Don't be shocked if you hear bagpipes in the background during your round at Andersons Creek Golf Club. (Wes Gilbertson/Golf Advisor) Water comes into play on many holes at Andersons Creek Golf Club. (Courtesy of Andersons Creek G.C.) The 15th is one of the many holes at Andersons Creek Golf Club that will challenge you to keep your golf ball dry. (Courtesy of Andersons Creek G.C.) Don't let the clubhouse's location on open, flat land fool you. Andersons Creek Golf Club turns into a roller coaster ride on the third hole.  (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor) Andersons Creek Golf Club's par-5 14th hole plays along a forest line to an elevated green. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

Andersons Creek Golf Club offers a taste of Scotland and Prince Edward Island

CAVENDISH, Prince Edward Island -- So much for quiet on the tee.

On busy days at Andersons Creek Golf Club on the north coast of Prince Edward Island, you might have trouble tuning out the sound of bagpipes wailing in the background.

"We offer what we call the group of the day, and we'll pick a group and (locally-trained Sarah Simpson) will pipe for them on the first tee and they'll do a shot of Scotch before they tee off," said Ben King, director of golf at Andersons Creek. "And then she also plays on the patio. From the clubhouse, the first and 10th tee and the ninth and 18th greens are all right there.

"We have people taking pictures with her and asking her about what she does. She's a world-renowned bagpiper. Everybody seems to really enjoy it and they seem really interested in it. It's really cool to see all the reactions to it."

Prince Edward Island and Scotland are separated by about 2,500 miles -- almost all carry over one of the world's largest water hazards -- but the staff at Andersons Creek is trying to serve up the best of both.

Their marketing slogan is, "A taste of Scotland, Prince Edward Island style."

That means you'll often hear Simpson's bagpipes in the background, and you'll find an assortment of Scotch at the bar.

And the Prince Edward Island part? That would be the complimentary mussels and tasty shellfish that are always in plentiful supply in the salt water that surrounds this pint-sized province. At Andersons Creek, they serve hundreds of mussels every day.

Andersons Creek Golf Club: The course

The golf course, meanwhile, gets its flavor -- and its name -- from another body of water. Andersons Creek zigs and zags through the 6,651-yard layout and threatens to swallow golf balls on many holes, highlighted by an intimidating approach over the hazard on the 443-yard third and a knee-knocking iron shot from 179 yards out at the next tee.

Golfers get another glimpse of the creek on No. 13, which stretches to only 321 yards from the back tees and presents an intriguing risk-reward option for the heavy hitters. They will once again be tested to keep their lucky Titleist dry off the tee two holes later.

"Those holes, they run in that little bowl that has the creek running through it, and I'd have to say that those are some of the best to look at, for sure," King said. "When people come here, those are the ones they remember."

That is, unless your memories of Andersons Creek are dominated by the bagpipe music and steamed mussels. If you're a sucker for good Scotch, maybe you won't remember anything at all.

That's no problem around here. This Graham Cooke setup is no slouch, but the emphasis at Andersons Creek has always been the extras.

"It's a beautiful facility and a beautiful golf course, but it's the atmosphere that you have when you're playing it that makes it kind of a special place," King said. "You hear the bagpipes in the distance. We offer complimentary mussels after your round. There's a lot of action in the clubhouse before and after your rounds. People seem to like to hang out around here and be a part of the experience.

"It's just a great atmosphere. I think everybody really enjoys themselves."

Andersons Creek Golf Club: The verdict

With so many golf courses dotting the landscape of Canada's smallest province, kudos to the crew at Andersons Creek for figuring out a way to set theirs apart from the others.

You'll never get this rolling layout confused with the Old Course at St. Andrews, but the bagpipe music is a unique feature, and the all-you-can-eat mussels will certainly hit the spot after your round.

Or, you can skip the seafood and head straight to Stanley Thompson's historic layout at Green Gables. The sister courses are located about 10 minutes apart and offer 36-hole specials.

Aug 29, 2011

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Wes Gilbertson


Wes Gilbertson covers the NHL’s Calgary Flames and writes golf features for Postmedia in Calgary, Alta. When the snow melts, he's living proof that thin mountain air doesn't turn everybody into a long-drive specialist. Follow Wes on Twitter at @WesGilbertson.