Since golf as we know it was invented in Scotland, it’s no surprise that Nova Scotia (New Scotland in Latin) has a fantastic array of golf courses. From Yarmouth up to the Cabot Trail you’ll find golf courses for every possible occasion. With world-renowned architects, challenging natural features, and plenty of opportunities for people to learn to play, the golf courses of Nova Scotia are a golden opportunity for a day (or more) on the links. Just make sure to bring plenty of golf balls, because you are guaranteed to lose at least three.
Bell Bay Golf Club
The town of Baddeck is surrounded by the beauty of nature, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to a gorgeous golf course. Bell Bay is an 18-hole course that overlooks the Bras d’Or lake and has Cape Smokey in the background. The holes have similar lengths but quite different designs, and there’s plenty here to challenge players of any experience. You can also get a vacation package that includes lodging at the local Inverary Resort, so you can get the full Bell Bay Baddeck experience.
Where: 761 Highway 205, Baddeck, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 902-295-1333
Berwick Heights Golf Course
If you’re new to the golfing life, you’ll find Berwick Heights an ideal place to start learning. Only an hour outside of Halifax in the Annapolis Valley, Berwick Heights offers everything from 18 holes to twilight hours 9 holes, so you can choose how long you want to play. They have a pro shop where you can rent all the gear you could possibly need (and you can buy all the golf clothing you want), and a practice range that includes target green, a putting green, and a bent grass tee. If you want a bit more guidance on your golfing, they also have lessons available; solo, group, adult, or juniors, all designed to improve your golf game.
Where: 3060 Highway 221, Weston
Contact Details: 902-847-9000
Bluenose Golf Club
Lunenburg’s Bluenose Golf Club is one of the oldest in the province, as it was established in 1933. With very reasonable green fees and rental costs, you can visit this gorgeous course with ease of mind and wallet. Don’t spend too much time looking at the harbour view though—the course is challenging and you might lose some of your balls to the briny blue if you’re not careful. When sunset comes, grab a bite to eat at the clubhouse (also open since 1933), and meet your fellow golfers. You might just pick up some valuable advice for your next trip!
Where: 18 Cove Road, Lunenburg
Contact Details: 902-634-4260
Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links
I’ve put these two courses into the same entry because they are technically part of the same property, but each one has its own signature style. Cabot Links is more spread out and is an authentic “links” course, the first in Canada, while Cabot Cliffs involves more dramatic designs that take full advantage of the cliffs (hence the name). They’re both in the World Top 100 golf courses and visiting either allows you to enjoy the three eateries on site and stay in the deluxe accommodations. And if you’re having trouble deciding, make it a weekend and spend a day at each one!
Where: 18 Cabot Lane, Inverness, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 855-726-1552
Chester Golf Club
It’s important to provide challenge to golfers, but it’s just as important to offer a variety of challenge levels. Chester Golf Club understands this, which makes it a great place for groups of mixed abilities. The site offers full details on each hole, and it’s clear from these outlines that the creative designs allow you to explore your own strengths and weaknesses as a golfer, while more experienced golfers can try to beat par while enjoying the view. Their restaurant showcases local flavours, including a breakfast menu that looks so good I might take up golf just to eat there!
Where: 222 Golf Course Road, Chester
Contact Details: 902-275-4543
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Clare Golf & Country Club
Deep in Acadian country, the Clare Golf & Country Club invites golfers of all languages (though if you know French, this is a great place to practice!) Beginning as a modest 9-hole course in the 1960s, Clare Golf is now 18 holes and boasts a strong junior’s program. Their pro shop isn’t open just yet, but it’s only a matter of time, and their kitchen offers hearty and delicious dishes from breakfast to dinnertime. Head out and play le golf! That is not Franglais, by the way, that literally is what golf is in French.
Where: 423 PF Comeau Road, Church Point
Contact Details: 902-769-2124
Coyote Hill Golf Course
This nine-hole golf course is just outside of Bedford, has very reasonable rates, and doesn’t appear to be run by coyotes. While the holes are mainly beginner-friendly, there are a couple that will give even experienced golfers a putt for their money. You can either walk or power cart your way around the 6km of course (some of which is hilly so keep those with mobility challenges in mind). And if you’ve got little ones interested in the game, you can sign them up for Junior Pups Golf camp in the summer—and while they’re in camp you can get some time in at the driving range, so everyone wins!
Where: 303 Highway 215, Newport Corner
Contact Details: 902-757-0157
Digby Pines is a resort, a spa, and a golf course all in one, so you’re in for quite the experience. The pine trees give way to gorgeous rolling greens designed by the architect of Highlands Links (see below). There are ponds and brooks to dodge, tricky hills to navigate, and then of course the 19th Hole…which is actually a restaurant featuring local seafood and fresh ingredients from nearby farms. If you’re looking for a luxurious golf getaway, this is the place to go.
