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New Brunswick Golf is on the Rise in Canada

By Wayne O’Brian
Golf Writer/

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA – New Brunswick used to be on the receiving end of a lot of golf jokes in Canada. And it certainly was not considered a worthy place to book a golf vacation. But times change and now his province boasts some of the best golf courses and golf packages in Canada.

New Brunswick has gone to great lengths to shore up its golf destination identity with a collection of new and recently renovated courses, which can rival the best golf courses in Atlantic Canada.

Whale watching, sea kayaking, a wealth of sandy beaches and fishing continue to be the primary reasons for travelers to stay and play, golf is making increasing inroads.

“New Brunswick courses are outstanding, our service standards are high and our green fees price point offers great value,” said Todd Dillinger, Canadian golf expert. “Those old jokes are a thing of the past. We have something special here.”

Top 3 Golf Courses in New Brunswick, Canada

Three key courses in New Brunswick – Royal Oaks Estates Golf Club, the Lynx at Kingswood Park, and the recently renovated Algonquin Golf Club – have fueled New Brunswick’s ascent to the lofty status enjoyed by incumbent East Coast golf destinations Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Several other courses flying just under the radar are providing steady, reliable support for the higher profile modern trio. Take your pick of traditional layouts Gowan Brae Golf Club, Mactaquac, Edmunston Golf Club, and Riverside Country Club. Each has hosted an array of national and provincial amateur events, including the Canadian Amateur in Edmunston.

More Golf Courses in New Brunswick, Canada

Royal Oaks is the first course in Canada designed by Rees Jones, the famed U.S. Open doctor. Jones took a dull canvas and invented an inland links with superb shot values, carefully placed bunkering, fescue-covered dunes and some of the best greens anywhere.

In terms of Canadian content, Graham Cooke and Thomas McBroom, two of Canada’s premiere course architects, take immeasurable pride in their latest New Brunswick efforts.

Overlooking the quaint seaside town of St. Andrews, Canada’s Algonquin Golf Club is McBroom’s complete nuke job on a 109-year-old Donald Ross course, which opened for play in 1894.

While eyebrows were initially raised over tampering with the American design legend’s genius (not to mention a slice of New Brunswick golf history), McBroom has made many people forget the former 18 holes, a charming course which had lost its ability to challenge today’s better player.

Made distinctive by a woodland outward nine and an oceanfront inward half, the Algonquin’s beauty and challenge now are second to none.

Cooke and his partner Darrell Huxham complete this signature design trio with Fredericton’s The Lynx at Kingswood Park. And if you think the name (and spelling) is unique, wait until you experience what is arguably New Brunswick’s most captivating layout.

Highlighted with a series of risk/reward opportunities, Kingswood’s visual appeal is complemented by traditional bunkering, beautifully contoured green sites and dramatic elevation changes.

Fun, though, is at the heart of the Lynx. From modern to traditional, Gowan Brae, located in the northern city of Bathurst, may be one of the most underrated courses anywhere in Canada’s Atlantic provinces.

Designed by Canadian Golf Hall of Fame architect, Robbie Robinson, Gowan Brae’s setting alone is worth the visit: 18 spectacular holes overlooking the Bay of Chaleur and bordering Bathurst Harbor.

New Brunswick also is home to a pair of “must play” gems located in beautiful parks.

New Brunswick’s Mactaquac Provincial Park Golf Club, also located near Fredericton, was designed by American Abe Mitchell and opened for play in 1970 – since it has been a hot spot on golf vacations. Spread out over 300 acres of rolling countryside, the 7,000-yard course puts a premium on the short game and places heightened awareness on strategic play from tee to green.

Fundy National Park Golf Club may only be nine holes but it is arguably one of the top such facilities in Canada. Stanley Thompson, the legendary Canadian designer, was retained for the project in 1948 and he did not disappoint.

New Brunswick is a Golf Destination Favorite

As a result of its lackluster past, New Brunswick does not get the headlines when it comes to talking golf in Canada. But if you want to discover one of the better-kept secrets in Canada, go ahead and start to plan a golf package or golf vacation to New Brunswick. You will be glad you did.

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