June 27-July 4, 2008
Nova Scotia: When planning a trip to Nova Scotia one should realize that the province is much larger than you think. Don't be fooled into believing that you can drive all the Maritime provinces tip to tip in a day.
In addition, the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport welcomes almost 3.4 million passengers annually and is an internationally recognized leader in customer service. When our flight arrived the airport was building a new 2,300 space parking structure and upgrading services. The construction affected passengers as we had to wheel our luggage through temporary paths to the car rental booths outside. Check here to read "What's up at the airport?".
And, being inlanders, we made a point of trying the seafood chowder everywhere we traveled and never were we disappointed.
Truro Golf Club (June 27th, 2008 - Day 1): We encountered quite a bit of fog when our flight landed in Halifax. This seemed to be commonplace around Halifax and everyone we talked to took it in stride. The weather was a bit erratic, often looking like rain, and then clearing up just as quickly.
The drive from the airport to the Truro Golf Club was about an hour and a half. It drizzled mildly all the way until we reached the course. And then the sun began to show signs of life. We entered the clubhouse in the same drizzle with hope we would still be able to play. We grabbed an exceptional bite to eat and then confirmation in the pro shop told us that the first foursome of the day was just teeing off and we were next. I can never believe the luck we have for getting in a round of golf.
John Garron, the Assistant Pro, informed us that the front nine drains well and the back would be a bit wet. He was very accurate with his assessment and although the back was a bit wet there certainly was no reason not to play.
A review of the Truro Golf Club can be read here.
After our round we had a 20 minute drive to Malagash where we stayed at The Cottages at Cambra Sands. Were we spoiled. A five star cottage on the ocean with hot tub on the beach and jacuzzi inside. This is a must stay for any one visiting the area.
Northumberland Links (June 28th - Day 2): It was a short 15 minute drive to Northumberland Links from Cambra Sands. The approach to the course from the highway makes your jaw drop. The four holes between road and ocean are a sight to behold.
We played our round with Richard (the Pro) and his manor and advice were second to none. I can't think of anything I didn't like about Northumberland Links. The greens were great and are considered one of the best in the province.
Renovations to the clubhouse are planned for this year and posted plans looked impressive.
A review of the Northumberland Links can be read here.
Our third course of play, Osprey Shores Golf Resort in Guysborough, was a healthy 2 1/2 hour drive. The scenery at this 9 hole course will certainly make you forget a bad round and the postage stamp greens at Osprey Shores can certainly produce one.
This was the only day we played more than 18 holes. Considering the driving distance between many of the course (and if you're not staying in Halifax) I certainly wouldn't recommend two rounds in a day unless playing at the same course.
A review of the Osprey Shores Golf Resort can be read here.
Our accommodations were at Osprey Shores and rooms were small but clean.
We had dinner at the Rare Bird Pub, a short 1 1/2 kilometers from our room. The Pub features a nice patio with nice decor inside. A large bar sits in the centre with pool table and darts upstairs. The food was good but a little pricier then I would have expected. The Sons of Maxwell, a popular Halifax-based duo, were playing for the evening. It looks like bands are regularly scheduled at the pub.
Cape Breton Island (June 29th - July 2nd): At this point we crossed over to Cape Breton and for days 3 to 6 we did four course on the Cabot Trail. You can read about this four day journey here.
Bluenose Golf Club (July 3rd - Day 7): Some three hours south of New Glasgow is the Bluenose Golf Club. Overlooking Lunenburg, the Bluenose Club is a unique course for many a reason. Looking north, the picturesque Town of Lunenburg features all the great color and tradition of fishing and ship building communities and offers a glorious view from the golf course. The course features a hilly track with crossing fairways on holes #5 and #7. Tee times operate on a first come first serve basis so a visitor to the area has the same opportunity as a regular member.
A review of the Bluenose Golf Club can be read here.
I recommend mixing in a tour of Lunenburg after a round of golf. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is a worthy jaunt and dining at any of the many local restaurants is certainly satisfying and a walk through the harbour is also recommended.
Half an hour away lies the Oak Island Resort, our only accommodations where we got to settle in for more than a night. The Resort is nestled along the beautiful south shore of Nova Scotia and is just 45 minutes from Halifax. You can see a variety of docked vessels at the marina as travelers arrive here by both land and sea.
Chester Golf Club (July 4rd - Day 8): Another sea side setting, the Chester Golf Club offers some magnificent views. If you're a local, join. A membership works out to about 5 green fee payments. We played with a couple of senior members who detailed us on the local community and course history. A very pleasant experience. The clubhouse meals were excellent but took a bit longer than expected to arrive as we missed our tee off and had to start our round without a tee shot on the first hole.
The Chester Golf Club has had some recent upgrades by noted Canadian golf course architect, Les Furber, along with the completion of a new irrigation system.
A review of the Chester Golf Club can be read here.
Granite Springs Golf Club (July 5rd - Day 9): A bit of confusion arose when we arrived as a tournament was planned in the early afternoon. We had only 2 1/2 hours to play our round and we managed to get the whole thing in without any trouble. Never have I encountered such politeness by golfers as we were allowed to play through (and not just once).
The Granite Springs area was in a drought at the time of our arrival and the course was quite dry. Too bad as some challenging holes can really test your play (I won't tell you how I did on the 10th).
Overlooking Shad Bay, The Granite Springs Golf Club combines both scenery and challenge.
A review of the Granite Springs Golf Club can be read here.
Before you leave Nova Scotia, stopping at Peggy's Cove is a must. Granite Springs is only a short drive to this photographer's dream. Mixing a round of golf and a having a scenic stop at the Sou'Wester Restaurant and Giftshop will sure to please every one.
Sadly, our trip was over. Ten courses in the the shortest nine days of my life. Nova Scotia should never be overlooked as a golf destination. Its mixture of beauty, food, and golf proved to me to be a great combination.