relatively new addition to championship golf in the Netherlands has fast become one of the country's "must play" courses.
Most popular golf course videos