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PEI features 32 golf courses within an easy drive of one another, including the stellar Links at Crowbush Cove.
PEI features 32 golf courses within an easy drive of one another, including the stellar Links at Crowbush Cove. (Courtesy of Golf PEI)

This is the year to discover golf on Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has long been a favorite summer spot for Canadians. To much of the rest of the world, this natural, summer golf destination is still waiting to be explored.

That mystique is behind PEI's award by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators for the 2011 Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year.

"While Prince Edward Island has been known nationally as Canada's No. 1 golf destination for years, this award will let the rest of the world in on one of golf's best kept secrets," said Barry MacLeod, chief operating officer for Golf Prince Edward Island.

Undiscovered golf destinations were voted on by 150 members of the International Travel Writers Association and was administered by the IAGTO. Beating out such countries as Sweden, Columbia and the state of Mississippi, PEI was named such for not only golf but its standard of accommodations, friendliness of the people and the attractiveness of the destination.

Tour operators were also big on value. For 2011, PEI is offering an attractive range of competitive, all-inclusive golf packages, couples packages and buddy-trip options.

Prince Edward Island: Small but diverse

Set in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island is Canada's smallest province. Its small size means you're never more than a 15-minute drive from the beach.

From the capital city of Charlottetown, which receives flights from Toronto, New York and several other cities, each of the island's 32 golf courses are within a half hour's drive.

The island's ecological diversity creates a mix of courses you might not expect at a place so small. Seaside links, woodland, river and parkland courses can all be found here, 10 of which are found on the Canada's Globe and Mail Top 100.

Canada's most famous golden-era architect, Stanley Thompson, helped put Prince Edward Island on the map back in 1939 with Green Gables Golf Course. This island favorite is a seaside gem that, after a 2009 renovation, remains one of the country's most coveted plays. Since Thompson, many of the game's finest architects have added their designs, including Les Furber, Graham Cooke, Robbie Robinson and Thomas McBroom.

The best part is that each course is within easy access of one another.

"PEI's compact geography is a perfect option for those who want to minimize travel and maximize the destination experience," said MacLeod. "Golfers can comfortably get in 36 holes and still take advantage of a wide array of apres-golf activities."

Lots to do on Prince Edward Island

The island's heritage features a mix of Scottish, Irish, Mi'kmaq and Acadian cultures. Post-round meals are always a big attraction here.

The province is heavy in farming culture, is the second-largest producer of potatoes and also specializes in exporting mussels and oysters, and tuna fishing.

After golf activities include exploring historic light houses, harness racing, theatre, lobster or tuna fishing, water sports or touring moonshine, chocolate or potato vodka factories. Foodie travelers have come to adore the fresh, farm-to-table culinary scene of the island.

After a day on the course, golfers can dine on fresh-caught lobsters, oysters, scallops and mussels with locally sourced produce from a nearby farm.

The secret may be out, but it might not feel that way when you visit Prince Edward Island for your summer golf vacation.

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    The Platter House Ocean Retreat wrote on: Jun 18, 2011

    Great article! Most of our guests LOVE golf and ensure they get at least 1 round in during their stay. Many love to end their day at the retreat with a feed of World class Colville Bay Oysters and a drink or 2 from their findings from the Shine Distillery (yes it is legal!)