Long before Cabot Links and Cliffs turned the golf community in Canada on its ear and had people scrambling to travel to picturesque Inverness, NS, I had developed a bucket list of Canadian golf courses I wanted to play. Top of list were 10 of the best courses in Prince Edward Island. My spirit resides in eastern Canada. Hospitality meets tranquility and you’re never too far from water…and seafood. The allure of PEI began for me before I ever visited there. Such a rich concentration of quality golf combined with history, scenery, food and the incredible uniqueness of Canada’s smallest province has me hooked. Each year I would pick up the Golf PEI guide at the golf and travel show in Toronto and it would rekindle my dreams.
Four years ago, my daughter and I enjoyed one of my all time favourite road trips – 8 days with a sole focus on PEI. We stayed near New Glasgow at a campsite in a camp cabin. New Glasgow Highlands Campground was the name and it was a great base. From there, each day, we explored one of the Islands’ scenic drives. We passed through the late Stompin’ Tom Connors hometown, Skinners Pond, PEI. We visited the Potato museum in O’Leary and walked the beaches in Cavendish and outside of Souris. We spent a great day in Charlottetown and ate too much Cows Ice Cream. A highlight for me was dinner one night at Glasgow Hills golf course. Understand, this was not a trip for me to bring my clubs, it was all about quality time with my daughter. And it was sensational.
Two years ago I returned on business for a brief trip but too early in the season for golf. It only whet the appetite even more for me to return and make time to play courses which top my bucket list in Canada.
Well, that time has arrived and for regular readers you will know I have spent considerable space on this blog about this. I am proud of my interviews last winter with Mark McLane, Executive Director for Golf PEI. I have already created rankings for courses based on my extensive research. I also reached out to General Manager for the provincial owned courses on the Island, Ryan Garrett, in hope we can meet briefly during my visit. Our foursome has a great rental home booked in Stanley Bridge, at The Gables, complete with a hot tub and pool table. We ordered seafood which will be in our fridge to prepare upon arrival from a local wharfside market (and by local it is literally 200 m down the road from our place). The trip will be capped with a tour of the PEI Brewing Company. Solid itinerary to complement the golf.
Safe to say I am a little excited. And that it just fine. Because I will do my best to carve out times of solitude to savour all that this trip and experience will have to offer. Expectation is just fine with me. It is late in the season, there is a hurricane moving up the eastern seaboard and 10 rounds in 6 days will not do my hands any favours. But to share this with three good friends who are golfing kindred spirits and to finally get the chance to achieve a golfing dream of mine will more than make up for any rain and wind we are to expect. I will spend a week – to use the line of a blogging friend – as a very grateful golfer. Tonight will feel like Christmas Eve…the excitement will keep me awake for considerable blocks of time and the early alarm to get ready for my flight will bring together the culmination of many, many years of excitement and anticipation.
I plan to share a daily Postcard from PEI on this blog with a pic or two and some highlights. The course reviews? There will be a fall and winter of material for me from this bucket list trip.