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Highlands Links
247 Keltic Inn Road, Ingonish Beach, NS  B0C1L0
Tee Times: 902-285-2600 Toll Free: 800-441-1118 Fax: 902-285-2211

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Rate (1=poor, 10=excellent):
Ratings: 3   Score: 7.67


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Golf in
3037 Quail Run Avenue
Ottawa, ON   K1T3S1
Course Location
Weather Forecast

Mostly Cloudy

Snow (1–2 cm.) and windy in the morning.

Snow (1–3 cm.) until afternoon.

Partly cloudy in the morning and breezy overnight.

Foggy throughout the day.

Snow (1–3 cm.) in the morning and windy overnight.
Date: 2008-Jul-01 Review by Dan L
    Highlands Links does have very nice greens that are in great shape with lots of contours and slopes. They weren't very fast but I did find them nice to stick to with long or short irons. They also ranged in size from medium to large, but so did the difficulty with the slopes and contours.
    Talk about rolling fairways. These were the toughest and most extreme rolling fairways I've ever played. There were some rough spots here and there but overall in very nice shape. I liked how wide the fairways were but don't expect a flat lie or straight on shot on this course. You'll find yardage markers very visible at 100, 150, and 200, but you may have to add a club or two when shooting at some of the elevated greens.
    Nice shaped tees, flat and easy to tee-off from. Some were elevated and nice to just grip it a rip it. Tees were nicely cut and fairly soft as I only broke one wooden tee all day were I usually break 10 to 12 per round.
    This is one nicely designed course with lots of variation from one to the next. The 2nd and 6th hole made it in the top 100 holes in the world rankings. I must say they were quite amazing but I failed to see how they made the top 100. Maybe that's why I don't rank courses in a world standing. There was some amazing rolling fairways and really nice elevated greens which I truly enjoyed playing.
    $69 at peek times plus cart seems a little expensive, but you are playing one of the top ranked golf courses listed in the world rated by Golf Digest and Score Golf. You can become a member for $900 a year; now that's a great bargain.
    Highlands Links was a little easier then I thought. I shot an 82 with no birdies, although I had 3 or 4 birdie putts. I just couldn't follow through as I kept leaving them short due to the slow greens and my fear of putting it past the hole. There was quite a variance from one hole to the next due to the mountainous terrain. This course was cut through the forest.
    This place did have a nice layout, cut through the forest along the Cabot Trail. It lacked in the "WOW" factor if you ask me. Maybe if we would have seen a moose or a bear my opinion might have changed.
    Staff were very pleasant and they came around quite often during the round to see if everything was OK. They discussed the different wildlife that was spotted on the course: moose, bears, eagles, and rabbits. We didn't have any luck ourselves today as we only saw a rabbit on hole number one but nothing else after that.
    The clubhouse was fairly average with a nice little pro shop. It was clean and well kept and well organized. The entire course is run by Parks Canada.
    Nice cart paths with very nice signage at each hole. I really liked the little booklet they gave us which explained each hole and the difficulties that you could face.
    Come by and give it a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Maybe you'll experience some of the wildlife that we didn't. The drive along the Cabot Trail will make it worth your while on its own.
Date: 2008-Jul-01 Review by Dan P
    Green speed was decent and were in good shape. Design of the greens didn't appear to be anything unique in my book as was anticipated.
    Many rolling, sloping fairways. 150 marker was staked with plates for 200 and 100 yards. The fairways didn't appear to be in the best condition but I guess the wildlife plays a factor.
    Three sets of tees, good signage, but not always flat or smooth.
    A very traditional course. Nine holes out, nine holes back.
    A very long walk which makes playing a round in under 5 hours rather difficult.
    Bunkers are well positioned but, on some holes, are lacking where one would make a great addition.
    Holes #2 and #6 are rated in the top 500 holes in the world. I'd choose hole #7 (par 5) long before either of these holes.
    For a course that's top rated in the world and the #1 public course in Canada, to play is a bargain. You can become a member for under $1000. If you're ever in the Highlands Links area then a stop to play this traditional course is a must.
    Uneven lies are encountered everywhere. I can recall only one flat fairway from tee to green. Highlands Links does not play as tough as one would expect. We heard of moose sightings, bear, coyote and eagles. Alas, we only saw a rabbit on hole #1. There's no question that this course has its share of wildlife. I expected to see more of the ocean but it is only visible on the early holes.
    Lots of forest and rough that is best avoided.
    Government owned, Highlands Links has a superb staff that go about their business as one would expect.
    I don't believe I've ever seen a beverage cart so often in a round.
    The clubhouse is simple, clean, and functional. No golf clubs were seen in the pro shop.
    A great logo on a large selection of shirts, hats, and other souvenirs makes avoiding an additional purchase difficult.
    I get the feeling that the course doesn't take many tournaments (but I could be wrong).
    The wind can swirl and shift direction in an instant.
    What can be easier for a course design? Nine out, nine back. You can't get lost.
    My expectations for Highlands Links was very high. Probably too high as I was a bit disappointed. I guess I should have taken in consideration more of thee history of the course and what tools of the time were used to build it.
    This signature Stanley Thompson designed course is considered his best.
Photos: 2008-Jul-01

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