George Knudson called Cape Breton Highlands "The Cypress Point of Canada for sheer beauty" and Highlands Links golf course is located on the very tip of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. The course was laid out in 1939 under the watchful guard of Mount Franey. Stanley Thompson designed it and is lovingly known as his “mountains and ocean course.”
The rugged Highlands Links is set in one of Canada’s most gorgeous spots and this is where golf and Mother Nature join together in sweet harmony and the club is quite rightly proud of its Audubon certification.
The Highlands Links layout pitches and rolls across wonderful terrain and the out-and-back routing is very traditional and a perfect accompaniment for a classical course. Thompson named each hole in true Scottish tradition and we must smile at his sense of humour. He gave immortality to Mucklemouth Meg by naming the par five 6th after the lass who could allegedly swallow a whole turkey egg in one uncomfortable gulp.
If you are looking for a thrilling and traditional course, which fits the land like a silk glove, look no further and there’s no doubt in our mind that Mr S. Thompson practiced what he preached here at Highlands Links.
“Nature must always be the architect’s model.”
Following severe weather conditions in September 2010 (when Hurricanes Earl and Igor made landfall within three weeks of one another), Ian Andrew was called in to help repair the damage caused by flash flooding in the Clyburn Valley. This then turned into a 2-year project to reconstruct most of the original bunkers on the course, along with a considerable amount of tree clearing.
I played this course twice in early September during and after heavy rain. The bad weather of course took away some of the enjoyment but it was still a great experience. I don't know how often it happens but when this course is dried up and fires on all cylinders it must be something else. And the management (of the course) and the hotel are great too.