My PEI Golf Course Rankings – Before and After

By Mike Johnny | Opinion

Sep 04

My PEI Golf Course Rankings – Before and After

The chance to play some of the top golf courses on the Island is a special treat. After all, being able to stroke 10 courses off my bucket list of about 75 Canadian golf courses in one week is simply amazing. PEI has been a golf destination I’ve been excited about for many years. Golf PEI has provided some excellent information – in brochures and online, and even in person or over the phone. They’re terrific and I highly recommend them around all aspects of golf trip planning.

The challenging 8th hole at Dundarave - Photo Credit - Golf PEI

The challenging 8th hole at Dundarave – Photo Credit – Golf PEI

But when looking for any specific feedback around which are the top Island courses, or even a ranking list, I struck out. Perhaps it represents the consortium model which Golf PEI operates where success for one equals success for all. But as a golfer who wants to experience Canada’s top public courses the lack of qualitative information was a little surprising. So, aware of the subjectivity of this all I am posting lists – both before and after my trip. My research has been as extensive (not exhaustive). There have been a couple older blog strings where people have provided their own feedback about the golf experience at many top courses on the Island. I urge people to do the same; it can be helpful information when planning golf travel, especially when faced with time limitations (which courses are recommended). Use this as a guide but make your own determinations. Lastly, and this is very important, please understand I am keen to play ALL 10 of these courses. I simply acknowledge some may be more exciting to experience than others.

With all that said, here is what I expect to be my top 10 list of courses I’ll play on Prince Edward Island in October:

10 – Anderson’s Creek – I was surprised to hear in forums that people liked this course but did not love it. Mixed reviews around conditioning (which may have been addressed as some of the comments were older) and a number of blind shots made this course not as popular as others. While it is number 10 on this list, it remains a course I am very interested to experience. From what I have been able to see the criticism is surprising.

9 – Fox Meadow – With what they bill as the best practice facilities on the Island if I was considering membership I suspect I would have to adjust this list considerably. The course looks very interesting but lacks some of the ‘wow’ appeal that others near the top of the list may have. I hope my experience will prove me wrong, and suspect it may.

8 – Stanhope – I am guessing this will be an underrated gem. The location is ideal and the course seems very open and playable. Looking at pictures it reminds me of Osprey Shores in Nova Scotia, with a laid back feel and stunning ocean views. It will be a fun afternoon at Stanhope.

7 – Eagles Glenn – Everything I see and read about this course looks exciting. Similar to Fox Meadow, I feel now this course may not have the ‘wow’ factor of others but that too may be misrepresentation. Staying about 10 minutes from here will make the convenience factor a treat though…won’t be surprised if I’d like to sneak back for an extra 9.

6 – Mill River – The marketing around this course hosting the Big Break has been impressive. The course looks excellent and of a style I play regularly here in Ontario (which I like). Fact is the western side of the Island is underrated in its beauty so I am glad we will get out to experience it and enjoy a nice afternoon at Mill River.

5 – Glasgow Hills – I’ve been here before. I’ve eaten at their clubhouse. Traveling to a course for a visit without golf clubs is not the easiest thing for me to do but I left very impressed with Glasgow Hills – its conditioning, elevation change, the people and what looks like a unique and enjoyable golf experience. And the mussels too…oh my.

4 – Brudenell River – This will be a great way to start the trip. Unique in its layout (6 par 3’s; 6 par 4’s; 6 par 5’s) and one of the older courses on the Island with some picturesque holes along the river, this will be a highlight. For many, it is their favourite course on the Island.

3 – Green Gables – My bias to Stanley Thompson designs is well known. For that reason alone this course appeals to me. The pictures create a sense of anticipation I am not feeling with many other courses on this trip. Is it possible I am overrating this; sure. But it is possible this may be underrated.

2 – Dundarave – Hurdzan and Fry are architects who are bold in their approach to course design. Viewing the stunning 8th hole at Dundarave shows why. Creating a golf experience that is challenging and unique to the PEI golf landscape, this course should rate as one of the best. It is consistently on many publications Top 100 Canada course lists.

1 – Crowbush Cove – The gem of the Island for golfers, according to who you ask. Links style with some parkland holes mixed in, I suspect the camera will get a real workout. This course is Top 10 or Top 20 in most Canadian golf publications and will be a real highlight within a destination I have sought out for many years.

The stunning 16th at Crowbush Cove - Photo Credit - Golf PEI

The stunning 16th at Crowbush Cove – Photo Credit – Golf PEI

For readers who have played on PEI, what are your thoughts about this list? I know not everyone likes or appreciate lists.  I also acknowledge there are several other courses on the Island to experience – over 20 more than listed here.  It is my understanding that people traveling to the Island prefer these ten.   And, lastly, again, please know I am excited to play ALL these courses.  They are on my bucket list for a reason.  In October I will share an ‘After’ list.

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