The Nest at Cabot Cape Breton.
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Inside the Nest: Check out Cabot Cape Breton’s rollicking new par-3 course

Size does matter.

In golf, especially, short is in.

By which we mean short courses, modest in scale but ample in artistry and entertainment value.

Bandon Dunes has one. So do Pinehurst, Streamsong and Sand Valley. Big Cedar Lodge has a pair of shorties. And this just in: Cabot Cape Breton now has a short course, too.

Already home to two Golf Magazine World Top 100 Courses, Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs, the acclaimed resort in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is set to welcome preview play this month on the Nest, a 10-hole, par-3 layout. Designed by Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten, who worked together on Cabot Links, the Nest spills across rollicking terrain, on bluffs overlooking Cabot Cliffs and the ocean. 

At just over 1,300 yards, with holes that range in length from 95 to 232 yards, the Nest is punctuated by creative dips and ridges and compelling angles that offer all the challenge of a traditional round, on a course that can be played with just a handful of clubs in a fraction of the usual time.

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“The idea is to create fun and variety on a course that’s enjoyable for everyone,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot. “We think it’s a great complement to what we have.”

Short courses aren’t new to golf; they’ve long been stitched into the fabric of such vaunted private properties as Augusta National and Pine Valley. But in recent years, top resorts have increasingly embraced them for their Goldilocks appeal: Bite-sized enough for juniors and beginners of all ages, but with plenty of intrigue for seasoned players, short courses also offer a just-right option when 18 holes don’t quite sate your craving, but a 36-hole day is a bit too much.

At the Nest, groups of up to eight will be permitted, pending updates from the Canadian Public Health authorities.

“Accessibility and versatility, that’s what it’s all about,” Cowan-Dewar said. “This is the kind of course where I can settle friendly wagers with my buddies, but it’s also a joy to play with my kids.”

Preview play on the Nest begins on July 24, with a grand opening planned for 2021.

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