HALIFAX'S PRIVATE GOLF CLUB
Two great courses at two distinctly different locations—that’s Ashburn. Stay in the city and try the historic Old Course, or venture a few minutes from Halifax and challenge yourself against the New Course, where the Web.com Tour played. In recent years the New Course hosted exhibition matches featuring the likes of Mike Weir, Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet and legend Tom Watson.
These great courses make Ashburn the best private golf experience on Canada’s East Coast.
Ashburn’s Old Course is among the most historic golf courses in Canada. Crafted under the watchful eye of Stanley Thompson, the architect known for his work at St. George’s in Toronto, Highlands Links in Cape Breton, and Alberta’s great mountain courses—Banff and Jasper—Ashburn is a throwback to another era. Measured at 5,210 from the tips, the apparently short yardage obscures the challenge of the course. As was his custom, Thompson utilized the naturally rolling landscape to create a course with great vistas and challenging holes. Canadian golfing great George Knudson, who would win eight times on the PGA Tour, only managed 4-under par while playing the 1964 Canadian PGA Championship at Ashburn. More recently the course has seen restoration work conducted by Ian Andrew, one of Canada’s most noted golf designers.
Ashburn’s “New” course is nearly 50 years old now, and remains one of the stalwart tests in the Canadian game. Created by Stanley Thompson associate Geoffrey Cornish (a Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member who worked with Thompson at courses like Highlands Links and Capilano), New Ashburn has been called a “spectacularly strong layout, featuring fiendishly tilted fairways, unyielding rough, and large, fast greens,” in John Gordon’s Great Golf Courses of Canada. It is certainly built on an incredible piece of rambling and tilted land, with holes playing up and down dramatic vistas. Located just five minutes outside of Halifax proper, and 25 minutes from the city’s downtown, the course has held significant championships, including the 1980 Canadian Amateur (where Greg Olson held off future PGA Tour winner Richard Zokol), the 1996 Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship won by Graham Cooke (the club’s current consulting architect), and more recently Web.com Tour events won by Canadians Roger Sloan and Abraham Ancer.
Led by Jeff MacDonald, one of the top instructors on the East Coast, Ashburn’s two courses have practice areas and the teachers to help you improve your game. New Ashburn offers a world-class practice facility, with a two-deck range, multiple target greens, and an area for short game work that includes three greens. The practice area at the Old Course is currently undergoing significant improvements, and the course provides an indoor winter practice facility just minutes from downtown Halifax.