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Top 100 Golf Courses of Canada 2017

17 March, 2017

Top 100 Golf Courses of Canada 2017

The spotlight falls on Cape Breton Island and the 36-hole Cabot golf facility

Two years ago, when we last reviewed our Canadian Top 100 chart, we mentioned that St George’s Golf & Country Club had only just held onto its number 1 ranking position and we hinted that it might be displaced by Cabot Links this time around.

Well, it just shows you should never try to predict these things because both of these courses have been toppled from the top two chart positions (each dropping a place to number 2 and number 3, respectively) by the latest 18-hole layout to appear on Cape Breton Island’s west coast, Cabot Cliffs.

Some might be a little bit surprised at this move as we normally take a somewhat conservative approach when ranking brand new courses but the decision to allow a layout like this to enter such an important national chart in the top spot wasn’t taken lightly – as a matter of fact, from all the recent feedback we’ve received, it would have been negligent on our part not to have done this.

And so, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s Cabot Cliffs design is our new Canadian number 1 and over the last eighteen months this fabulous layout has elicited glowing comments from our reviewers, such as: “not to be missed by golfers looking for something really special,” “no weak holes, just one stellar hole after another” and “Canada’s strongest contribution to the great courses of the world.”

Indeed, it will be really interesting to see where both the Cabot courses are placed when we produce our updated World Top 100 at the end of this year.

Two Alberta tracks make significant moves up the listings and they’re both spectacular Rocky Mountains resort layouts which were fashioned by Stanley Thompson back in the 1920s: Jasper Park Lodge (up two to number 4) is an original design that overlooks the sparkling waters of Lake Beauvert and two years after it debuted it was followed by the redesign of Banff Springs (up three to number 5) for the Canadian Pacific Railway company, with part of a mountain dynamited to make room for all eighteen holes of the new layout.

Three Quebec courses also race up the revised chart.

The first of these, rising an incredible twenty-four places to number 14, is Memphremagog, an 18-hole layout commissioned by Paul Desmarais and Jean Monty in 2007. Architect Tom McBroom described it to us as “a wonderful walking course with the holes blending and flowing seamlessly from one to the next” but such is the privacy attached to this track, it’s taken the best part of a decade to realise just how good it is.

The second big climber in this province lies 100 miles to the northwest, just outside Montreal, and it’s the old Willie Park Jnr layout at Mount Bruno which leaps up fourteen spots to number 18. Altered shortly after the Canadian Open was held at the club in 1922 and 1924, when Stanley Thompson added bunkers to four of the holes, the course has been further improved in more recent times by Tom McBroom.

The third big mover is an Ian Andrew project on the west side of Montreal, rocketing a remarkable thirty-six places up to number 57. The Blue course at Laval-sur-le-Lac has had all of its earlier architectural features upgraded, leaving nothing of the original layout. In particular, challenging green sites have been built to encourage more aggressive play and place a premium on precise approach shots.

Three Ontario courses also make noteworthy advances in the standings.

Summit Golf & Country Club in Richmond Hill, laid out by George Cumming and George Lyon in 1912 then modified by Stanley Thompson shortly after, rises twelve places to number 42 and this century-old layout was upgraded recently by Doug Carrick, who remodelled three of the holes and renewed the greens and bunkers on all the other holes.

The Ridge at Manitou course near Parry Sound advances all of twenty-five places to number 50 and this new millennium Tom McBroom design is set within a rugged 300-acre property, with maintained areas extending to only half of that area, leaving lots of room for nature and golf to co-exist in a wonderfully natural setting.

Further down the chart, Black Bear Ridge makes a terrific jump from number 100 to 66. Situated in Belleville, 120 miles east of Toronto, the course was laid out by proprietor Brian Magee in 2005. The stated aim of the owner was to “build something simple and timeless, with great practice facilities” and now, more than a decade later, it can safely be said that he’s achieved just that.

Apart from our new number 1, there are eight other new entries in our Top 100, the highest of which is the Rod Whitman-designed Links course at Wolf Creek Golf Resort in Alberta (new at number 60), where nine new holes were added to the South nine from the old 27-hole setup to form the new Links layout in 2010.

The last of the newcomers arrives at number 98 and it’s Olympic View, a Bill Robinson course which is operated by the GolfBC Group and is situated on the south side of Vancouver Island, overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Olympic National Park in Washington. Occupying a beautiful woodland setting, with holes routed around lakes and wetland areas in a tranquil, secluded environment, this is one of best public access courses in British Columbia.


To view further details of our newly revised Canada Top 100 rankingsclick the link.

We've also updated and expanded the regional rankings for the ten Canadian Provinces. For the first time we've created a Top 100 for the golf rich province of Ontario. We now list 280 of Canada's best golf courses, which equates to just over 10% of the nation's total golf facilities. To view further details of our newly revised Canadian Provincial rankings, click the following links:

Alberta Top 40
British Columbia Top 60
Manitoba Top 10
New Brunswick Top 5
Newfoundland and Labrador Top 5
Nova Scotia Top 15
Ontario Top 100
Prince Edward Island Top 10
Quebec Top 30
Saskatchewan Top 5

If you’d like to get in touch with us about our newly revised Canadian rankings then please do so via the “Respond to this article” link at the top or bottom of this page. We look forward to receiving feedback whenever we re-appraise any of our national charts so if there’s something in the above narrative we should be made aware of then by all means let us know about it.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses


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