CAPE BRETON, Nova Scotia, Canada -- It's nearly August, and the clock is ticking out at Cabot Cliffs, the new Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw designed encore to Cabot Links. Cabot Cliffs is currently scheduled to open by mid-summer, 2015, though a prolonged winter followed by drought certainly haven't done any favors at the construction site.
The golf course, located on the northern side of the original Cabot Links, features a very different topography. The front nine plays through lower-lying dunes and around wetlands, while the back side trudges up the cliffs, which end up growing to nearly 100 feet high. By the time you reach the course's highest points, around the 14th and 15th holes, the views of the beach of Inverness and town are expansive.
Unique to Cabot Cliffs will be it's 6-6-6 routing of par 3s, 4s and 5s. There will be a number of exceptional holes, but the early pick for signature hole has to be the par-3 16th, which features a tee shot played over the ocean to a green guarded in front by jagged cliffs. It's certain to become one of the most famous par 3s in North America.
Brandon Tucker received a tour of the site on July 30, which saw the back nine entirely seeded and growing in, while the front nine still had areas that needed to be sand-capped and seeded. Rod Whitman, architect of Cabot Links and the shaper at Cabot Cliffs, was busy on the bulldozer putting the finishing touches on the front side, while Bill Coore was also on site. Ground has also broken on the addition of 24 more guest rooms to house an expected surge in golf groups once it opens.
Here are some pictures from the site and what to expect when the course opens as early as summer 2015.