In our Instagram DM’s, one of our followers cheekily quipped: “I didn’t know the east stopped at Ontario/Quebec!” Fair play, coverage across Canada is always a trending topic in the golf world (Manitoba especially), and one that we attempt to provide at Beyond The Contour. I am more than happy to follow up our eastern and western version of the same article title with a Maritime edition, though we are not as extensively travelled out east as we are in the western six provinces.
Without further ado, here are five peculiar things I love in Canadian golf in the four maritime provinces.
1. The 1st tee at Cabot Cape Breton’s The Nest
This could easily become a “five things we love about Cabot Cape Breton,” but what fun is that? My vote goes to the 1st tee at The Nest. Is it the best par 3 course ever? Maybe not (though it is really solid). After a long day grinding out the big courses, stepping up to the 1st tee at The Nest means drinks, music, shoes optional, and a really fun ten holes with as big of group as you want. More chill vibes like this, please.
2. Driving to Fundy Golf Course from Saint John, New Brunswick
National Parks are an absolute joy, and few things evoke such strong sense of place like playing golf in a National Park. Driving from Saint John, New Brunswick (a cool place in its own regard) down to Fundy Golf Course provides a windy, mountainous descent into the pleasant town of Alma, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy. An underrated part of golf courses is how the surrounding terrain and drive in lead to expectations of what the course might be like, drumming up expectations for the fun to come.
3. Heading To The First Tee at Terra Nova Resort (Twin Rivers)
This is a weird one, particularly because you take a golf cart from the main resort to the 1st tee, but the drive is beautiful. As you wander through the Newfoundland terrain, you stumble upon the 18th green on your left. Nothing crazy, right? That is, until you get to the shared tee box on the 1st/18th and see the waterfall that you heard driving past the 18th. And no, not a Fazio waterfall… an actual, authentic waterfall. Epic.
4. Cresting the fairway at the 2nd at Cape Breton Highlands Links
The opening hole at Cape Breton Highlands Links is a bit of a slog up the hill, though a worthy introduction to perhaps the most intriguing golf course in Canada. At the 2nd, however, the first “wow” moment comes when you crest the hillside after the blind tee shot at the 2nd, revealing the view down the 2nd, with the par 3, 3rd and the Atlantic Ocean in the background. It is the “welcome to the roller coaster” moment of sorts, and a personal favourite reveal.
5. The 16th hole at Green Gables Golf Club
Most of Green Gables is a product of Robbie Robinson and Thomas McBroom, with Stanley Thompson’s name only used as pseudo inspiration and marketing. Yet the par 3, 16th escaped all the butchery, and survives as the single Stanley Thompson hole completely untouched. It becomes easy to see the original character of Green Gables with Thompson’s fingerprint style green (nicknamed the “donut green”), and set effortlessly against The Lake of Shining Waters, this hole is worth the time and money to see Green Gables alone.