Story by Sherel Purcell
Vacay.ca Golf Writer
Just because it’s September doesn’t mean great golf trips in Canada are through. Pack up the clubs and head to Atlantic Canada’s most unheralded golfing destination — New Brunswick. With five world-class golf courses offering contemporary and classic designs in beautiful settings at bargain fall rates, this province delivers outstanding value and some splendid outings on the fairways and greens.
Fox Creek Golf Course
When the LeBlanc family — avid golfers who own a construction business — were looking for a place to dump freshly dug soil they bought an abandoned quarry in Dieppe, on the outskirts of Moncton and hired Graham Cooke to design the Fox Creek Golf Course. The 6,900-yard architecturally beautiful course, complete with 66 spacious fine sand traps, opened in 2005.
Greens are faster and more undulating on this tough track than at the other courses on this list and the elevation changes provide a welcome variety. The scenic signature 10th hole, a long, dramatic par 5, requires a good drive from an elevated tee to an uphill fairway sloping left.
On hot days, employees deliver ice cold, wet towels that players drape around their necks. GPS on carts and a contemporary clubhouse/bar/restaurant that features a wine wall make this a must-play course.
Location: 200 Golf Street, Dieppe (about 5 kilometres southwest of Moncton)
Contact: 888-257-4222 (toll-free) or 506-859-GOLF (4653)
Greens fees: $75
Kingswood Golf Course
Graham Cooke fans looking for challenges of another kind head to Kingswood Golf Course sitting high above Fredericton. The winds, no matter your location, always seem to be blowing in your face. Best to play more club to compensate for these unpredictable breezes.
The signature 14th, with a waterfall backdrop, is the perfect spot for group photos while the 16th requires a long carry over a large pond/ small lake. The 8th is a fun par 4 over a steep hill that tempts all to play from blues for the thrill of watching the ball fly over the fairway far below.
Best Food on a Golf Course award should go to Kingswood for the wonderful Sam Snead restaurant that serves innovative cuisine. The $18, three-course menu is also popular with non-golfers. The 8,000-square-foot family entertainment complex next door is a draw too. Future expansion plans include a hotel.
Kingswood offers stay-and-play packages from $149 with the historic Beaverbrook Hotel, a Crowne Plaza property, and the Delta Fredericton, home of the “Dip,” a poolside bar where all are welcome. In 2003, the Kingswood was named the Best New Course in Canada by Golf Digest.
Location: 31 Kingswood Park, Fredericton
Contact: 800-423-5969 (toll-free) or 506-443-3334. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greens fees: $50-$75
Mactaquac Golf Course
Thirty minutes north of Fredericton, a third Graham Cooke course was carved out of the heavy wilderness of Mactaquac Provincial Park. Check for wildlife before teeing off, as deer crossings on the narrow fairways are common.
Unless you’re deadly accurate, the trees will be a challenge — and so will the large sand traps that dwarf every hole. Water is used more for esthetics than as a hazard. Mactaquac, a public course, sits on the St. John River near a good swimming beach.
Location: 1256 Route 105, Mactaquac
Contact: 877-267-4653 (toll-free)
Greens fees: $55
Algonquin Golf Course
At St. Andrews By-The-Sea, the Algonquin Golf Course features lots of blind shots — especially in the fog — compensated by large landing areas. The signature 12th, Atlantic Canada’s most photographed golf hole, is a steep downhill par 3 sitting on a cliff high above Passamaquoddy Bay.
In 1999, Thomas McBroom redesigned the 100-year-old course, fully exploiting the historic and natural surroundings to produce a track full of surprises and great views. Stay-and-play packages start from $199.
Location: 350 Brandy Road Cove, St. Andrews By-the-Sea
Contact: 855-529-8693 (toll-free) or 506-529-8165
Greens fees: $39
Royal Oaks Golf Course
A harmonious design by US Open architect Rees Jones, Royal Oaks Golf Course in Moncton plays 7,103 yards from the championship tees. Opened in 2000, the course features turf conditions that rival the best in the world. The course features bent grass fairways, tees and greens, challenging approaches, and an award-winning practice and teaching facility — all for a twilight/shoulder season fee of $55 (regular rates $80). The high-end clubhouse offers contemporary takes on local comfort foods at reasonable prices too.
Location: 401 Royal Oaks Boulevard, Moncton
Contact: 506-388-6257 or Email email@example.com
Greens fees: $55-$80
MAP SHOWING THE 5 NEW BRUNSWICK COURSES IN THE ARTICLE