Zokol at Predator, a New Links at Bushmills, and the Countdown for Cabot Links

It will be fascinating to see the impact of two new high-profile arrivals at the Okanagan Valley’s Predator Ridge Resort, already one of Canada’s top golf properties. Two-time PGA Tour winner Richard Zokol (formerly of Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club in B.C.’s Nicola Valley) was hired as executive director of golf development, and former LPGA touring pro AJ Eathorne as an instructor. Eathorne’s series of “Swing Like a Girl” clinics for women of all abilities should be a huge hit.

On the other side of the country, Ted Stonehouse, one of the most likeable and talented people in Canadian golf, has left acclaimed Bell Bay Golf Club in the lovely Cape Breton resort town of Baddeck to become the new director of golf at Clovelly Golf Club in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Cape Breton’s loss is The Rock’s considerable gain.

Like everyone in Canadian golf, I’m counting down the days to the launch of all 18 holes at Cape Breton’s Cabot Links on June 29. Canada’s first true links, set seaside in the former coal mining town of Inverness, is both a beauty and a real coup for this country at a time when the construction of new courses has ground almost to a halt across North America.

Speaking of new courses, I’m hoping to get over to Scotland this summer to play the eagerly anticipated Trump International Golf Links, set on prime linksland on the rugged Aberdeenshire coast. But I wish Donald Trump would save his breath and stop complaining about the offshore windmill farm planned within sight of his property. The Scottish government appears determined to build the windmills whether he likes it or not.

Just as exciting as the Trump International launch is the news that Northern Ireland is set to build yet another world-class links. The $160-million Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort will include an 18-hole links designed by acclaimed Scottish architect David McLay Kidd. That’s a heck of an adornment to an all-star roster that already includes Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Portstewart.

Finally, Canadian Golf Traveller publisher Sharon McAuley (my partner in life and golf) and I recently travelled to Barbados, where we played Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane’s Country Club Course and most of the island’s other top tracks. But the real eye-opener was gorgeous Apes Hill Club , a championship layout as good as any we’ve seen in the Caribbean and the centerpiece of a high-end golf and housing development set on the former site of a historic sugar plantation. We’ll have more about Apes Hill and our trip in an upcoming feature story.