NEW GLASGOW, Prince Edward Island -- When you enter the clubhouse at Glasgow Hills Resort & Golf Club on Prince Edward Island, you might get a little hungry.
The pro shop and restaurant carry the strong scent of shellfish. Every part of Prince Edward Island is rife with seafood, but that is especially so here in the village of New Glasgow. Just down the road from Glasgow Hills is New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, where diners enjoy fresh-caught lobster, unlimited side dishes and mussels.
"We play each other for oysters," said Chris Ferguson, who mans the check-in desk in the pro shop at Glasgow Hills.
It's natural to think shellfish and golf here. The club even introduced the free mussels from PEI's Aqua farms after the round as a way of encouraging groups to stick around for a drink in the clubhouse. With a view from the patio that overlooks the course and ocean beyond, it doesn't take much arm twisting to want to stick around awhile.
Glasgow Hills: No house in sight
Located on the north shore near Cavendish, Glasgow Hills is the centerpiece of a small residential component being developed beside the course. That isn't to call this a residential golf course, as the only house you could possibly hit would require about a 100-yard hook offline from the 18th tee.
The golf course opened in 2001 and was designed by Les Furber, one of the country's most prolific architects. He also doesn't shy from building tough courses.
The layout can play as long as 6,915 yards from the championship tees, and few holes play on a level. A mix of elevated tees and elevated greens make the course one of the island's best challenges for low-handicap players.
Glasgow Hills' back nine comes with a slew of challenges, like a 240-yard, par-3 13th that plays over water running in front of the green. The most difficult par 5 ensues: the 552-yard, par-5 14th with plenty of trouble to discover tee-to-green.
The up-and-down nature of Glasgow Hills and less-than-straightforward holes -- such as the 14th hole -- make it more of a member's course than a resort-style play. But good players will enjoy the challenge, as well as the fine facilities and conditions.
"It can take a couple rounds for the course to win you over," noted Dave Shellington, a member at Glasgow Hills. "The service and conditions are really good. They take really good care of you here."
The crescendo of Glasgow Hills peaks at the 17th hole, a par 5 played from an elevated tee tucked back into trees. Those willing to hit the ball left over trees will be able to cut off enough fairway to possibly reach the steeply elevated and crowned green in two shots.
Glasgow Hills Resort & Golf Club: The verdict
As one of the newest and most visually dramatic golf courses, Glasgow Hills rates among Prince Edward Island's best.
It's certainly no cakewalk, especially from the back two sets of tee boxes. Low-handicappers will welcome the challenge; high-handicappers will appreciate the views, the facilities and the mussels.
The clubhouse features not only mussels and a bar but full meals at Piper's Restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner nightly. There are no accommodations on site at Glasgow Hills, but partnering properties are nearby.