Matt Ginella's images from opening day 2016 at Cabot Cliffs on Cape Breton Island

After a soft opening in 2015, Cabot Cliffs debuted for the full summer season in 2016 with a grand opening in June that included the attendance of golf course architects Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw and co-owner Mike Keiser among others.

It was smooth-swinging Crenshaw hitting the ceremonial opening tee shot:

Crenshaw at Cabot Cliffs

Cabot Cliffs is the newest addition to the golf scene at Cabot Links, a one-two punch of authentic links golf on Canada's maritime island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Golf Channel travel expert Matt Ginella was in attendance to see how the course is taking shape. You can view his images above, as well as see what he had to say about the course in his review for Golf Advisor:

The Inverness "town fathers" had always envisioned a golf course as the perfect transition and evolution of the land that once was productive and prosperous coal mines. And that's what they got when Ben Cowan-Dewar and Mike Keiser hired Rod Whitman, a Canadian architect, to build Cabot Links, which opened in 2012 and has been deemed a huge success. "If Rod hadn't created such a popular course, there would never have been a Cabot Cliffs," said Mike Keiser, to a small group of media, friends, staff and locals on the opening day of Cabot Cliffs. Whitman went on to help shape Cliffs for friends and mentors, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who were also in attendance for the opening day ceremony. Coore explained to the crowd that it's his long-standing friendship with Whitman, and "Whit's" involvement in both Links and Cliffs, that makes the opening of Cliffs more special than the rest of their portfolio.

Like a hat at a fundraiser, there was a passing of the credit and recognition amongst everyone involved in Cliffs, and that thoughtful humility and camaraderie comes through in the walk and the architecture of the course itself. Over a mile and a half of Nova Scotian coastline is among many of the highlights to a routing that includes six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. There is variation in distances to all pars, there are infinity greens, there's room for error off most tees, and yet plenty of shots that require strategy and precision. There are cape holes, punchbowls, half pars, and a steady build to a climactic finish, which includes the 16th hole, one of the most fun, dramatic and spectacular par 3s in golf. This course might host events for the pros, such as a Canadian Open, but it was built for us, the avid amateurs. My only advice is to enjoy every step.

Video: How Cabot Links is revitalizing Inverness on Cape Breton Island

Jun 23, 2016

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Matt Ginella

Special Contributor

Matt Ginella is Golf Channel's resident travel insider. He writes for and appears weekly on "Morning Drive." Before Golf Channel, Ginella was senior travel editor for Golf Digest and Golf World from 2007-2012 and covered courses, resorts and the avid amateur golfer's annual buddies trips to over 60 destinations around the country. Ginella graduated from St. Mary's College (Calif.) in 1995 and earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2003. Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattginellagc and on Instagram at @Matt_Ginella.