Life is all about coincidences, and this trip began on a day when I didn’t even know that Prince Edward Island existed! It began back in 2017, when I was asked to play at my home club – Golf Montanyà – with a girl named Tiffany. She was Australian born and had settled in Prince Edward Island, but the time, she‘d been travelling around the globe, writing about golf and cuisine. She was so passionate about PEI as a golfing destination, that her enthusiasm was contagious. It was in that moment I decided that I had to learn something more about it and maybe plan a trip of my own!
Part 1 – I didn’t take long in starting my research. I went about planning my trip day by day and course by course. It was thrilling to discover this new location and I was over the moon when I realised that my newfound destination was actually the #1 Golfing Destination in Canada.
I was able to find a lot of helpful information online, as well as some package deals that were perfect for my trip. I would recommend looking at websites like Tourism PEI. However if we’re talking just about golf specifically, the must visit sites are Golf PEI and the Leadingcourses Prince Edward Island section. On Golf PEI you can find all of the information regarding the 17 golf courses located on the island. You will also find their Value Cards. These come in handy if you want to play a few courses during your stay.
I was able to purchase the ‘Green Card’ for just C$429,99. This entitled me to one round in each and every course on the island – 17 rounds if you can play them all. Unfortunately I could only play 10, but it was a great deal nonetheless.
Prince Edward Island
The name of the island has been subject to change down through the years and provides an interesting story in itself. The first known inhabitants were a very large indigenous tribe named the Miꞌkmaq. A First Nations people that occupied areas of land covering Canada’s Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) as well as the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. They gave the the island the title of Abegweit – loosely translated to “Cradled on the Waves”.
Upon the arrival of French settlers, the name was quickly converted to Île Saint-Jean (after John the Baptist), however the British would soon change that too. In 1763, Canada officially became a British colony and initially the island was simply translated to St. John’s Island. This apparently wasn’t catchy enough however, and the name was altered again, first to New Ireland, before finally settling on Prince Edward Island in 1799. This name was after Edward Augustus, the duke of Kent and Strathearn and commander of the British forces in North America.
Golf on the Island
The island itself is divided into 4 areas (for tourism purposes). When travelling, I always like to combine golf with sightseeing and gastronomy as much as possible. So having all of this information was essential for me. I was able to prepare my routes and book the tee times with little to no hassle.
As you may know, PEI is not very large. and I stayed in the same Airbnb for the duration of the trip, close to Kensington. The farthest course was just an 80 minute drive. I would highly recommend this, as it is an absolute pleasure to drive on PEI’s scenic roads.
I usually travel alone, however I do enjoy some company on the course. So when I book my tee times, I always do my best to be paired with somebody else. I am happy to say that in PEI, I never played alone! Even the lovely people at Stanhope Golf Club included me in a local tournament.
All of my partners were so friendly and playing alongside them made a great experience, even better! I also got to know a wealth of information about their lifestyles and the island itself all while playing my favourite sport.
But you’re probably wanting to know more about the golf!
Pick of the Pack
In my humble opinion, the 1st place in the ranking should go to The Links at Crowbush Cove. This course was designed by Thomas McBroom and opened in 1993. Soon after it was recognized by Golf Digest, as Canada’s ‘Best New Course’ in 1994.currently sits at number 38 in Canada’s Top 100 Golf Course rankings.
The course overlooks the north shore dunes of PEI with undulating fairways, water holes and windy conditions (at least the day I played). The pot bunkers and challenging greens make for an energizing round and all in absolutely perfect condition. There are 4 sets of tees (5,010 yd – 6,903 yd) so you can enjoy your round, whatever your skills. I played from the back tees, known as the “The Crows”. Some of the best tee marks I’ve ever seen! Some memorable holes here include the 11th, 16th and the 17th.
The 11th (Sully’s Run)
The 11th, par 5 (595 yd) named “Sully’s Run” has some lovely views from the elevated tee. With a good drive you can reach the green in 2, although you are risking a lengthy shot over the marshland to an elevated green.
The 16th on the other hand is a beautiful par 4 (360 yd) and probably the iconic hole of the course. Definitely the most photographed for sure! You have the roaring ocean on your right side and you’ll have the unenviable task of hitting the long and narrow green (usually into the wind). Very challenging, but absolutely magnificent nonetheless.
Finally, the par 3, 17th (113 yd) features a blind tee shot to a short but demanding green. There are fantastic views of the 16th from the tee, which makes for an exciting run in to the clubhouse.
Like I said Crowbush was my top pick overall, and if you can only play one golf course in Prince Edward Island, it must be this one!
Pipped at the Pin
Dundarave Golf Course comes in at a very close second in my estimations. It is one of two courses at the Rodd Brudenell River Resort on the east side of PEI with Brudenell Golf Course being the other. The course was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry and opened in July of l999. Dundarave is the newest and most challenging out of the two – in my opinion.
Wide, tree-lined fairways, beautiful red-sanded bunkering of various shapes and sizes and well maintained greens give this place an air of quality. As you are playing in the middle of a forest, every hole is isolated from the rest and it feels as though you have the whole course to yourself.
Standout holes here included the 5th, 7th and the 8th.
The 5th (Tranquility)
Hole 5 is aptly named Tranquility. It is a par 3 (162yd), well protected by those red sanded bunkers so an accurate tee shot is required.
The 7th (Confession Box)
Hole 7 or the Confession Box if you like, is a longer par 3 stretching 228 yards. It requires a stronger tee shot to hit a long and narrow green. A challenging but stunningly beautiful hole.
The 8th (Emerald Altar)
The Emerald Altar is well known in these parts. It is an iconic hole for sure, and one of the most photographed in the island. A beautiful view is seen from the tee, looking directly over a marsh area into a crossing fairway. You will have to keep your drive to the right side if you want to stay safe here. However, this will leave you with a much longer shot into a narrow and tricky green. This par 4 was one of my favourites.
Prince Edward Island
The courses mentioned above were a true challenge of golf. They turned out to be some of the best memories of the trip for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I’ll be forever grateful for meeting Tiffany that day in Golf Montanyà. I would highly recommend a trip to Prince Edward Island for the stunning scenery, friendly folks and of course the great golf!