|Silver (W)||70||6020 yards||74.9||135|
|Orange (W)||70||4942 yards||68.8||118|
|Royal Blue (W)||70||3691 yards||62.3||99|
|Royal Blue||70||3691 yards||60.4||97|
|Black M: 73.7/132||540||247||330||450||178||465||192||580||360||3342||385||620||450||440||102||413||457||170||475||3512||6854|
|Green M: 71.6/125||530||230||313||410||172||440||186||550||340||3171||355||580||425||420||95||385||430||142||452||3284||6455|
|Silver M: 69.1/124 W: 74.9/135||515||222||290||405||168||434||140||515||320||3009||325||490||410||405||92||381||388||128||392||3011||6020|
|Orange M: 64.6/110 W: 68.8/118||444||160||256||270||165||273||122||425||265||2380||306||425||365||357||85||280||334||85||325||2562||4942|
|Royal Blue M: 60.4/97 W: 62.3/99||320||115||175||270||77||195||76||315||220||1763||260||310||211||235||75||203||280||84||270||1928||3691|
Wow, what a links, and in North America! A true links course built to play links style, keep it low ands run it along the ground. Too bad they've had a wet spring, go later in the summer when the fairways really run fast.Beautiful bunkering, nicely routed holes, some elevation changes, not a tough a walk if you're used to walking. Caddies can be a bit hit and miss, definitely ask for an A class caddy. Greens are fescue so a bit wonky, need to be firm as the ball will break a lot once it loses speed, can get away from you fast on downhill puts, and need to be firm on uphill puts. You try and figure it out! Play the right tee boxes, we got caught behind 4 guys playing from the blues who spent all day searching for balls because they couldn't reach the fairway! A must see course, between it and the Cliffs course well worth the visit.
Rerouted since my last visit, but still excellent
This was my third time back to Cabot Links since it opened in 2012, so of course I knew what I was getting into, but as I was walking to what I thought was the first hole (the blind, dogleg right that heads over the big bunker), everyone in my group asked where I was going.
Turns out, the course has been rerouted since 2014. Even the caddies in our group, new since then, thought I was hallucinating.
Now, the course starts out fairly similar to Cliffs in that it's a south-facing par 5 that is all in front of you, and what used to be the demanding par-5 2nd hole is now the 11th. The old opener (now the 10th) reminded me a lot like Pacific Dunes' first. I think the new 1st and 2nd are among the less memorable holes, so maybe that's what Cabot was going after.
This was my first trip to Cabot playing the Links and Cliffs. Having played Cliffs twice before my round on Links, I was curious how I'd find the round. My takeaways were that there are long par 4s on Links, whereas there isn't really a brutish 4 on Cliffs. Maybe it's just because my swing was a little lazy having played a full 18 on Cliffs in the morning, but I think there are some legitimately more difficult holes on Links (the slope/rating for the par 70 Links is much lower, however).
I'd say the main difference between Links and Cliffs is that it seems that on practically every tee, Cliffs is trying to outdo itself with spectacle. Links, meanwhile, has ups and downs to it, with some holes more mellow than others, that make the standouts that much better. And there's something much more authentic about playing a links right in the town with church steeples as aiming lines.
Cliffs has a more spectacular 18, no question, but I think Links still holds its own and is a totally different piece of property and design. It's a slightly easier walk but not by much. If playing 4 rounds at Cabot, I think I'd still split it up 2-2. And you can't beat finishing up on 18 with the sun setting and the light coming on the green.
Ken Hunter...caddie extraordinaire
For the third year in a row, I recently had the very good fortune to get hooked up with Ken Hunter, a professional caddie at Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs, Inverness, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Ken has now been on my bag for at least 25 rounds in my travels there. I travel a lot to play golf, and when a caddie program is available, I always try and book the same person for the duration of my stay. Ken is the best caddie that I have ever had, including at many high-end golf courses in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England and Japan. Ken helps you with your aiming spots off the tee, ways to avoid hazards, and especially is helpful from one hundred yards or so all the way into the hole. When I look over my scores, having Ken by my side easily saves me 4-7 strokes per round. Oh, and by the way, he can carry on a friendly intelligent conversation with you on a wide variety of topics with his Scottish accent. If you want to optimize your golf experience at Cabot Links or Cabot Cliffs, ask for Ken, but ask for him well in advance.
