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In part two of Where to Play Golf in Canada, we pick out the best public golf courses in this vast country. Blessed with incredible scenery, there’s no shortage of candidates.
You can read Part One here.
Located at the heights of the South Saskatchewan River Valley Basin, this pristine course opened in 2004 and quickly established itself as one of the best pay and play golf courses in the country. Laid out in two loops of nines, the holes are surrounded by natural dune formations, some as high as 25 feet, prairie grasses and wildflowers that change with the season. Dakota Dunes is isolated and remote and a tranquil paradise for golfers. Different tee options take the course from 5,100 to 7,300 yards, so players of all skill levels will be challenged.
This Doug Carrick design at the Muskoka Bay Resort in the heart of Ontario’s cottage country opened in 2006 and features mammoth rock ridges, wetlands, dramatic elevation changes and superb open vistas. Several doglegs, quick greens, undulating tree-lined fairways and various water hazards make this a fun, yet challenging layout. Forced carries across vast valleys are the highlight of this naturally beautiful course.
Situated at the tip of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia, this is a traditional links course and plays like a slice of Scotland in Canada, with each hole having its own name such as Heich O’ Fash’, which means ‘Heap of Trouble’. It’s got a classic out and back routing that blends seamlessly with its stunning natural surroundings. Cape Breton Links combines mountain and ocean views and several holes wind through woodland. It’s a brilliant test of golf and we rate this as the second best public course in Canada.
Located close to Toronto with panoramic views of Deer Lake and the Humber River, Humber Valley course in Newfoundland features forest-lined fairways, rolling greens, lake and riverside holes. Another design from famed Canadian architect Doug Carrick, it’s raw and rugged and emerges from a natural wilderness. The back nine begins with a dramatic tee shot plunging over 150 feet to the fairway and features one of the most spectacular golf course views in Canada.
This seaside links course is set along stunning dunes on the grounds of the Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Club. It’s an ecologically sensitive area, and the course has been laid out by Canadian architect Thomas McBroom with great respect to its natural surroundings. Undulating fairways through spruce woodlands, water holes, dune holes, pot bunkers and challenging greens combine to provide a golf experience of great variety on the shores of the Atlantic. With its coastal position, the wind can get up which adds to the challenge. Crowbush Cove is pristine and manicured and will live long in the memory.