|No. 8 on The Links at Crowbush Cove requires a gutsy -- and usually gusty -- shot over a tidal pond to the green. (Courtesy of The Links at Crowbush Cove)|
CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island -- Your rental clubs won't come with a camera.
So while it's no big deal to borrow a set of sticks, don't leave your Kodak at home if you'll be teeing off on Prince Edward Island.
From stunning views of the wind-swept ocean to the middle-of-nowhere feel you'll find among the tall stacks of pine trees, Canada's smallest province serves up a bit of everything. For visual appeal, try these scenic Prince Edward Island golf courses:
Simply put, The Links at Crowbush Cove is the postcard golf course.
If you've glanced at golf-related promotional materials for P.E.I., chances are you were looking at a photo of Crowbush Cove.
Thomas McBroom's award-winning layout has a definite links feel, complete with eye-pleasing ocean views and unpredictable coastal breezes.
You can see the water from half of the holes at Crowbush Cove, highlighted by an unobstructed view from the 11th tee that would rival the vantage point from the top of any lighthouse on the island.
From that elevated launch-pad, you can also look back at the 219-yard eighth hole, a memorable challenge that requires a gutsy -- and usually gusty -- shot over a tidal pond to an undulating green.
This is a totally different side of the island.
Dundarave is a challenging track that's carved out of the tall pine trees and thick, thorny brush. You won't encounter any salt-water hazards here, but P.E.I.'s longest setup is just as photogenic as any of its seaside siblings.
In fact, you could make a strong argument that the eighth hole at Dundarave, a classic risk-reward par-4 with a putting surface that sits perched on the banks of the beautiful Brudenell River, is the most picturesque hole in the entire province.
The bunkers -- and there's a lot of 'em -- are filled with P.E.I.'s trademark red soil, giving this creation of design partners Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry a unique look you won't find anywhere else.
It's billed as the island's finest nine-hole facility, but Eagles View Golf Club certainly boasts its fair share of scenery.
The most memorable view is actually found from the middle of a 1,000-foot bridge that carries golfers from the second green to a five-hole stretch on the opposite side of MacLure's Pond.
The bridge also sets the backdrop for the seventh hole, a 125-yard, drop-down beauty where you won't mind if your ball hangs in the air for a little longer than usual.
Murray River is best-known as the hometown of NHL superstar Brad Richards, but there's no doubt Eagles View G.C. is a source of great pride for the locals. Too bad it's not a full 18, but out-of-towners won't be bored by two laps of the Jeff Fuller design.
Longtime members might tell you Green Gables Golf Course doesn't have the same visual appeal as the good ol' days, but it's still easy on the eyes.
Designed by legendary architect Stanley Thompson in the late-1930s, a re-routing of Green Gables Golf Course almost a half-century later included the removal of four holes from an environmentally sensitive sand-dunes area on the shoreline.
You can still spy the ocean from several holes, but its the tree-lined tests that will remind you why this area was established as a national park even before it grew a golf course.
From the tee at No. 11, you can also catch a glimpse of the world-famous Green Gables House, which served as the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery's best-selling "Anne of Green Gables" novel and attracts busloads of tourists every day.
You've seen this setup in high-definition. It looks just as good in person.
Mill River Golf Course was the site of filming for Golf Channel's "Big Break XI: Prince Edward Island," and many of the regulars will tell you the tree-lined course has been looking great ever since its televised close-up.
Robbie Robinson's layout doesn't see as much tourist traffic as it should because of its off-the-beaten-track location toward the western tip of the island, but those who make the two-hour trek from the capital of Charlottetown won't regret it.
You don't have to wait long for the eye-candy, with golfers treated to a memorable view of the Mill River on the second hole of their round.
August 2, 2011
Wes Gilbertson is a sports reporter and golf feature writer at the Calgary Sun. Living in Calgary, Alta., he trades his golf clubs for a hockey stick in the winter months. When the snow melts, he's living proof that thin mountain air doesn't turn everybody into a long-drive specialist. Follow Wes on Twitter at @GilbertsonGolf.
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