Rich forests, lush lawns, a championship golf course and the brilliant Bras d’Or Lakes surround you here. This private location is just a quick drive away from the Cabot Trail or magnificent Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site. There’s hiking, indoor & outdoor pools, a large children’s playground, numerous lakeside activities and a resort spa. Choose from fully equipped cottages, traditional main lodge rooms or deluxe rooms with a fireplace or jacuzzi. And did we mention world-class golf?
Hole #1 – Coll – 360 Yards – Par 4
Many of the settlers in the area around River Denys arrived from the Isle of Coll in the 1820’s. They include several branches of the McLeans.
This uphill par 4 has a generous landing area so let the big dog eat! Your approach to this two tiered green is protect by a deep bunker on the left. Like a few of the holes on this course an extra club or two may be required.
Hole #2 – Mull – 368 Yards – Par 4
A number of settlers from the Isle of Mull arrived in this part of Cape Breton in August 1820. At that time, most of the land along the shore had already been settled. They settled further back in places such as Cleveland and Grand Anse. These settlers included families with the names Buchanan, McColl, McDougall, McKillop and McLean.
This short par 4 does not require a driver off the tee. A long iron or hybrid played off the left bank or left center of the fairway should leave a short iron in your hands for the approach to this left to right sloping green.
Hole #3 – Applecross – 326 Yards – Par 4
Some of the early McRae settlers in the area came from the Applecross region of Scotland. The ancestors of Alexander “Finlay” McRae originally came from Applecross and settled at Middle River, Victoria County. Alexander “Finlay” married Christy, the daughter of Alexander “Cromarty” McRae, and two of his sisters married brothers of his wife. A Donald McRae (1775-1867) who settled at Sporting Mountain was also born in Applecross.
This short par 4 can be played exactly like #11. A small ditch approximately 25 yards short of the green make a shorter play off the tee a wise decision. This play will leave you with a short approach to a back to front sloping green. Stay short of the hole!
Hole #4 – Glenelg – 189 Yards – Par 3
Donald McIntosh and his sons came from Glenelg, Scotland to Cape Breton about 1812. They settled at St. George’s Channel. Donald on lot 25 and his son Sweeney on lot 19.
This par 3 has a saddle shaped green with a greenside bunker protecting the left side and one over the back right. Winds can play havoc with your tee shot so watch the tree tops on this hole.
Hole #5 – Ferintosh – 362 Yards – Par 4
The ancestor of the Urquhart’s was the village of Ferintosh on the Black Isle in Cromartyshire, Scotland. Donald and his wife Christy (Fraser) Ross arrived in Cape Breton in 1819 and settled at what is now called Roberta.
This par 4 plays pretty tough! Your target off the tee should be the right side of the left fairway bunker. There is also a pond up the right side approximately 200 yards out, that is not visible from the tee. A good drive will leave you with a tough approach to a shallow green with a steep slope back to front. A deep bunker also protects the right side of the green.
Hole #6 – Nigg – 489 Yards – Par 5
Isabella Gibson, who married Alexander “Cromarty” McRae was a native of Nigg, Scotland. Isabella and Alexander were married in the Parish of Nigg in 1814 and sometime after that immigrated to Cape Breton.
This par 5 is a sharp dogleg right. A three wood over the right fairway bunker is a good choice for most golfers but those who want a shorter approach may choose to hit a driver over the trees. Keeping your approach shot to the left center of the fairway here will open up the narrow green that is guarded by bunkers both left and right. If you are brave and want to go for it in two, “hit it straight” because the trees start to close in on you as you approach this green.
Hole #7 – Crag’n Tail – 171 Yards – Par 3
This name comes from a land form that was created by the action of glaciers. The crag (Gaelic ‘creag’) and tail formation was a popular location for castles in Scotland because one side was protected by a steep cliff and it provided an advantageous position to survey the surrounding country, important for defense. John MacLeod (lot 21) who settled at St. George’s Channel had his farm named Crag’n Tail. The property later was transferred to Angus Ross, probably a grandson.
This par 3 has an approximate 80 foot drop to the green. Once you get past looking at the panoramic vistas of our signature hole you have select your club. One or two clubs less than you normally would hit this distance is a good idea. The green slopes from the right front to back left and has three greenside bunkers.
Hole #8 – Skye – 492 Yards – Par 5
Angus McKinnon was born on the Isle of Skye and came to Cape Breton in the 1830s. He settled in West Bay Centre.
This par 5 is another reachable hole with two good shots. The ideal drive is the left center of the fairway which will leave you the best angle to attack this green. This is a saddle shaped green that falls off quickly after the midpoint and is guard by a deep bunker on the left plus one short right. Holding this green will be tough on your second shot unless you hit a big drive and can get a short iron in your hands.
Hole #9 – North Uist – 424 Yards – Par 4
A number of families in the West Bay area, particularly those who settled in the area came from North Uist, Scotland. This includes the McCuspics who settled on the North side of the lake, McDonalds and Morrisons of sporting Mountain and McLellans of Kempt Road.
The final hole plays straight down hill with three fairway bunkers to contend with. A driver is the obvious choice off the tee. The approach is to a large green that slopes away from you and three greenside bunkers protecting it.
