Keiser thinks big with 2nd course at Cabot Links

Part of the clearing process before construction can start on Cabot Cliffs.

Part of the clearing process before construction can start on Cabot Cliffs.

“One course is a curiosity; two courses is a destination.”

Those are the words of Mike Keiser, the mastermind behind Bandon Dunes, collaborator in Tasmania at Lost Farms and Barnbougle Dunes and now partner in Cabot Links on Nova Scotia.

The philosophy seems to have served the Chicago entrepreneur well. He has taken a large tract of land in coastal southern Oregon and created Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, a five-course mecca.

Now Keiser is approaching Cabot Links with a second course – working title of Cabot Cliffs – already in development.

Cabot Links opened on June 29 to rave reviews, but it clearly could be defined as a curiosity. The course, a three-hour drive from the provincial capital of Halifax, was developed on an old coal mine that drove the economy of the small town of Inverness in the early 20th century.

Inverness (pop. 2,000) struggled when the mine closed years ago. With Cabot’s opening, the area is undergoing a revival.

A second course would stamp this sleepy town off the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as a popular golf destination.

Two miles north of Cabot Links, a 600-acre tract of land offers more than a mile of coastline – similar to the seaside stretch at Cabot Links – but the area known as Broad Cove features elevation lending to dramatic views of the gulf and the cliffs. It will ensure a very different golfing experience than the one at Cabot Links.

Bill Coore, a principal with the Coore & Crenshaw design team, walked the area a couple of weeks ago and has started drawing up routing plans. The proposed course likely will include a par 3 that will play similar to the iconic 16th at Cypress Point, with players teeing off from one cliff and traversing a deep cavern to a green sitting on another cliff.

Land clearing already has begun, and groundbreaking is anticipated sometime in 2013, with the new course expected to be open for play in 2015.

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