Cabot Links Inverness (Nova Scotia, Canada)
Credit: Paul Darrow / New York Times / Redux

Playing where the game was invented is a rite of passage for any serious golfer, but it's a pricey one: A direct flight to Scotland from New York's Kennedy Airport is seven hours and about $1,000. Flying from New York to Nova Scotia, on the other hand, takes only two hours and costs about half as much. And when you arrive at Cabot Links, you'll hardly know you're not in Scotland. (Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland," after all.) Canada's only links-style course, it offers all the terrain typical of the sport's birthplace. This is pure, walking-only golf – no carts or condos to distract from the landscape. "Cabot Links is as good an experience as any I've had in the U.K.," says Bill Mathias, a lawyer from Buffalo. "That you can do it in a weekend makes it even better." The Scotland fantasy extends beyond the golf: The Cabot Bar, inside the property's modern lodge, pours 36 varieties of scotch, while just down the block is the charming town of Inverness, where you'll find live Celtic music, pubs, and seemingly an entire population whose last names start with Mac.

Stay here: Rooms at Cabot Links Lodge are spacious and modern. From $245 per night; $150 per round of golf.