Nova Scotia golf shares much in common with the place the game was invented. After all, the province takes its name from that very place—Scotland. Both lands have been blessed with rocky shorelines, dramatic highlands, and other scenic settings. Like its forebear in the Old World, Nova Scotia is home to many public golf courses. Some are set along the sea and others are nestled in the middle of inland forests, numbering more than 60 in total.
When talking about the best golf in Nova Scotia, many people will first mention Cape Breton Island. This scenic island off the northern tip of the province, known for its dramatic landscapes and unforgettable settings, is increasingly becoming a top destination for golf in the entire province. In this fantastic setting, four Nova Scotia golf courses, naturally nicknamed the Fabulous Foursome, attract a lot of attention. Highlands Links, designed by Stanley Thompson, is a part of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. With a computerized reservation system, a well-stocked pro shop, and 18 holes, this course earns a lot of accolades. Also in the Highlands, Le Portage Golf Club features neatly groomed greens, a meandering brook, and wide fairways nestled among a lush forest.
The Fabulous Foursome also includes two more Nova Scotia golf courses. The Dundee Resort & Golf Club, one of the most challenging in Atlantic Canada, serves up six water hazards and the one of the highest slopes in the region. The year the Bell Bay Golf Club opened, it was declared the top new course by Golf Digest. This Thomas McBroom-designed championship course is accessible to all levels of golfers and a pleasure to walk.
On the center of the island, vistas of the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes are waiting for those who spend time at the Lakes Golf Club. Opened in spring 2010, this course designed by Graham Cooke quickly took its place as one of the options for best golf in Nova Scotia. Crossing three plateaus overlooking the rolling hills and the lakes, this course could easily turn the Fabulous Foursome into a Fabulous Fivesome. While strolling the course, golfers can overlook the lakes, favored for sailing and wildlife watching adventures.
While Cape Breton Island is perhaps the best-known setting for Nova Scotia golf, it's not the only option. Courses are spread throughout the mainland in cities large and small, including the capital city of Halifax. One family-friendly course, Prospect Short Game Golf, offers a way to have fun for beginners since each of the nine holes offers between 40 and 80 yards of synthetic greens. Seasoned golfers can work on their skills and sign up for lessons with an in-house professional. Like the other Nova Scotia golf courses, this one enjoys a scenic location, in this case, close to the Halifax waterfront and the charming little village of Peggy's Cove.
Across the mainland, the town of Digby also features some of the best golf in Nova Scotia. This coastal town, often voted the most romantic place in the entire province, is dotted by seafood restaurants serving freshly caught scallops and scenic golf courses to suit all levels of play.
The Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa also has a course designed by Stanley Thompson. Overlooking the Bay of Fundy, this 18-hole championship course twists past pine trees, a brook, and ponds along holes 2 and 16. After a day filled with Nova Scotia golf, guests can return to the lodge, which looks much like a French Chateau, for a relaxing vacation. Special vacation packages, designed just for golfers, offer a chance to hit the links, a buffet breakfast, and overnight accommodations.