Two decades before she first teed off against the world’s top golfers on the LPGA tour, Prince Edward Island native Lorie Kane was testing her mettle against her sister, Mary Lynn.

While their father, Jack, was closing up shop at the Brudenell River Golf Course, where he worked as the club pro, the girls would be out on the links. “The first and 18th holes were beside each other and we would play them for ages,” says Kane, who has notched four career LPGA victories. “It’s one of my most vivid, childhood memories.”

“Brudenell wasn’t the resort it is now. I remember there being a couple of old barns there, and the clubhouse was a farmhouse,” she says. “It has changed a lot since then. It’s a wonderful place.”

“The local flare is on display in the summer. We have excellent fish and seafood, and you can always be sure the beer will be cold.”

The stamp of approval

Brudenell, now a picturesque garden and river course, is just one of many courses that have made the Maritimes a prime destination for golfers from across North America and beyond.

The Links at Crowbush Cove, which stretches along the north shore dunes of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, hosted the PGA Skins Game in 1998. Both that P.E.I. course and The Cabot Links, on the western shoreline of Cape Breton Island, have been given two thumbs up by visitors “from away.”

Highland Links, on the northeast coast of Cape Breton Island, has received a seal of approval from the man who won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010. Graeme McDowell, who hails from Northern Ireland, told Kane the rugged terrain of the Canadian course reminded him of the courses he had played in Ireland and Scotland.

Finding the perfect round

Not only are the dozens of courses in the Maritimes some of the best in the country, they are relatively close to one another. “People spend a lot of time in their cars when it comes to golf,” says Kane, who is now preparing to compete in the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto, “and the drive around the Maritimes is easily done.” Indeed, the entire region is only 133,000 square-kilometres.

Golf enthusiasts have to venture farther east to golf in Newfoundland and Labrador, of course, but many consider the trip worth it. After all, there aren’t many courses in the world that overlook rugged coastlines and golfers don’t often have chance to spot a whale or a moose while teeing off.

Perhaps the Maritimes biggest draw is the people. “We’re famous for our hospitality,” says Kane, a member of the Order of Canada who spends her summers in P.E.I. “The local flare is on display in the summer. We have excellent fish and seafood, and you can always be sure the beer will be cold,” she says with a laugh. “Golfers should know that if they visit the Maritimes, they will have the time of their lives. Their first visit won’t be their last.”