Brudenell River – One of PEI’s oldest and most enjoyable courses
[vimeo 203226522 w=640 h=360]
Golf PEI states this is a “picturesque garden and river course” and it is an apt description for this mature course. One of the more unique courses on the Island, the layout offers golfers 6 par 3’s, 6 par 4’s and 6 par 5’s and is a model which Cabot Cliffs has recently adopted. With it being my first time experiencing this, I acknowledge a little reluctance about this but rest assured, the course, its layout and the complete golf experience at Brudenell River was enjoyable and presented a fun and fair test of golf.
Golfers will get their first look at the river on the 4th hole and next, the 5th is a shorter and stunning par 3. Greens at Brudenell River are on the small side but roll consistently and true. The tee boxes frame holes well and generous landing areas allow golfers confidence off the tee.
I was very impressed with the diversity of golf holes. Par 3’s provided great variety and there were a couple shorter par 4’s which provided a great risk-reward challenge. The par 5’s are not overly long so players can view these as chances to score well. The 17th is one of the most stunning holes on the course. Panorama is the name of the hole and its name is appropriate as the elevated tee shot provides a beautiful vista all the way to the clubhouse. Hole 10, a par 3 along the river with a carry over an inlet is short enough to allow players of all skill level a chance land the ball safely. It reflects the creativity of the design; utilizing the river to its fullest to add beauty and challenge.
Perhaps one of the more walkable courses on the Island, the layout is a real strength for this course. The design creates a feel where most holes are unto themselves, removed from other holes and allowing players a sense of privacy and enjoyment. The river and the trees create a beautiful contrast and allow for great diversity of golf holes. If I was fortunate to play here again I would make it a priority and walk this course, feeling it would add to my enjoyment of this course; golfing along the garden and river was a treat I would like to rush.
Aura –7.5 out of 10 – Despite being one of the oldest and more popular courses on the Island, and the fact it is adjacent to one of Canada’s best courses (Dundarave) this course has a confidence to it and a uniqueness which appeals to golfers of all levels.
Value (cost / experience) –8 out of 10. A peak green fee of $80 during the summer season is fair but strong value can be had with a respectful twilight start time of 3:00 pm daily. The conditioning (see below) adds value to a course which is fun to play.
Course Condition (fairways/greens, layout) – 9 out of 10 – I would place this near the top on the Island. While it was late in the season, Brudenell gets top marks for some of the best bunkers on the Island. The grounds crew, along with players, takes pride in this course as the conditioning was sensational throughout. There was no aspect of conditioning which I viewed as deficient.
Overall Experience (how did the round make me feel; would I return) – 8 out of 10 – This is not the most challenging golf course on the Island but it will engage golfers of all skill level. The layout, great conditioning and its unique design with 6 par 3’s, 4’s and 5’s make for one of the most enjoyable golf experiences on the Island. I would be proud to be a member at this course…but I acknowledge that sentiment will be shared for most of the courses I played on the Island.
Highlight (what is great about the course) – While acknowledging the beauty of holes 5, 10 and 17, golfers should never get bored playing here. It’s diversity of golf holes make a player think – mixing hole lengths; elements of risk and reward; tree lined, open or adjacent to the river.
Recommendation (magic wand…what would I change) – Brudenell is part of a 36-hole facility. The sister course at the Brudenell River Provincial Park is Dundarave, a newer design and a more challenging championship course. The two complement each other and make for a fun day of 36 holes. While the course is only slightly more than 50 km east of Charlottetown, exploring options for 36 on the eastern side of the Island is recommended.
My Best Shot – The par 3 7th was playing 195 yards from the Blue tees. Given the cool and damp conditions I clubbed up and hit a superb hybrid to about 6 feet. Could be one of the best shots I hit the entire trip, really. The exclamation point was being able to make the birdie putt!