The Local Knowlege

Courses & Travel

Update: Mike Keiser's New Course In Canada

“What’s going on with Mike Keiser’s project in Nova Scotia?”
I get that question as often as I get “Where should I go next?”
Keiser’s bookend to Bandon Dunes -- another remote destination along a coast that most avid golfers will want to find, stay and play at some point before they die -- will be debuting 10 holes next summer.
Cabot Links in Inverness, Nova Scotia, will open July 1, 2011. By late summer or early fall of 2011, all 18 holes should be available for limited play. The official opening is scheduled for spring of 2012. 
Keiser’s amazing, right? He continues to be the Jimmy Breslin of golf course development. When the pack was chasing Open venues, charging big green fees and selling real estate, Keiser was spending 15 years slowly piecing together Bandon Dunes for the avid golfer, offering no carts, no houses and affordable package deals in the offseason. Now, when courses are closing all across the country, Keiser opens up Old Macdonald in Oregon and is forging ahead with a new course in Nova Scotia.
What’s being referred to as Canada’s first true links, Cabot Links was designed by Rod Whitman (not Golf Digest’s Ron Whitten). On Whitman’s website, he lists Pete Dye and Bill Coore (of Coore and Crenshaw) as his mentors. Whitman, 57, is an Alberta native who designed Sagebrush Golf Club in British Columbia, Golf Digest’s Best New Canadian Course in 2009.
“Some holes could be played today,” says Ben Cowan-Dewar, Keiser’s partner on Cabot Links.
Cabot Links, much like the new fourth course at Bandon Dunes, is 100 percent fescue; it will be a par 70 (3 par 5s and 5 par 3s) and it will be walking only. “We hope to establish a similar caddie program that Mike has at Bandon Dunes,” says Cowar-Dewar. The back tees will tip out at 6,942 yards and the green tees, or the tees for the “Retail Golfer” as Keiser likes to say, will play at 6,521 yards. Keiser is getting good feedback on the Royal Blue tees that he put in at Old Macdonald, designed with the youngest and oldest golfers in mind, which will be listed at 4,157 yards but will still be played as a par 70.
To get to Cabot Links from New York, you’d take an hour and a half flight to Halifax and then drive about two and a half hours to Inverness. The lodging, which will be finished in time for the opening in spring of 2012, will be about 50 rooms. That is similar to the opening of the first course at Bandon Dunes in 1999 -- one course, 60 rooms and Keiser waited to see if people would be willing to make the trip.
And much like Bandon Dunes, if the avid golfer likes Cabot Links, there’s room to grow. Actually there are miles of coastline and according to Cowar-Dewar, it’s no secret that Bill Coore would design the second course. Coore has been on property several times already.
Some avid golfers might also be interested to know Cabot Links’ 19th hole is already in place. The Glenora single-malt whiskey distillery is seven minutes from the 18th green.
Go to Cabot Links’ Facebook page for more pictures like these:

Eight holes of Cabot Links will play along the Atlantic Ocean.

Mike Rossi, superintendent, mowing the 11th fairway.

The opening hole has been seeded.

The shape of what will be a bunker left of the 17th green.

Whisky time.

--Matty G.