For those looking for a summer or fall golf vacation that’s challenging, uncrowded, kind to the bank account and populated with cheerful locals, then look no further than Atlantic Canada. I see that look on some of your faces so let me explain what Atlantic Canada is. Basically it’s everything east of Quebec. More specifically it’s Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Labrador/Newfoundland.
You may be asking yourself why on earth you’d go there for golf this summer. First, there are lots of first class courses at a cost of probably 50% of what you’d pay here in the states for a round. The courses are uncrowded, play 36 a day if you want. The people who populate this part of Canada are some of the nicest folks on the planet. Imagine this country in 1950 and you start to get the idea. The food, particularly what comes from the sea, is exquisite. In case you can’t read my mind I’m thinking lobster, oysters and mussels. The weather is beautiful and a lot cooler than most of the lower 48, which means your golf isn’t restricted to before 9 in the morning or after 6 in the evening.
Last year my wife and I golfed in both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (better known as PEI). PEI is a delight. It’s all the things I’ve described above, plus there are 20 plus excellent courses within about 40 minutes of each other. If you contact the nice people at Golf PEI (www.golfpei.ca) they’ll set you up with great deals on golf and lodging and make sure your vacation goes without a hitch. Be forwarned, don’t play the Golf PEI CEO, Barry MacLeod, for money. He’s all too happy to take it from you.
We also golfed in New Brunswick. The only difference with PEI is that the courses are more spreadout. If you wan’t to play all the best, then plan on staying in a few different locations and driving a bit. Golf NB (www.golfnb.com) chief cook and bottlewasher Chris Stacey will help you map out a perfect vacation. If you can, get him to hit at least one drive for you. I don’t know what they put in the water up there, but if it makes you hit the ball like Chris then I’m going to start having the stuff shipped down here.
The picture above was painted by my wife from pictures we took at the Fairmont Algonquin golf course. Look carefully, because it really captures the look and feel of golfing in Atlantic Canada. I can’t view this picture without smelling the clean air and seeing the sunlight dancing off the water that was typical of our 10 day stay.
Atlantic Canada is a terrific destination for serious golfers. Plan a trip and I guarantee you’ll come back a new person. While you’re there say hello to the good folks at Golf PEI and Golf NB. It’s OK to tell your friends about the place, just don’t tell too many!