Introducing the next big thing in Canadian golf: Cabot Links. Conceived as this country’s answer to Oregon’s Bandon Dunes, Cabot is Canada’s first true coastal links course—think timeless, iconic classics like Pebble Beach Golf Links and Scotland’s Royal Aberdeen—and belongs atop every serious golfer’s bucket list. Perched at the edge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the western shore of Cape Breton Island, Cabot is utterly exposed to the fickle whims of the ocean elements, which can lie dormant and docile one day, then rise up in a ferocious, gale-force maelstrom the next—thereby ensuring no one round of golf will ever be like any other. The course itself, designed by Rod Whitman, takes its cues primarily from the land, following the natural shapes and contours in such a way that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been here at the heart of the town of Inverness for decades. Framed by wispy, natural grasses and weathered wood walkways, every hole offers up a striking view of the ocean—some more than others, such as the 14th hole, a tiny par 3 on the homeward nine, a dainty little wedge flip to an infinity green that recollects the famed 7th at Pebble. Cabot opened 10 holes for public play in 2011 and will throw open the doors in earnest this summer, with a peak-season green fee of $110. Walkers only, please—this is an old-school course, after all. To truly complete the authentic Highlands experience, venture down the road to the Glenora Distillery, home of Glen Breton, Canada’s only single-malt whisky. Foodies should visit in late August and check out the Right Some Good food festival, a 10-day gastronomic adventure all across the island.

Top 10 golf courses in Nova Scotia

Bell Bay Golf Club 

Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa

Dundee Golf Club

Fox Harb’r Golf Resort & Spa

Glen Arbour Golf Course

Highlands Links

The Lakes Golf Club

Le Portage Golf Club

Northumberland Links Golf Course

Seaview Golf & Country Club