With more than 1,400 courses and around 300,000 registered golfers, Canada is one of the most developed golf countries globally. Canadian golf history is as rich and unique as its beautiful clubs and stunning courses spread across much of the country. Without a doubt, a list of the best top 10 golf courses in Canada is a wonderful challenge. So, let’s tee off, shall we?
We have to go back to the 19th century to trace the starting point of Canadian golf. It all began with the foundation of the Montreal Golf Club in November 1873. Its alma mater was Scotsman Alexander Dennistoun, who, together with brothers’ John and David Sidey, created the first 9-hole course. It was designed at Fletcher’s Field, a property owned by the city of Montreal. Just 8 years later, Queen Victoria granted the “Royal” status to the field, which was also the first in North America of its kind.
It is worth noting that Royal Montreal was one of the five founding clubs of the Royal Canadian Golf Association, established in 1895. After rotating its location a few times, it finally settled in 1959 on its current site in Île-Bizard, Quebec. It hosted the first Canadian Open and the Presidents Cup in 2007, a tournament already confirmed to return to the iconic club in September 2024.
Royal Montreal Golf Club
The Royal Montreal Golf Club consists of two courses, with the Blue one (par 72 and 7,136 yards) being the most well-known pair. It was initially designed by Dick Wilson, and around two decades ago, it undertook a redesign by Rees Jones in 2007. Soon to celebrate its 150th birthday, Royal Montreal Golf Club ranks high in our selection of the 10 best courses in Canada.
Here is the complete list of the best top 10 golf courses in Canada, analyzed with the Chasing Par team.
Cabot Cliffs represent the pinnacle of all that is good in a golf club. It is located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in a privileged area facing the Atlantic Ocean and close to the picturesque city of Inverness. The complex comprises two 18-hole golf courses, considered among the best in Canada and the world! Without a doubt, Cabot Cliffs (par 72 and 6,835 yards) is the most famous and recognized among all the Canadian courses. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2015, this link is a postcard-framed succession of winding fairways. Facilities include the Cabot Links Lodge with 72 superior rooms and 19 beautiful golf villas.
The National Golf Club
The National Golf Club is one of the jewels by George and Tom Fazio. Its famous has been featured on countless occasions among the 100 best golf courses in the world. It opened its doors in 1975, and since then, it has been marking the world of golf when it comes to being an example of impeccable design. Each hole challenges those who visit this masterpiece. Located in Woodbridge, on the outskirts of Toronto, The National has all the facilities of a prestigious club. As Ben Kern expressed: “The National is timeless. It’s one of those very rare courses where the natural landscape combines with human knowledge and intelligence.”
Capilano Golf and Country Club
Actor Sean Connery once commented: “there is no finer place to be on a Monday morning than the first tee at Capilano.” And coming from a Scottish golf fanatic, this sentence carries all the weight it needs. Capilano Golf and Country Club is an exquisite site where design and natural beauty blend perfectly. This course was planned back in 1937 by the renowned Stanley Thompson, located in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Those who have visited and played this Canadian gem (par 70 and 6,706 yards) have no hesitation in stating that Capilano has one of the most beautiful holes in Canada. It is a short par 3 with an elevation difference of 25 feet, framed by a dreamy forest and the North Shore Mountains as silent witnesses to the beauty of the Canadian West.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf
The story goes that it took 50 lots of horses and more than 200 men working for a long year to prepare the ground grounds for what would later become one of the best golf courses in Canada. Opened backed in 1925, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The course (par 71 and 6,663 yards) is another jewel of Stanley Thompson’s architectural design. Redesigned in 1994, it earned several accolades, including being the undisputed best public course in Canada in 2013.
Memphremagog Golf Club
Few know this, but one of the premier institutions in the world is the Memphrémagog Golf Club (par 72 and 7,600 yards). It is located in Magog, Quebec. It has only 45 members, and its golf course was designed by Tom McBroom and opened in 2008. It has enormous elevation changes that make every shot a significant challenge. The forests, the natural environment, and the permanent view of the mountains and the homonymous lake make Memphrémagog a hidden paradise that everyone should visit at least once in their lives (of course, it is tough to happen).
Tobiano Golf Club
British Columbia has one of the best public courses in Canada, and it is called Tobiano Golf Club (par 72 and 7,367 yards). Located in the town of Kamloops, this course welcomes visitors from all over the world willing to put their golf to the test. As its designer, Thomas McBroom, stated: “Tobiano has to be the best site I’ve ever seen from a drama and a beauty point of view.” Undoubtedly, it is a course that challenges golfers of all levels.
Muskoka Bay Resort
Muskoka Bay Resort (par 72 and 7,367 yards) is the perfect excuse for a getaway in Ontario for any golf fan. Located in the beautiful town of Gravenhurst, this Doug Carrick design features undulating fairways that rise and fall in front of a vast lake. It is regarded as one of the best public courses in Canada.
The Pulpit Club (The Paintbrush course)
More and more fans are raving about this course and want to know better about it. The Paintbrush (par 71 and 7,162 yards) has become a fetish for golf lovers. It is located in Caledon East, Ontario, and is accessed along St. Andrews Road, boosting breathtaking beauty. With a fascinating design dating back to 1992, architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry took ideas from several of the more traditional links of Scotland and Ireland, which were faithfully replicated here.
Cape Breton Highlands Links
Designer Stanley Thompson also left his signature as the architect of Cape Breton Highlands Links (par 72 and 6,592 yards). It is located in one of the most pristine regions of Canada, just minutes from Cape Breton National Park in Nova Scotia. It was built in 1939 under the watchful eye of Thompson, who was quick to call it “The mountains and ocean” course. The beauty of its surroundings and its attractive design places Cape Breton among the best top 10 golf courses in Canada.