Highlands Links Golf Course
Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia
A rugged, sublime journey along the coast, through forests and under mountains
There are a few courses around the world that go beyond offering great golf, and instead offer a transcendent experience. Think the Old Course, Augusta, Cypress Point, and a few others. Highlands Links is another one of those course. To get there is a spectacular (and long) drive from anywhere. And they journey isn’t over when you step onto the first tee, for the course takes you from the crashing Atlantic coast, into marshland, and then into deep forests under the mountains, before turning back to where you started. At one point you walk nearly a quarter mile between holes, but it’s totally fine because the path is besides a mountain stream and it’ll energize, rather than drain, you. Conditions at Highlands Links are often charitably described as rugged (this part of Nova Scotia is a harsh environment for a golf course to exist in), but it shouldn’t matter. The Highlands Links has everything you want in a golf course you’d have to travel so far to get too.
Categorizing Highlands Links is difficult to do. Thompson called it a “mountain and ocean course.” Although it isn’t set at an elevation, it feels like it is since the terrain is so mountainous. Part of what makes Cypress Point unique is that it is routed through three types of landscapes: A forest, sand dunes and along the ocean. Highlands Links is similar: it starts along the Atlantic, crosses a lake and river tributary with marshland, and is routed through the forest. I don’t compare courses to Cypress Point without giving it a great deal of thought, but in this instance it is an apt comparison. The grandeur of Highlands is worthy to be among the world’s best.Playing the Top 100
What To Know
Yardage & Tees
When to Play
Highlands Links is open from late May through late October.
Temperatures should be pleasant most times Highlands Links is open. Ingonish Beach is relatively wet year round, but the drier months are May-August. Wind is relatively consistent and strong all year, but the tall trees should protect you on most holes.
Weatherwise, anytime Highlands Links is open should be a good time to play. Be aware, however that earlier in the season the conditioning may be less impressive than usual due to damage from the previous winter.
Take note: All prices are in Canadian Dollars
|Open to May 31||$110 before 1:30pm, $85 1:30-3:30pm, $60 after 3:30pm|
|June 1-24||$110 before 1:30pm, $85 1:30-3:30pm, $60 after 3:30pm|
|June 25-30||$110 before 1:30pm, $85 1:30-3:30pm, $60 after 3:30pm|
|July||$130 before 1:30pm, $105 1:30-3:30pm, $70 after 3:30pm|
|August||$130 before 1:30pm, $105 1:30-3:30pm, $70 after 3:30pm|
|September||$130 before 1:30pm, $105 1:30-3:30pm, $70 after 3:30pm|
|October 1-4||$130 before 1:30pm, $105 1:30-3:30pm, $70 after 3:30pm|
|October 5 to close||$110 before 1:30pm, $85 1:30-3:30pm, $60 after 3:30pm|
Greens fees last verified January 2020. View them on kelticlodge.ca
Visitor Tee Times
Rentals & Caddies
Clubs – Taylor Mades – are available to rent.
Golf carts are only available for $35 (Canadian Dollars).
There’s no two ways about it – Highlands Links is not easy to get to. But if you make the journey, the effort you put into it will make it even more enjoyable. No, really.
Sydney is not a large airport – with a few exceptions, you’re not going to get a direct flight and flights and airlines will be limited. You can get a direct flight into Halifax from most major eastern US cities, but you’ll have a lengthy drive to Highlands Links. Realistically, you should plan on spending an entire day getting to Highlands Links.
Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish Beach, NS B0C 1L0
Other Things To Know
Year built: 1939
Architects: Stanley Thompson, later contributions from Graham Cooke & Ian Andrew
Packages: See if there are any package deals available here.
Lodging: Highlands Links is associated with Keltic Lodge. Learn more about rooms here