I’VE NEVER BEFORE SAID a North American course rivals the great coastal tracks of Scotland, but I’m saying it now about Cabot Cliffs, universally ranked in the world’s top 10 since it opened in 2015. Prior to 2011, only golf purists traveled to Cape Breton Island, off the northern tip of Nova Scotia, to play Highlands Links. Opened in 1941, it’s a Stanley Thompson classic and a joy to play, but back then it was a long trip for one course. That changed in 2011 when the site of an old coal mine on the island’s west coast was reborn as Cabot Links. The Rod Whitman layout is so Scottish you can almost hear echoes of bagpipes as you walk it.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
I RECENTLY PLAYED GOLF in Northern Michigan for the first time. It certainly won’t be my last visit to the shores of Lake Michigan and the lovely Victorian towns around Little Traverse Bay, Lake Charlevoix and Walloon Lake (where Ernest Hemingway spent his first 22 summers). We stayed one night at the historic Stafford’s Perry Hotel in downtown Petoskey, overlooking Lake Michigan, and three nights at Boyne Highlands, a delightful family ski-golf resort with four impressive courses by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Arthur Hills. You’ll see it on lists of top destinations for golf buddy trips — and with good reason. The resort is part of the local Boyne Golf group: three resorts with 10 championship courses, three of which rank among the state’s top 10 public access tracks.