Where: 103 Shore Road, Digby
Contact Details: 1-800-667-4637
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Dundee Resort is many things—a great family getaway, a resort on the Bras d’Or Lakes—but it is also a stunning golf resort. The holes range from long fairways to tight and tricky putting greens, all surrounded by the beautiful lakes and forests. They have special packages for “outings” groups (groups of 12 or more people), so if you’re planning a golfing family reunion, make sure to enquire about these. Drop the kids at the recreation club and head out to the greens, and everyone is sure to have a wonderful time.
Where: 2750 West Bay Road, West Bay, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 844-638-6333 or 902-345-2649
Eagle Crest Golf Course
Eagle’s Crest Golf Course certainly gives you a bird’s eye view of the Annapolis Valley. With a new challenging hole at every step, this 18-hole course presents the perfect day for experienced golfers. If you want to improve your game, they have both private and group lessons that allow you to get more familiar with golfing in general as well as Eagle Crest. They also have a spectacular bar and grill that overlooks the 18th hole, so feel free to congratulate people as they finish up and come to join you. That wasn’t sarcastic by the way—be nice to people!
Where: 2075 Lakewood Road, Centreville
Contact Details: 902-679-3033
Fox Harb’r Resort
Fox Harb’r Resort might be seen as fancy-pants, but it has earned that reputation with stellar service, gorgeous accommodations and spa, and a spectacular golf course. Well, courses I suppose, since they have the Championship Golf Course and the newer Ocean Side Par 3 Course, designed to be both tricky and quick. Both courses offer prime golfing by the sea with plenty of challenges, so it’s up to you to decide which one to try—well, to try first. If you’re having a luxury golf getaway weekend, you should definitely try out both!
Where: 1337 Fox Harbour Road, Fox Harbour
Contact Details: 1-866-257-1801
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Glen Arbour is still within the HRM, but the natural beauty of the courses will make you forget all about the bustle of city life. Yes, courses again—like Fox Harb’r, Glen Arbour has both a Championship Course and a Par 3 course. If those names sound familiar, that’s probably because both places were designed by Graham Cooke. The courses are designed for golfers 12 and up, so you can get the whole family involved, including dinner at the Grill where you can eat dinner together overlooking the lake where you may or may not have lost a ball or two earlier that day. Ah well, such is the game of golf.
Where: 40 Clubhouse Lane, Hammonds Plains
Contact Details: 902-835-4653
Golf Mount William
If you’re looking for a quicker golf game and a fantastic deal on a membership, you’ve got to golf at Mount William! Their par 3 course is appropriate for all levels of experience, and they also have a great driving range. You don’t even have to bring your own balls—member or non-member, you can buy a whole bucket of balls and the green fee for 15$, which is pretty hard to beat. If you love the course, you can pick up a membership for 200$ a year, which is a pretty great deal. Also check out their Facebook page, because whoever runs it is great at finding good golfing memes.
Where: 571 Mt William Road, Westville
Contact Details: 902-396-1050
Granite Springs Golf Club
Granite Springs overlooks Shad Bay, but don’t worry—if you lose your ball it’ll go in the lake, not in the ocean. Each of the 18 holes presents its own challenges and its own rewards as you plan your strategic approaches. You can also visit their pro shop, which has all kinds of great clothing and golf supplies. Their restaurant has a fantastic array of dishes and local beers on tap.
Where: 4441 Prospect Road, Bayside
Contact Details: 902-852-4653
Highlands Links actually shares more in common with Digby Pines (see above) than just the same designer, Stanley Thompson. Highlands Links is also attached to a lovely resort, in this case the Keltic Lodge in Cape Breton. It’s also 18 holes and has views ranging from gorgeous forests to views of the ocean. Highlands Links does have the unique feature of being the heart of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park though, so if you’re finished with golfing for the day, you can go for a hike, a swim, or just a wander in search of blueberries.
Where: 275 Keltic In Road, Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish Beach, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 1-800-565-0444 or 902-285-2880
Ken-Wo Golf Club
Ken-Wo Golf Club is 100 years old and still delivers a fantastic golfing experience—a timeless classic of the Valley. You can visit their site for a detailed breakdown not just of the 18 holes, but even the exact makeup of the greens, tees, fairways, and even the cart paths. This thoroughness has created fantastic golfing experience, from the greens all the way to the clubhouse, where you can shower, grab a snack, or relax for a delicious meal. Keep your eye on the site this season; it’s their 100th anniversary, and they’ve got plans!
