Cabot Links is beautiful. While not as dramatic as its younger sibling, it provides as much enjoyment as any golf course I’ve played. The developers of this golfing paradise created something of which dreams are made of! I had the pleasure of playing both Cabot courses twice in 48 hours this past June. 72 holes of pure, unadulterated fun, over two days that I will not forget.
The Links, even though still a young golf course, is the older, wiser sister of the two. Its undulations are more subtle, its intricacies more delicate and on a windy day, its character is more mischievous. The opening hole is a wide par 5 that invites you to stay right, but a stroke can be shaved off your score quite easily if you can manage to hit a long tee shot over the left bunker, setting up the right angle to get on in two. After a welcoming hug, the second hole smacks you right in the face, a demanding three shotter playing over 240 yards. On my first day, this hole played into a strong wind, asking for a low stinger of a 2 iron. It is a good thing there is plenty of room to let the ball run up to the green. The 3rd hole appears benign, playing only at about 330 yards, drivable with a favourable wind. However, it is not to be underestimated, as trouble lurks all along the right side of the hole and can quickly take away that stroke you might have gained on the first hole. The 4th hole is a good uphill par 4 with a generous fairway. The 5th takes you into the bay, beautifully setting up the 6th, the Cape Hole, which takes you along the bay down by the harbour. This was my favourite hole on the course, a dogleg left demanding an accurate drive to set up a difficult second shot. If you are feeling confident, you can take on a bit of the water with the driver, but the more sensible approach is a 3 wood followed by a mid-iron. The green slopes severely from right to left, making it difficult to get close to the hole if it is cut on the right side.
The 7th is a good par 3 tucked away into the dunes, leading you to the first real seaside hole on the course. The 8th is a long par 5, but offers plenty of room off the tee. The plateaued green makes for an interesting third shot. Leaving the green, the stretch from the 9th tee box to the 13th green is a tough test of golf.
Walking up to the 14th tee, one starts to realize the beauty that is about to come. If the 6th is the best hole, the 14th certainly is the most fun. Playing downhill at 100 yards, it is practically just a pitch shot away. The green is shallow and a nasty pot bunker lies behind the right middle part of the green. Don’t let the distance fool you, par is a good score here!
If you can fight the urge of going back up to the 14th tee which a handful of balls to play it again and again, the home stretch is waiting to take on a wild ride you along the Gulf of St. and then back to the clubhouse. The 15th and 16th are good par 4s that can easily add a couple bogeys to your round. The shortish 17th gives you some breathing room, before tackling the demanding 18th hole with its green set up just below the hotel bar with onlooking golfers enjoying their post-round drinks.
Cabot Links is a true links experience. Don’t expect green speeds to be as fast as a Tour event, but make sure you account for the wind, even on short putts. Don’t expect every blade of grass to be perfect and every lie to be as clean as a pool table’s surface. What you should expect though, is pure fun and golf as it was meant to be!
Date: October 13, 2017