This is the third of 10 posts that will look back on the current status of my bucket list. Focusing on all 10 provinces, I’ll share links to courses played and remaining on my list, along with some new courses for consideration. I’ll share some pictures, stories and wishes for future travel. Canada is an amazing country for public golf, go play (once the snow is melted, of course).
Bucket List Courses Played – Algonquin
Bucket List Courses Remaining – none.
Other Courses of Note – Herring Cove
There may be no other place in Canada more underrated in terms of golf then New Brunswick. I can appreciate people arguing otherwise. And while a it is a strong statement it is really meant to shine a light on the richness of golf in this beautiful Maritime province. My experiences in New Brunswick are diverse and go back many years but one common thread emerged as I reflect back, and it is that I need to get back there and explore more of it. Same can be true in terms of NB golf. Over the years I have played three of New Brunswick’s finer courses; Algonquin (a perennial Top 100 course in Canada); Kingswood (a course Golf Digest once placed as a Top 100 play outside of the US) and Mactaquac (a tree-lined, tranquil course set outside of Fredericton within a provincial park).
Algonquin, set in picturesque St. Andrews-by-the-Sea and so close to the border of the United States you can see it from the 12th tee, receives the most accolades. Canadian Golf Magazine placed it as their 77th best course in Canada in their 2015 Top 100 list. An historic course, over 100 years old, Tom McBroom recently completed a redesign in the early 1990’s. Some holes on the back nine are being redesigned today by Rod Whitman to maximize the layout and prominence of water which makes the back nine so majestic. Wait until the 11th hole is completed in July 2017, it will give 12 a run for best hole on the course. And perhaps it is that sense of adventure and discovery which make golf in New Brunswick so special. From Fredericton, centrally located in the province, you’re never more than 3-4 hours away from most courses, many excellent courses considerably closer than that.
Sites like SCOREGolf and Golf NB have details on courses available in all geographic areas, price ranges and ranking. For the adventurous type, New Brunswick would make an excellent golfing destination. Explore and play would be my choice of motto for this underrated golfing destination.
My first trip through New Brunswick was when I was 16. An overnight stop enroute to Cape Breton allowed for a round of golf at the Mactaquac Golf Course. Minutes from Fredericton and along the Saint John River, I was captivated by the area and the province itself. New Brunswick has a population of about 750,000. You can drive from the Quebec border to the Nova Scotia border in less than 5 hours. The TransCanada in New Brunswick is efficient and well maintained. But I recommend you make time to get off the highway, explore a local course, try the Covered Bridge potato chips, maybe a pint or two of Picaroons, enjoy the scenic drives throughout the province and as I am always apt to do when in the Maritimes, enjoy the seafood. In the summer, make time for a nice swim in the waters along the Northumberland Strait; it’s surprisingly warm.
My most recent trip to New Brunswick had me rent a car and drive from Fredericton to St. Andrews. The drive was quicker and easier than expected and the seafood in town better than I hoped. The remarkable Bay of Fundy tides over my 24 hour stay had ample time to show itself and a cool, sunny round of golf at Algonquin capped off a great stay in a part of the country I simply need to get back to more regularly. I regret not being able to have the time to visit and play Herring Cove which from all accounts is a stunning 9-hole course nearby.
All three of the courses I’ve played over the years had unique elements and a real underrated nature to them. Learning more about the scope of quality golf options in the province, it only piques my interest to get back, explore and play. I expect there are hidden golfing gems set throughout the province. If you know of any please do pass them along to me. From shore to shore to shore, New Brunswick is a unique mix of natural beauty, hospitality and surprisingly golf quality.