Where: 9514 Commercial Street, New Minas
Contact Details: 902-681-5388
The Lakes Golf Club
Some of the resorts on this list include a golf course as a key feature, but the Lakes is one of the few that is a fully golf-centric resort. Settled in Ben Eoin, Cape Breton, this resort’s course was designed by a familiar name by now, Graham Cooke. There are huge differences in elevation, so it’s worth renting a power cart for a day out so no one gets sore knees. The best part is that there are accommodation options ranging from clubhouse suites to an actual house, so you can bring the whole golf crew!
Where: East Bay Highway, Ben Eoin, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 902-828-2277
Le Portage Golf Club
This is another great place to practice some French along with your golf skills—just double-check any swear words people suggest, you could get in trouble. Le Portage is simply gorgeous, with the ocean in the distance on one side and the Chéticamp Highlands on the other. They have a driving range facing those highlands, so you can enjoy the view while you work on your technique. They’ve also got a putting green right next to it, so you can get fully warmed up before you tackle the 18 holes to come.
Where: 15580 Cabot Trail Road, Chéticamp, Cape Breton
Contact Details: 1-888-618-5558
Mountain Golf & Country Club
This golf course is not technically on a mountain, but it certainly provides a mountain’s view of the Annapolis Valley. Started by a local business owner in the 1960s, Mountain Golf has grown from 9 holes to 18 and continues to expand. There’s a range of difficulties so no one gets too frustrated, and there’s also a range of rates depending on the day, length, and age of your group, all reasonable and some come with a Power Cart! They also have a bar and grill that overlooks hole 9 and hole 18, so you get two shows if you sit just right on the patio!
Where: 1195 Pictou Road, East Mountain
Contact Details: 902-893-2841
The Northumberland Strait is known for having some of the warmest water in the province, but I still don’t recommend you go chasing your ball into the ocean. These 18 holes might be challenging, but you’ll get to really stretch your golfing skills to the limit. It’ll be hard to feel frustrated with the stunning view around you as you golf on these links beside the sea. Their restaurant is also called the Tap In, which is an excellent golf restaurant name and I feel like you have to get the beer on tap to stick with the theme!
Where: 1776 Gulf Shore Road, Pugwash
Contact Details: 800-882-9661 or 902-243-2808
Osprey Ridge Golf Course
A lot of these courses are named after birds; maybe someday I’ll do a deep dive into the history of golf and birds. Graham Cooke strikes again, with an 18-hole championship course that has everything you could ever want, surrounded by beautiful forests. While some holes are challenging, it’s designed overall for golfers at every level. If you want some extra practice, Osprey Ridge’s practice facility includes everything from a driving range to sand bunkers, so you’ll be ready for whatever the ridge throws at you!
Where: 492 Harold Whynot Road, Lunenburg
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Parrsboro Golf Club
Sometimes you don’t have time for a giant golf day, but you still want gorgeous views and a challenging course. Parrsboro Golf Club is the perfect destination for such days. Overlooking the Minas Basin (part of the Bay of Fundy), Parrsboro has 9 quick holes—well, quick in that they’re Par 3 for the most part. There are certainly some challenges here, particularly hole #7. Once you’re done, you’ll have plenty of time for a nice relaxing meal at the clubhouse.
Where: Two Island Road, Parrsboro
Contact Details: 902-254-2733
Seaview Golf and Country Club
Seaview began in 1950 as a nine-hole course, but through the years they have expanded to 18 holes thanks to a loyal and ever-expanding membership base. They’ve poured that growth back into the whole club, and the results are a beautiful clubhouse, a driving range, and even on-course washrooms, which is apparently a rare treat! These holes may look easy at first glance, but keep your eyes sharp for challenges at the edges of the greens (look at the hole-by-hole breakdown and you’ll see what I mean). Come check out what makes Seaview Members so loyal, and if you live in the area, who knows—you might join their ranks!
Where: 370 Seaview Drive, North Sydney, Cape Breton
Wallace River Golf Course
Golfing beside the river with nine holes ahead of you might sound relaxing…but keep your guard up! Wallace River’s relaxing atmosphere is complemented by course layouts that will challenge even the most experienced of golfers. The holes are mainly long, with the few shorter ones surrounded by trees. Try to keep your balls out of the river, and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, even the rustling of the trees where your ball—just—rolled—you’re positive.
Where: 1055 Kerrs Mill Road, Wallace
Contact Details: 902-890-2652
The most southerly of these golf courses, Yarmouth Links gives you a fantastic reason to make the drive all the way to the southwest corner of Nova Scotia. This is the oldest golf course on this list, since it was established in the early 1800s—no, that’s not a typo! The course is open and has great views of the ocean barely impeded by the rolling fairways, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s always a straight shot! The ocean breezes and short greens combine to make accuracy and timing a necessity here.
Where: 28 Forbes Street, Yarmouth
Contact Details: 902-742-2161