This a walking course only. Excepting with a medical note from a Dr.. Then you must take a caddie who will drive the cart ( $60 plus tip ). There are good reasons for this. Both Cabot Links and newer sister course Cabot Cliffs are links courses with most holes running along the sea. Conditions were perfect, fast fairways, thin lies around the greens (learn to chip with hybrid), greens were hard but not fast. If your ball goes into the fescue don't expect to see it again. This course is like Pebble Beach without the multi million dollar homes. Not easy to get to but worth the trip.
True Links Golf
Cabot Links is a TRUE links golf course, the only one on the eastern seaboard of North America. For that reason alone, it is worth the trip - not easy to get to, but still probably easier than getting to Ireland or Britain (or even Bandon if you live in the eastern USA or Canada). I played with a nice couple from Toronto who had just been to Scotland, and they said Cabot Links is "exactly" like the links courses over there. A quick note on its sister course, Cabot Cliffs - I do not think Cabot Cliffs is a TRUE links course - it has many features (fescue grass, hard bouncy turf with long roll-outs, slower greens and windy conditions most days), but I wouldn't classify Cabot Cliffs as a true links course.
So back to Cabot Links. What a treat. It's the first time that I have ever played true links golf, and it really is a different game in many regards. The day that I played was warm but it rained pretty hard for the first 3 holes and the wind was howling. By the 4th hole, the rain was finished, but the winds kept going strong (which I assume is pretty much the norm at Cabot, given the fact that the holes have reinforced steal at the bottom to hold the hefty flag sticks in place). Even though the course had taken on quite a bit of water over the previous 12 hours (it had also rained the night before), the fairways still played bouncy and fast like you would expect with links golf. It really made playing in the wind a lot of fun, because you could hit the ball low (stinger and punch shots) and still get the distance you need while keeping it under the wind. It's also a lot of fun to swing away and ride the wind on the holes where the wind is at your back. For example, #7 is a par 3 that was playing 188 yards downwind and I hit a three-quarter 8 iron (my usual 155 club) that ended up on the very back of the green. Then at #10, a 355 yard par 4 playing downwind, both me and my playing partner hit our drives over the green. Point being, you'll end up hitting shots at Cabot that you've probably never hit before (unless you've been to Ireland, Britain or Bandon).
The condition of the course was magnificent. The greens were definitely slower than what I am accustomed to playing back home, but that's links golf and with the wind that day, it was probably a good thing because if the greens were cut down, the balls would have been rolling off.
Difficulty wise, I think Cabot Links is probably more difficult than Cabot Cliffs, as there is a little more high grass and tall fescue which makes the Links seemingly tighter than the Cliffs. That said, there is still room to be creative with the wind and hit lots of different kinds of shots.
Overall, I had a blast going around Cabot Links. Links golf is so much fun if you play it the way it was meant to be played - I can't wait to go back someday.
Quick note on the facilities - there is no driving range at the Links - it's over at Cabot Cliffs, which is about a 6 or 7 minute drive in the car or shuttle vans provided by the resort (nice range over there). I ate all of my meals at the Cabot bar on site, and found the food to be excellent. The rooms at the resort are decent and all of them have amazing views of the Links and ocean. If you go, I'd suggest staying at the resort to get the full experience, as it made everything very convenient, plus I do not think there are many other options close by the golf courses. Most people at Cabot stay for a couple days because it's not easy to get there and often end up playing 36 holes a day, so it's nice to have your room right there were you can go rest and maybe change/shower between rounds. Also, right off of the resort lobby are locker rooms with showers, so even if you had to check out of your room prior to your last round, you can still take a shower and clean up after golf (before leaving to go home).
