Coming to Canada in 2015: New golf courses and revamps to classic plays

Not unlike its neighbors to the south, Canadian golf course construction has slowed over the last decade. However, thanks to a golf course in a little town in Nova Scotia (soon to be courses), it's an exciting time in Canadian golf.

"Golf course construction in Canada isn't thriving like it was two decades ago, but back then, too many mediocre courses were being built in less-than-ideal locations anyway," explained Toronto's Jeff Mingay, one of the designers who helped with Cabot Links. "Cabot (has) set an amazing example of what's possible."

Here's what else is happening in 2015:

New courses opening in 2015

Cabot Cliffs (Inverness, Nova Scotia): What else needs to be said? This Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore masterpiece has already been heaped with praise and comparisons to Cypress Point. It'll be the big brother to the very excellent (and maturing) Cabot Links, just down the street. Golf Channel travel expert Matt Ginella said it will become one of the top 10 courses in the world. Opening August 2015.

The Links at Brunello (Halifax, Nova Scotia): The latest course from famous Canadian architect Tom McBroom will be opening in June 2015. This 7,100-yard, 18-hole course is just 15 minutes from downtown Halifax and will be part of the city's newest lifestyle community, Brunello Estates. It's the first new golf course in Halifax in 15 years.

Lebovic Golf Club (Aurora, Ontario): Doug Carrick, the same designer who did GolfAdvisor.com Managing Editor Brandon Tucker's "Best New Course" in 2010 (the Ridge Course at Predator Ridge Resort in British Columbia), is back with Lebovic Golf Club, opening in June in Aurora (about 30 minutes north of Toronto). It will be an 18-hole, par-70 layout.

Significant redos in 2015

Angus Glen Golf Club -- South (Toronto, Ontario): The host of the 2002 and 2007 RBC Canadian Opens got a major facelift in 2014 from British designer Martin Ebert -- who is mostly known for his work throughout Europe. Holes haven't been rerouted but, instead, rethought. Angus Glen Golf Club's South will open for public play in the spring, and will play host to the golf portion of the 2015 Pan Am Games later next summer.

Kananaskis Country Golf Course (Canmore, Alberta): Part of the fabulous Canadian Rockies trail, the 36 holes at Kananaskis Country were destroyed in a 2013 flood. However, thanks to an $18 million (CAD) investment from the provincial government, both the Robert Trent Jones-designed layouts (Mt. Lorette and Mt. Kidd) will be re-done. The work has started now and will continue through 2015.

St. George's Golf & Country Club (Toronto, Ontario): One of the most revered courses in the country -- and five-time host of the RBC Canadian Open -- got a heavy dose of Mother Nature's wrath last winter. Canadian Ian Andrew and American Tom Doak have redone all 18 of St. George's Golf & Country Club's greens and made changes to a handful of the holes in order to accommodate the new putting surfaces. Perhaps another Canadian Open is in its future?

Less prominent redos opening in 2015

The Derrick Club (Edmonton, Alberta): Mingay is in charge of a $5.5 million complete rebuild of the Derrick Club, just 20 minutes south of Edmonton. The redesign includes the removal of numerous trees and reconstructed tees, bunkers, greens and fairways, which, Mingay said, will make it "totally unique" in the Edmonton market. It will open in the spring of 2015.

New courses opening in 2016-17

Phil Mickelson National Golf Club of Canada (Calgary, Alberta): It's a mouthful, but it'll also be a handful for those golfers brave enough to take on the near 8,000 yards of Mickelson National. The new course is set to be opened in 2017 and will be Mickelson's first design outside the U.S. His design team has their eyes on hosting the RBC Canadian Open in 2020 or later.

Adam Stanley is a multimedia golf journalist based out of Ottawa, Canada. His work has appeared in numerous local and national publications including The Globe & Mail, the Canadian Press, SCOREGolf Magazine and Golf Canada Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @adam_stanley or visit his blog at www.adamstanley.ca.
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Coming to Canada in 2015: New golf courses and revamps to classic plays