Hole #10 – Cromarty – 333 Yards – Par 4
Alexander’ Cromarty McRae was a native of Kincardine in the Sheriffdom of Cromarty on the east coast of Scotland. He came to Cape Breton by the 1820. He appears to have moved several times, at one time on lot 29, before finally settling at Balmoral by the 1860s. The Urquhart family was also natives of Cromarty.
This is an uphill par 4 that will play somewhat longer than the actual yardage. Play your tee shot up the right side of the fairway, leaving yourself a clear shot to the green. The green slopes from back to front and is protected by a bunker on the right. Leave yourself below the hole if possible.
Hole #11 – Loch Eriboll – 392 Yards – Par 4
Several of the families that settled around the West Bay of the Bras d’Or Lakes came from the Loch Eriboll region in the North of Scotland. This included the McKenzie family that settled at McKenzie Point on the north side of the lake. Other families settled on the both sides of the lake including McKenzie’s (lot 17), Calder’s (lot 18), and Campbell’s (lot 10). The Campbell farm at The Points was given the name Loch Eriboll.
This hole plays uphill as well, and is one of the toughest par 4’s on the course. Most golfers should play up the left side of the fairway, staying away from the bunker on the right. A ravine crosses the entire fairway, which is reachable off the tee and only the longer hitters should attempt to carry if the winds are favorable. The second shot is to a very elevated green which slopes left to right.
Hole #12 – Dumfries – 485 Yards – Par 5
The Pringle family of The Points originated in North Brealton in Dunfries Shire Scotland. Like the Hills, the Pringles were a lowland family. The ancestor, James Pringle (ca. 1777-1858), was a carpenter and miller and had a stone grist mill built on the brook that ran through his property (lot 7).
On this short par 5, you should play your tee shot left of the tree in the right center of the fairway. A good tee shot should leave you with a great opportunity to go for the green in two. This is a risk reward shot because of the pond protecting most of the green. If you are not feeling confident, lay up in front of the pond and you will be left with a short pitch to a green that slopes left to right. Still a great birdie chance!
Hole #13 – Lewis – 146 Yards – Par 3
Many of the first settlers in the area around West Bay were from the Isle of Lewis. They came to Pictou about 1812 and by 1814 were improving land in the West Bay area. They included families with the name Morrison, McLean and McLeod.
This short par 3 plays downhill to a long narrow green which slopes right to left. Select at least one club less than you would normally for this distance and watch for the wind direction. A hazard protects the front of the green, while missing left can almost guarantee you a double bogey.
Hole #14 – Gilmourton – 439 Yards – Par 4
This name was given to the farm of Matthew Hill (lot 24), a native of East Linton, in the Scottish Lowlands, not far from Edinburgh. The name was probably derived form the community of Gilmerton which lies between Edinburgh and East Linton. The broad Scots accent would probably have sounded more like “Gilmourton”.
This par 4 is on a side slope. If possible shape your drive to hit into the slope. A tee shot traveling right to left with the slope can kick down into the rough. This should leave you with mid to short iron to this long narrow green that you do not want to miss left either.
Hole #15 – Plockton – 318 Yards – Par 4
At least two families in the area came from town of Plockton on the West Coast of Scotland across from the Isle of Skye. John McInnes settled at St.George’s Channel on lot 20 and the Nicholson’s setttled at The Points. John Nicholson sold his claim to the property at The Points to James Pringle and moved to Sporting Mountain.
This short par 4 is a dogleg right from an elevated. The green is reachable with your tee shot if you can fly the ball over the trees approximately 235 yards. If that shot is not in your bag, play your drive left of the fairway bunker, about 200 yards out, and you will be left with an easy short pitch to the green.
Hole #16 – Allanstown – 423 Yards – Par 4
The Smith family who settled on the Crammond Islands (locally referred to as Smith’s Island) came from Allanstown on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. The family first settled on the mainland but, according to family tradition, they had problems with bears taking their sheep and moved to the Island to protect their stock.
This long uphill par 4 is the #1 stroke hole on the course. Most golfers should choose a club that they hit about 200 yards. This will leave them with a relatively flat stance to hit an approach of roughly the same distance. Better players’ that can drive the ball 240+ should reach the next level of the fairway and same good stance. A good approach shot is necessary in either case to this back to front sloping green.
Hole #17 – Dornoch – 479 Yards – Par 5
Another family of Roses originated near Dornoch in Eastern Scotland. The father, known as Robert ‘the Piper’, settled in Pictou County but his two sons William and Alexander settled on the south side of the lake at what is now The Points.
This dogleg right par 5 requires accuracy from the elevated tee. Try to drive your tee shot down the left center of the fairway staying away from the pond on the left and the hazard down the right side. This will leave you a clear second shot to go for the green or you may choose to lay up to the large landing area leaving a short pitch. A bunker protects this shallow green on the left and a steep bank long.
Hole #18 – Loch Alsh – 188 Yards – Par 3
Alexander McRae and his wife Ann came from Scotland to St.George’s Channel about 1818. He granted lot 23 which was named “Loch Alsh” after his native region of Scotland. The house they built in the 1830’s is still referred to as “the Loch”.
This par 3 is protected by a bunker front right and a steep slope on the left and long. Choosing a club that a little weak vs. strong is recommended.