Worth The Trip
Planned a trip for US Open / Father's Day weekend and had been looking forward to this for months. We played June 14-16 and played in 50 to 65 degree weather with variable wind conditions throughout our stay. As with most links courses, the weather can have a dramatic impact on the difficulty of play. We played two rounds each on the Links course and Cliffs. Both courses were outstanding. While Cliffs seems to get the press, Links in and of itself would be worth the trip. Courses were in excellent condition and offer a varying degree of challenge for every level of play. Their tee classifications are Black, Green, Silver, Orange and Royal Blue. The black tees will give single digit and even scratch golfers all they can handle and anyone above a 15 likely has no business playing the greens. 15's to 20's will have plenty of challenge with the Silvers and Orange are Senior tees and Royal Blue Ladies. As you probably know, both courses are walking only and I would highly recommend taking caddies, while they provide complimentary pull carts. While the majority of caddies we had were younger (late teens to early twenties) they knew the course well and were helpful with strategies on how to approach each hole and of course reading puts. The staff at Cabot couldn't be nicer. I really can't come up with any drawbacks. There are a couple of great breakfast places downtown, but for dinners your best bets are the Cabot restaurants or bars. For a good meal off campus you will need to head about 15 mins South to Mabou which has the Glenora Distillery where they have a nice restaurant or the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou, just 5 mins further South from the distillery. The only drawback I can come up with is it is a bit of a challenge getting there (more than 3 hrs from Halifax airport) but I clearly felt it was worth the trip. I've played Pebble and may have enjoyed this more.
Amazing Spot. Just do it
If you are a golfer, this will be paradise.
Wow. What a spot. Every bit as good as the cliffs course in my opinion.
The course is fantastic. Truly unique layout in a gorgeous setting. The greens rolled true, but were extremely slow, which is always disappointing in my opinion.
The weather can change on a dime and is unpredictable, but almost part of the fun.
We were here for 3 rounds. The caddies are hit and miss, so dont expect a sure thing.
The course will play easy if its calm, but can play very challenging in wind. If it's dry it will also play short
I first played here in 2012 and went around it seven times in 3 days and wanted more. On this last trip, I played here 3 times in 3 days and 4 times at Cliffs. With all the accolades that Cliffs gets most deservedly, you would be missing out on serious golfing glory if you were to not play here too. I understand that this course is in the world 100; however, there is a chance that it is underrated. First of all it plays as firm and fast as any links I have been on including Bandon and 30 courses in Scotland. Secondly, it is a great walk; thirdly, there is not a weak hole and many great ones; fourth of all, it is a joy to play on the ground and take into account bounce and slopes on approaches. Finally, the course is more interesting with a two club wind than with no wind. This place is real links of the highest order.
As mentioned before, play this course as a true links. Use the contours to get the ball close to the hole. Although fairways are wide, find the side that will give better access to the greensites- wrong side of the fairway brings serious shot making skills into play. Put the Wedges away and bump and run or putt for short game. Enjoy the scenery, but keep your mind on each shot-they all deserve your attention. In time, with multiple plays, you will learn when taking one or two clubs less is necessary; most notably on the par 3 5th. Also when one club more is needed such as the par 3 17th. You will also learn when it is foolish to use driver or the proper lines for driver as you might roll through the fairway. There is even a 100 yard long double green shared by the 8th and 12th holes.
This course was rerouted a few years back and that has helped even more for the enjoyment. The two holes with blind shots are now on the back nine as opposed to your introduction. Also, the holes on the flattest land are now the start of the course.
The par 3s are a great group and play in multiple directions and vary in length. The 2nd hole is a classic Biarritz green and approaches from the left will use the natural contours to get near the hole. The 14th will remind people of the 7th at Pebble Beach (Yes, that is not an overstatement)The par 5s contain probably the easiest and most difficult holes. The 11th is great with shot options abound and has also been known to wreck a score card for those who underestimate its intricacies. The 8th is the easy one, despite the forced carry tee shot.
