Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cabot: "Grand slam home run".

Cabot Links, shortly after construction began.
I received an interesting email a couple days ago from a friend, and recognized authority on golf course architecture who'd just finished playing all eighteen holes at Cabot Links. If you haven't heard of Cabot Links, you're not paying attention to golf news. The development of this new seaside course at Inverness, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has received a lot of attention over recent years.

Anyway, my friend's email simply reads: "Just played all eighteen at Cabot - your pal hit a grand slam home run!" My pal is Rod Whitman - Cabot's designer - who I've worked with over the past decade at Blackhawk, Sagebrush, Cabot Links, and elsewhere. Although this friend of mine, fortunate to play all eighteen at Cabot (which has not officially opened eighteen holes for play) shall remain nameless, this is indeed very high praise.

I can't recall the exact date, but it's been some six or seven years since Ben Cowan-Dewar - the driving force behind Cabot Links - and I first visited Inverness on a cold January day (update: I was just reminded it was a chilly, but very nice day in December 2004). We had both heard about the potential for seaside golf there, over a reclaimed coal mine site on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Ben called to ask if I was interested in making a trip to Inverness to simply take a look at this property. Of course. So we went. I remember calling Rod shortly after Ben and I walked the site, very excited. I'm sure I said, "Rod... if they can put this deal together there's something really, really special here".

Ben put the deal together. Construction of the course is now complete. And high praise from those fortunate enough to have played at least a few holes is starting to role in. Big time. Ben deserves much credit for making this happen. And, not surprisingly, Rod Whitman (and co.) has seemingly - based on early reviews - delivered with the golf.

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