ATLANTIC CANADA, May 23, 2007 â€“ Spring has finally sprung, flowers are blooming the grass is growing greener and a golferâ€™s fancy turns to, well, golf, of course. What do golfers look for in an ideal golf world? With more than 140 championship courses only a two-hour flight from most East Coast gateways, greens fees 50% lower than U.S. courses, easily available tee times and temperate, rather than warm weather, Atlantic Canada is a very appealing destination for golfers. Add in luxurious resorts and historic hotels with great dining options â€“ plenty of lobster, mussels and fresh fish â€“ and American golfers would do well to look north. Their perfect golf vacation is just a short flight away.
And Atlantic Canada courses are attracting world class players. On July 29 and 30 the Links at Crowbush Cove on Prince Edward Island will host Making the Connection Â® Legends of Golf. Last year World Golf Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson played head to head. This year Mike Weir, the only Canadian ever to win the Masters will compete against World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh at this charity competition. www.legendsofgolfpei.com
The four provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have a number of top-rated championship courses that will entice American golfers. And non-golfers donâ€™t have to stay home. They can relax and be rejuvenated at full service spas at many of Atlantic Canadaâ€™s resorts. Here are just four examples.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canadaâ€™s newest course opened last September at Humber Valley Resort in Western Newfoundland. Designed by well-known Canadian architect Doug Carrick, the 18-hole, par 72 River Course lies in a spectacular setting carved out of the forest and winding along the Humber River. The 7,194-yard course has an elevation change of 350 feet, though many of the holes feature more gentle terrain. Greens fees are $70 to $100 per round and after 4:00 PM, thereâ€™s a special â€œtwilight rateâ€ for only $50. Humber Valley is offering a three-night package featuring accommodations in a luxurious three-bedroom chalet, unlimited golf with cart starting at $435 per person, based on four persons sharing, not including taxes and service. Five-night packages range from $680 to $1040 per person. The resortâ€™s lovely spa offers a full range of facials, body treatments and aromatherapy massages. www.humbervalley.com
For over 100 years, golfers have been traveling to the picturesque town of St. Andrews-by-the Sea. In 2000, the redesigned Algonquin Golf Course at the venerable Tudor-style Fairmont Algonquin Hotel opened with a 4Â½-star rating, the highest-rated in the province and one of the top 100 in Canada. Created by Thomas McBroom, the 7,000-yard, par 71 course takes full advantage of its prime location on Passamaquoddy Bay. A round of golf ranges from $72 to $89 and a â€œtwilight rateâ€ is only $44. Fairmont is offering a â€œDream Greenâ€ package that includes three nightâ€™s accommodation with breakfast and unlimited golf starting at $1075 per person, double occupancy, not including taxes and service. The Algonquin Golf Academy offers private lessons starting at $40. The Spa at The Fairmont Algonquin offers seawater therapies as well as body wraps, massages, facials and pedicures. www.fairmont.com and www.golfnb.ca
Prince Edward Island
Recognized by Golf Digest as Canadaâ€™s Best New Course in 1994 and later awarded five stars, the Links at Crowbush Cove is arguably the best of the 30 courses on this charming island. Tom McBroom has woven a spectacular 6,903-yard, par 72 course around the seaside dunes of PEIâ€™s north shore. The course is located at the Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort which includes the main 49-room hotel and 32 cottages scattered around the resort. Greens fees range from $57 to $81. A three-night package including accommodations with breakfast, four rounds of golf start at $1212 for two persons, including taxes and gratuities. www.gentleisland.com/golf and www.roddhotelsandresorts.com And golfers who are serious about improving their games should contact the Canadian Golf Academy on PEI, billed as Canadaâ€™s leading golf teaching facility. www.canadagolfacademy.com
A golfer probably couldnâ€™t play â€œgreenerâ€ than a round at Highland Links. Set within one of Canadaâ€™s most beautiful natural settings, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, these Audubon-certified links have been challenging golfers for almost 70 years. It was back in 1939 when legendary designer Stanley Thompson designed his â€œmountains and oceanâ€ course, one of the few true links designs in North America. True to the Celtic heritage of Cape Breton, each hole has a Scottish name. Over the years, the 6,592-yard, par 72 has won numerous awards and is currently ranked one of the top courses in Canada and #38 in the world by Golf Digest. Perched atop cliffs adjacent to the course is the luxurious Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa with a 32-room Main Lodge, the 40-room Inn at Keltic and cottages. Greens fees range from about $57 to $80. The resort is offering a package that includes three nights accommodations with breakfast and dinner daily and four rounds of golf from $795 per person, double occupancy. And with its own mountain and ocean views, the Spa at Keltic offers a full range of treatments including several using seaweed therapy. www.highlandlinksgolf.com or www.signatureresorts.com/resorts
Maxxim Vacations offers four- to seven-night fly/drive/golf packages to New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Rates range from as little as $1469 to $1799 and include roundtrip air from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, plus hotels, car rental and greens fees. www.maxximvacations.com
These days itâ€™s easier than ever for golfers to get to the courses in Atlantic Canada. Six international airlines now offer daily service to the four provinces from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Detroit. Air Canada, American, Delta, Continental, Northwest and United offer flights to Charlottetown, Moncton, Halifax and St. Johnâ€™s. As an added bonus, passengers departing Halifax for the U.S. are pre-cleared for customs, so they avoid hassles on arrival at the other end.
The Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership (ACTP) is a nine member pan-Atlantic partnership comprised of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four departments responsible for tourism for the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Go to www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca (1-800-561-0123), www.novascotia.com (1-800-565-0000), www.newfoundlandlabrador.com (1-800-563-NFLD) and for Prince Edward Island, go to www.gentleisland.com (1-800-463-4PEI).
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