The par 4s vary it difficulty and the best one might be the 7th. This is a cape hole that is one of the few away from the ocean. How much quality does a course have if its best whole lacks the eye candy? Half pars abound and if your senses are not heightened on the 16th hole, then take up bowling.
Off the course, there could be no complaints. The lodging is top notch and every room has a view of the course. The restaurants range from Pub food to upscale (there are three of them). The people are great and quite accommodating to bring about a top notch golf experience. There is a putting green. The driving range is at the Cliffs. Over all, a world class experience for a world class course. Off the course, the Highlands National park is near by and the beach is close too-the water is even warm up here. Plenty to do when not golfing; at least, that is what I hear-played 36 each day.
When I was here in 2012, I fell in love with this course and area. This should be on any links enthusiasts bucket list. Combine the Links and Cliffs for the best 36 hole facility in the world.
I felt like I was in another world.. honestly, I have read the reviews many times, but until you actually arrive in the grounds and walk up to the first tee, you wont know the feeling.. Played with a friend on a boys golf trip and this was a dream come true, I cant continue to repeat how different a feeling it is from anywhere I have ever played. With a view of the ocean from every hole, hearing the waves crash against the rocks, and us being lucky to play on a calm down with zero wind, it couldn't have been a better experience. If I struggle at anything in my game, its sand shots, and these traps are big, have lots of character and oh yeah, some of them are BIG!! but the golf gods must have been smiling on me because I got up and down 3 out of 5 times. Back to the golf, its a different style of golf for sure.. balls run a lot on the fairways, I started putting well off the greens. Before the round the pro told me to club down when going for approach shots because of the roll.. I hit a ball a lot higher then most and was able to stick most of my shots on the green. I think the signature hole is 14? an amazing hole, but one to look forward too is 11 I believe? its a hole that you aren't directly on the ocean, but rather close to a dock that is filled with boats. Also one hole where you literally walk on the beach while going to the next hole was great too.. Who am I kidding.. all the holes are great! Cant wait to play Cabot Cliffs
Perfect Links Destination
I had only played a links course once in Ireland, so had little for comparison. Cabot Links was difficult but certainly playable for an average golfer. My caddie was an A caddie, and was extremely helpful for our first round. The scenery is magnificent and the sunsets beautiful in front of lodge. Restaurant was not fancy, but the food was excellent. If driving to Nova Scotia, I would also recommend Fox Harbour for another nights stay. Also near Inverness, a wonderful alternate restaurant is at the Glenora Inn and Distillery.
Fast becoming one of the world's best links
In a little more than two years since it officially opened (and also around the time of my last visit), Cabot Links in Cape Breton is maturing quite nicely into one of the finest links golf experiences in the world. The walk is as scenic as any links, a joy to play and leaves you wanting more. We played on an idyllic July morning with a faint breeze and plenty of sunshine. Suffice to say we went back out for another loop later that day. Beachfront holes always steal the show, since there's a finite amount of them in the world, and Cabot's stretch of them on the back nine, Nos. 13-16, is fabulous. That said, I absolutely adore the holes at the turn: Nos. 8 thru 12 that play beside a calm harbor. The holes with the church steeple backdrops in town remind me of so many links in Scotland (and so does the town's name of Inverness, of course). The par-3 12th hole is new since I was last here. Cabot bought more land after the course opened, and the new hole plays a little higher than the old 12th, which affords better views (and more influence from the ocean breeze). This is a course that presents phenomenal hole variety. Architect Rod Whitman, who is manning the 'dozer as the shaper for the new Cabot Cliffs scheduled to open in 2015, deserves a lot of credit for such a pleasant walk from No. 1-18. This place isn't going to beat you up at all and birdies can be had with good shots. While Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw certainly have more star power than Whitman, plus a few incredible cliffside holes to design at Cabot Cliffs, I think in the long run the original Cabot Links may eventually fare more favorable. And an aside from golf, I really love the lodge at Cabot, which blends traditional and modern design influences very well. Be sure to get at least one cup of lobster chowder while you're here, and the fish & chips are also awesome. Finer dining can be had upstairs, and make a reservation, it's a popular spot.