CANADIAN DREAMS, GOLFING IN CABOT CAPE BRETON

22 Mar 2024

Despite its remote location in Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, Cabot Cape Breton has earned a reputation as one North America’s most breath-taking golf destinations. Its Cabot Cliffs course, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is ranked No.10 in the world (outside of the US) by Golf Digest, and its Cabot Links – the first authentic links course in Canada – sits at No.39. General Manager Kendall Clancy shares his thoughts on what has put Cabot Cape Breton on many a golfers’ bucket list.

The Nest course offers night golf in the late summer months.

WHAT WAS THE REASONS FOR BUILDING THE COURSES IN FAR-FLUNG NOVA SCOTIA?

Each Cabot property starts with a singular and unique piece of land. Cabot CEO and co-founder Ben Cowan-Dewar discovered the former mining town of Inverness almost 20 years ago and was immediately struck by the vast beauty of the site with miles

of sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Cowan- Dewar acquired 40 parcels of land and found a partner in Mike Keiser, founder of Bandon Dunes in Oregon, who shared in his vision
for the property. With the help of a very dedicated team, he has turned the remote stretch of land into one of the premier golf destinations in the world. Cabot Cape Breton has garnered acclaim from every major golf publication and is consistently ranked among the top in the world while providing new jobs and revenue streams for the Inverness community. If you build something truly awe- inspiring, people will come.

Cabot Cliff’s hole 16 is arguably one of the world’s most photographed golf holes.

HOW DO THE COURSES EMBRACE THE LAND AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY?

We used the fescue grasses already prominent in Nova Scotia for the courses at Cabot Cape Breton. Fescue is salt tolerant, stabilises the dunes beneath, and doesn’t disrupt the established environment. Both courses received “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” designation which recognises golf courses world-wide for their environmental stewardship, including efforts to minimise water usage, manage erosion, and provide habitats for local wildlife. Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs are two of the three courses in Nova Scotia (and just 890 in the world) to achieve this designation.

The Cabot Links course, designed by Rod Whitman, was Canada’s first authentic links course when it opened in 2013.

WHAT MAKES COORE AND CRENSHAW’S CABOT CLIFFS SPECIAL?

Coore & Crenshaw’s ingenuity is evident at every turn of Cabot Cliffs. They used the unique features of the site to create 18 memorable golf holes that include woodland, wetland and meadowland complimented by jagged cliffs and panoramic views overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. While the 16th green is easily one of the most photographed holes in golf, every hole on the course is exceptional in its own way, with post-card worthy panoramas and unique characteristics. There is also a strong focus on playability and fun throughout the layout, ensuring the course is as enjoyable for low-handicappers as it is for those newer to the game. A great design lends itself to lasting memories, and Cabot Cliffs is truly unforgettable from start to finish.

Hole 2 at Cabot Cliffs

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT CABOT CAPE BRETON?

We opened The Nest, a short course designed by Rod Whitman and Dave Axland, in 2021. The par-3, 10-hole routing, perched atop the highest point of Cabot Cliffs, is accompanied by extraordinary ocean views. We’ve found that the quicker pace of play is more inclusive and appealing to a variety of people including families, juniors and beginners along with experts and pros. For the first time at Cabot, we also permitted larger groups of up to eight. Not only does The Nest represent a new phase of growth, but it also allows us to expand the number of tee times on offer each day, creating greater availability for our guests and increased flexibility in the overall experience. We also started offering night golf on The Nest from late August into the fall, which has been well-received by guests.

The addition of new rental accommodations in 2022 with our Dunes Cottages, Hillside Homes, and Cliffs Residences has transformed the Cliffs property into a lively community. Not only do these homes feature spectacular golf course and ocean views, but their proximity to Cabot Cliffs, The Nest, and the iconic Cliffs Couches make them the perfect place to call home during your stay.

Living room at Cliffs Residences

THE RESORT IS ONLY OPEN 7 MONTHS OF THE YEAR. WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE OFF MONTHS?

While the golf and accommodation offerings close for the off-season, Whit’s Public House remains open to the public and we maintain a core team across the operation who spend the winter months preparing for the season ahead!

Cliffs Residences offer golfers lodging with breath-taking views.

WHAT FUTURE DEVELOPMENT PLANS ARE IN STORE FOR CABOT CAPE BRETON?

Cabot Cape Breton continues to grow and evolve. In addition to new homes in the Dunes Cottages and Hillside Homes communities, we are actively working on plans for our lodge rooms renovations and the Cliffs Clubhouse. We look forward to announcing these developments soon and encourage readers to subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of all our latest news.

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