Making a Case for PEI as Canada’s Premier Golf Destination
Nova Scotia, ok, more specifically Cape Breton Island, has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years as Canada’s hottest golfing destination. And it makes sense with perennial favourite Highlands Links, and newer courses, Cabot Links and now Cabot Cliffs. All this, in addition to other stout public plays like Bell Bay and The Lakes, even Le Portage, make for a compelling case for Cape Breton Island to be viewed as Canada’s premier golf destination. Highlands and the two Cabot courses are world class and will draw golfers in from all over the world. It is an excellent golfing destination; there is no disputing this.
Meanwhile, just a few hours west is Prince Edward Island. Perhaps more quietly than its’ neighbour to the east, PEI boasts its own complement of golf courses and stakes its own claim as Canada’s Number One Golf Destination. Just back from a 10 course, 6-day golf trip there I will not refute this claim. I’d like to focus on two reasons: value and service.
Canadian Golf Magazine, in its Top 100 golf course list of 2015 placed The Links at Crowbush Cove (54) and Dundarave (61); both well within the list. In 2014, both of these courses placed inside the top 20 of the best 50 public courses in the country. In addition to these two gems, our group was able to play 8 other courses which I felt to be the best 10 on the Island based on my research. The courses were consistently of exceptional quality and provided real diversity around style and layout. Where the value comes to the forefront is that in pre-ordering a ‘Green Card’ from Golf PEI, we were able to play all 10 of these courses for $379.99 plus taxes. Had we chose to play Crowbush and Dundarave at their peak rates they would cost $100 and $80 respectively. With our itinerary, we played them for $37.99 each. Had we the time to play all 16 courses, it would work out to under $25 per course. I have yet to find golf value like that for a golfing destination in Canada. My determination of value combines the merging of costs and the overall golf experience. PEI scores top marks here.
The Island has two offices that help support and enable this value. PEI’s Finest Golf is a consortium of provincially managed courses – Crowbush, Dundarave, Mill River and Brudenell River. These four, along with several other courses on the Island, are part of a larger consortium led by Golf PEI. One example of the marketing genius of Golf PEI is the Green Card, and is good for 16 rounds of golf; one for each of their member courses participating. Golf PEI also provides central support around the marketing, promotion, and golf trip planning for all its member courses. Here, their philosophy is the success of one course supports success for all. Our group utilized this office to help map an itinerary which worked exceptionally for us – from advising on tee times to ensuring we allowed for sufficient travel between courses as well as recommendations for a rental home. They do offer service taking care of all these details. I have never experienced a commitment to service like this in the golf industry. This marriage of quality golf, exceptional customer service and value for the dollar creates value that golfers across the country will appreciate. For me, this places PEI as a premier golf destination in Canada.
The filter becomes simple: Cape Breton offers elite, world ranked courses; PEI provides unsurpassed value on top Canadian courses. Pick your filter and enjoy! Better yet, go and experience both and make your own determination. PEI, as it did for me, will make a strong case for a return visit.
(Note – There is a limited number of Green Cards available each year. The website shows a $399.99 retail price. I acquired ours in January 2015, well before the golf season)