Nova Scotia

Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links await the world, appeal for caddies

World-ranked Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links anticipate large numbers of travelling golfers will come to the island this year. Now all they need is scores of trained caddies to accompany those enthusiasts.

Cape Breton courses anticipate influx of golfers after Golf Digest gives nod to both in international rankings

Cabot Cliffs overlooks the ocean and the steep cliffs in Inverness (George Mortimer/CBC)

The two world-ranked golf courses in Cape Breton anticipate large numbers of travelling golfers will come to the island this year, and now all they need is scores of trained caddies to accompany those enthusiasts.

Golf Digest, in its recent ranking of the top 100 courses in the world, placed Cabot Cliffs at 19, even though it will not be fully open until June. Cabot Links comes in at 93 in the world.

Cabot Links director of golf operations, Ted Stonehouse, told CBC Cape Breton's Mainstreet the international appeal of the two courses means many more caddies will be needed.

With that in mind, a series of free caddie information sessions have been scheduled for the last week of February in three different locations in Inverness County.

"We do not have enough; we did not have enough last year," Stonehouse says. "We're looking for about 180 caddies for the 2016 season."

'Local flavour'

Given there's a lot of walking involved at both courses — power carts are not allowed — there will be a strong demand for caddies who must be able to walk 18 holes while carrying a set of golf clubs, says Stonehouse.

He points out that not every caddie has to be an expert in the sport, since many golfers require only basic assistance.

On the other hand, Stonehouse says he'll need plenty of others who can assist players with such things as advice on the "best landing areas for shots, the best position to be in to hit the approach shot."

They'll also need to understand wind and elevation and how those factors may affect a shot. 

The caddie information sessions are open to anyone 14 years old and older. Stonehouse encourages more women to come out since they are often requested by female golfers.

He says a good caddie is an invaluable resource since he or she can bring "local flavour" to the tourist experience.

"There's so much can happen on the golf course between a caddie and a golfer in their interaction — it can be a lot of fun, no question."

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