While Canadian golfers in many parts of the country begin to play some of their final rounds of the season, many are already thinking about what 2021 will bring.
While 2020 was unprecedented on so many fronts, there is hope Canadians can travel far and wide across their own country starting next spring. The best part of thinking ahead to 2021 is the opportunity to visit some of the greatest places for golf in the country.
We’ve all seen the Top 100 lists that exist for golf courses from coast to coast, not to mention international publications crafting their own lists from an outsider perspective. But it’s not just about a golf course when you travel and play in Canada – there’s a lot that draw in travellers to particular communities.
Golf courses are important pillars of each city in which they’re located and when travelling for golf, it’s worth taking a look around.
When coast-to-coast travel can happen again – or even, when a brisk late-year chill drops and when you feel like daydreaming – here are some of the best places to get to for golf in Canada.
While the Atlantic Provinces installed a no-traveller policy through 2020 to help combat COVID-19, it remains a wonderful place for golf travellers to hang their hats for a few days. Fingers crossed it can open its doors again safely sooner rather than later.
There’s not much more that can be said about Cabot, located in Cape Breton, other than, well, it’s spectacular. Perhaps not just the best golf resort in the country but in the conversation for one of the best in the world, too. Its two courses – Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs – have been celebrated by Canadian and international golfers alike. There are three restaurants on site – plus an excellent coffee shop on the main street of Inverness – all the rooms have a view of the golf course, and the east-coast hospitality can’t be beat.
New for 2020 Cabot added ‘The Nest’ to its golf offerings, a par 3, 10-hole routing perched on the highest point of the Cabot Cliffs property.
A hop to Prince Edward Island marks a golfers’ haven, with more than 400 fairways on the island. With stunning vistas at places like The Links at Crowbush Cove, classic Stanley Thompson designs like at Green Gables, and wonderful people, food, and culture, playing golf on PEI can’t be missed.
One of the country’s most metropolitan cities also boasts some excellent golf. While there is much conversation around Royal Montreal (the upcoming host club of the 2024 Presidents Cup), there is a laundry list of very solid public golf offerings.
The Club de Golf de L’Ile de Montreal and the 36-hole Le Golf Saint-Raphael give golfers both parkland and links-style options. Of course, it’s only about two hours from Ottawa and Mont Tremblant, and three hours to Quebec City. Within a half-day drive from Montreal there is access to a bounty of golf options. And, when you’re in need of a break from all that golf, Montreal’s dining scene is one of the best in the country.
GREATER TORONTO AREA
It’s Canada’s biggest city, it’s most multicultural, and the home of some of the finest golf courses in all the land.
Even if you spent a whole summer in Toronto you likely couldn’t hit all the fabulous foodie touch points, cultural institutions, sporting events, or hidden gems (and, oh yes, the golf courses) necessary to make you feel like a true Torontonian.
But the good news is there’s always a reason for a return trip.
Within a two-hour radius from the CN Tower golfers can access the Niagara wine region, the most idyllic cottage country in Muskoka, Lake Ontario views in Port Hope, and hundreds of offerings just outside of the city in golf-centric locations like Oakville (home of longtime RBC Canadian Open host venue Glen Abbey), Aurora, Newmarket, Uxbridge, and more.
The City of Toronto also owns five golf courses that are a just a public-transit ride away from downtown.
Canada has access to the most beautiful views in the world.
Not only do we have rocky inland outcroppings and robust mature forestry, but Canada also boasts stunning looks of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (not to mention the Artic Ocean, too!), and we’ve got golf courses that get to call the Rocky Mountains as their backdrops.
Just outside Calgary and through Banff, Jasper, and Canmore in Alberta is a trail of golf courses unrivaled in the country and perhaps in the world, too. The Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are the crown jewels of the area buttressed by Silvertip Golf Course, Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club, Kananaskis Country Golf Course, and the newly-opened Mickelson National (Phil Mickelson’s first design effort in the country).
Written and intended to the GlobalGolf.ca audience by Adam Stanley