September 13-21, 2008
Prince Edward Island: We left Ottawa for PEI shortly after 6:00pm on a Friday. The drive was good and we reached Quebec City around 11:00pm, found a Comfort Inn, and settled in for the night.
We left the Comfort Inn at 8:00am after eating a couple of slices of toast and peanut butter. A Tim Horton's around the corner completed the necessities of travel. With only one stop for gas and food in New Brunswick we reached The Great George in Charlottetown shortly after 6:00pm.
What a great room! My golfing partner and I each had our own room on the top floor (4th). The room was twice the size of home with a fireplace, 36" flat screen TV, and a bathtub in the center of the room. Mood music played in the background. The front foyer of the hotel is licensed and pricing of drinks was very reasonable. Warm cookies, coffee, and tea were always available. Two nights of luxury to start our seven days of golf.
A recommendation from a friend had us visit the St. James Gate pub. Downtown Charlottetown contains many great pubs and dining establishments all within easy walking distance from our hotel and our selection for dinner certainly didn't disappoint.
One nice thing about golfing in PEI is you can establish accommodations just about anywhere on the island and chances are you can reach any course you'd like to play in less than a two hour drive. You'll quickly find PEI to be one of the best golfing destinations in the world.
The Links at Crowbush Cove (September 14th - Day 1): Since it opening in 1994, the Thomas McBroom designed Crowbush Cove has become the most recognized golf course on the island. The undulating fairways, water holes, pot bunkers and challenging greens all provide an experience not to be forgotten. Wind, coming in off the north shore, is always present and is an influence on almost every shot. Being a mere 30 minutes outside Charlottetown, Crowbush Cove is a must stop for any golfer.
Crowbush Cove hosted the 1998 Export ‘A’ Skins game featuring John Daly, Fred Couples, Mark O’Meara and Mike Weir. It also hosted the 2007 Legends of Golf event featuring Vijay Singh and Mike Weir. I heard a few stories about John Daly's feat using a putter during the 1998 Skins but the story I heard differed from the ones I found searching on the Net. I guess the story is best heard at the Crowbush Pro Shop.
A review of The Links at Crowbush Cove can be read here.
Dundarave Golf Course (September 15th - Day 2): With its red sandstone bunkers, Dundarave won't go unnoticed in my photo album. Again, wind comes to mind when I think of our round at Dundarave. Our game was challenged by huge gusts like nothing I've encountered on a golf course. This award winning design by architects Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry is one of the newer courses on PEI having opened in July of l999.
A review of the Dundarave Golf Course can be read here.
After two glorious nights at The Great George we moved over to the Stanhope Bay & Beach Resort. The Stanhope Bay & Beach Resort is within walking distance to the sandy beaches of Prince Edward Island's National Park and to the Stanhope Golf & Country Club. We spent three nights at Stanhope, another exceptional vacationing spot, and sadly, didn't get to play the closest course to our doorstep.
Green Gables Golf Club (September 16th - Day 3): The Green Gables Golf Club was closed for most of 2008 and only reopened in late August. We were fortunate enough to be invited to a tournament for the grand reopening of the course. Originally built in 1939, this Stanley Thompson designed course was given a face lift by Thomas McBroom to bring it up to modern day standards yet maintain the tradition of the original course design. The course is located beside Green Gables House, the home that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write Anne of Green Gables.
With the changes made to the Green Gables course this definitely makes it a recommended play on the island. (And "no", we didn't win the tournament.)
A review of the Green Gables Golf Club can be read here.
Glasgow Hills Resort & Golf Club (September 17th - Day 4): I've never heard any one mention Glasgow Hills when talking about golf courses in PEI. This course is one of my favourites and won't take a backseat to anything else on the island. While not hugging the ocean like many of the other courses, this Les Furber designed course features many elevation changes and spectacular views. Two thumbs up!
A review of the <a href='http://www.glasgowhills.com/' target='_blank'>Glasgow Hills Resort & Golf Club</a> can be read here.
While on the island, don't forget to stop at one of the many restaurants that offer a PEI lobster dinner. We visited the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers which has been serving up meals for 50 years. The cost has gone up from their original price of $1.50 per meal but the food is still every bit as good. You'll be surprised at how many bus loads of people you'll see while visiting one of these establishments.
Eagles Glenn Golf Course Resort (September 18th - Day 5): This Graham Cooke designed course is located just down the road from the Green Gables Golf Club, a previous course we played. Of all the courses we played in PEI, Eagles Glenn Golf Resort was one of the more walkable. We had to wait about an hour until the rain let up enough for us to play and during our wait I couldn't help but notice the number of organized groups of golfers. I'm not talking foursomes, I'm taking eights and twelves.
We had to squeeze past a group of twelve by starting on the 2nd hole for our round. It was quite apparent that PEI really is a desirable golf destination.
A review of the Eagles Glenn Golf Course Resort can be read here.
Now it was back to Charlottetown for our remaining two nights. The Delta Prince Edward has the distinction of being the tallest building in Charlottetown at 10 stories yet St. Dunstan's Basilica remains as the tallest structure because of its location. The Delta's waterfront location make it ideal for walking along the harbour and visiting local attractions and fine dining.
Brudenell River Golf Course (September 19th - Day 6): Course six brought us back to a known location. Dundarave and Brudenell share the same clubhouse but both courses are distinctly different. Brudenell is 30 years older than Dundarave having been built in 1969. This course is very walkable and has a few memorable holes. While I loved Dundarave, Brudenell didn't grab me in quite the same way although the par 3 10th still stands out as a very memorable hole.
A review of the Brudenell River Golf Course can be read here.
Selecting the right time of year to visit PEI offers unique events to add to your golfing experience. The International Shellfish Festival is held annually in September and it gave us a chance to party with the locals.
Fox Meadow Golf & Country Club (September 20th - Day 7): Fox Meadow is a mere 5 minutes from downtown Charlottetown and is a real convenience for a vacationer to put in a game. This course is unique because of the foxes. We had dinner at the club earlier in the week and were told a few foxy stories and during our dinner we actually saw a fox cross the driving range. During our game we saw a fox approach the group behind us and sit on the cart path watching play. Don't be surprised if a fox takes your ball during the course of play. I found this so interesting I had to buy a new golf head cover for my driver from the Pro Shop. You guessed it, it's of a fox.
A review of the Fox Meadow Golf & Country Club can be read here.
During our visit to PEI the Golf Channel's Big Break was being filmed at Mill River under much secrecy. I was hoping to play Mill River while in PEI but I guess I'll have to watch the show to see what we missed.
Sadly, after 7 glorious days in PEI we had to head home. Our thanks go out to Amanda and Barry of Golf PEI who made a couple of average Joe's feel like kings.