Making a Case for Cape Breton Island

Some of Canada’s Best Golf

Dates – July 31 – August 5, 2013

Locations – Guysbrough, NS; Inverness, NS, Ingonish, NS, Ben Eoin, NS

Courses Played – Osprey Shores, Cabot Links, Highlands Links, The Lakes

Total Mileage – 1320 km

Making time for world class golf in the midst of a non-golf centric boys trip is much easier when there is a single malt distillery 20 minutes down the road! And the motivation to find a diversion for the non-golfers was high when we’re talking about a course which topped my bucket list, Cabot Links. And the chance to add a day to the itinerary, take advantage of the travel day to get two rounds instead of one at the tail end of the trip was a logistical gift!

I knew about the convenience and solitude of Osprey Resort from a 2009 business trip to Halifax where I took two extra days, travelled to Guysborough and played 72 holes of golf in one day, in pure solitude. This past August, our group golfed daily; foursomes sometimes had up to 8 or 10 of us during the quiet part of the day! The laid back attitude was accentuated by some of the most scenic vistas I’ve experienced on a golf course, with views on all holes of beautiful Chedabucto Bay. Being there made it possible to relatively easily access the world class golf courses Cabot Links, and the additional courses selected for the two-day junket, Highlands Links and The Lakes. With a committed foursome, a large rental vehicle and a solid itinerary we enjoyed some of the best and most diverse golf courses in Cape Breton.

Golf Cape Breton is an excellent website to showcase the golf and travel planning options which are available on the Island. Already aware of the excellence that are Cabot and Highlands Links, I was pleased to learn about two additional gems; a top 100 course, Bell Bay, and a course which hosted the PGA Canada Tour Celtic Classic in September 2013. It was ScoreGOLF’s own Bob Weeks which provided the most detail on the courses, check this video of Cape Breton golf. I remember how well this video aided our planning efforts (golf consortiums take note).

Cape Breton
Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia


We were able to get a transferrable 5 round card at Highlands Links, and an excellent Stay and Play package at The Lakes with accommodations at the adjacent Birches Inn. The proprietors took care of all golf detail – from tee times, payment and even having carts available at the back of the Inn after breakfast (which was included in our package)! The courses were all superb and very unique in their layout, design elements and challenge. Our group has since agreed it was an amazing golf experience, being able to play three courses of this caliber on Cape Breton Island. Cabot Cliffs will indeed make this a golf destination, if it’s not already.
Distractions (for the non golfer) – Keltic Lodge, Inverness beach and boardwalk, Cabot Trail, Marine Drive (Guysborough to Halifax); DesBarres Manor; Glenora Distillery; Louisberg Fortress

Recommendations – Birches, attention to detail and support on golf bookings/cart prep; extend the trip and do the loop adding Bell Bay and Cheticamp…a golfing adventure of Cape Breton, pit stop in Baddeck for the Baddeck Lobster Supper.

Be Mindful – Getting there, vehicle space, and time to drive (Cabot Trail speed is 80kmh max), bring a camera! The memories of our trip through film we’re invaluable. Sydney seems to be adding more flights from major Canadian cities.

Reflections – incredible golf diversity, some of the most beautiful driving in North America, abundant seafood, great people who are hospitable and helpful, solid golf value options.