Lot of holes before future site of Canadian Open is set
When Golf Canada’s new CEO Laurence Applebaum announced during the RBC Canadian Open that the 2018 tournament would be played at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville there were more than a few eyebrows raised.
It was no surprise that they were going back to Glen Abbey next year.
After all, it will be the 30th time the tournament has been played at its semi-permanent home.
What was a surprise to some was that they didn’t announce that the 2019 tournament was going there as well.
That non-announcement will, of course, lead to speculation that a deal might be close for it to be played at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club on the 100th anniversary of the first time the tournament was played in Ancaster.
No such luck, at least the ‘close’ part.
And you can also put to bed the rumour that the sticking points are that the executive at the Hamilton club want two years not one and that they are far apart on the money issue.
“There is absolutely no truth to that whatsoever, absolutely none,” says Golf Canada’s Chief Championship officer Bill Paul.
“The members of the board I’ve been working with have been positive but they’ve been on hold while ourselves and RBC get our strategic plan together on this event which includes venues but is not just limited to venues.”
Golf Canada supposedly wants to have its future permanent home site finalized by this fall. The Town of Vaughan wants it but interestingly Jack Nicklaus, who built Glen Abbey and who apparently has been tabbed to build Glen Abbey 2.0 was at ClubLink’s Rattlesnake Point GC last week with topographical maps of the 36-hole property laid out on a table.
Golf Canada have a new long term deal with RBC to sponsor the tournament so they’re going to have a say maybe even a veto on where the tournament is played on a year-to-year basis.
And then there’s ClubLink. If they are going to build Glen Abbey 2.0 and gut their Rattlesnake Point GC to create another spectator friendly championship course you can bet the farm they will want a guarantee of how often the Open will be played there.
You also have to factor in how quickly ClubLink wants to, or will be allowed to, turn their current Glen Abbey into a housing and commercial development.
And throw in how long it will take for the new course to be built and where do you play the Open if Glen Abbey is closed and the new course isn’t ready yet.
That’s where Hamilton could come in.
But don’t forget, even if the directors at the Ancaster club strike a deal with Golf Canada there’s no guarantee that the members would approve it or even that the City of Hamilton would go along with whatever it would be asked to do.
So, you can see there are a lot of ducks for Golf Canada to get in a row before we get any answers on the Bay Area’s future involvement with the RBC Canadian Open. WHOLE-IN-ONE: Nice touch by Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas who donated to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum the glove he wore in the playoff he won at The RSM Classic for his first career PGA Tour victory . ... Two golf clubs down near Welland, which had both closed, Hunters Pointe and Sparrow Lakes have reopened. The latter is now called Cardinal Lakes. ... Aces in the area include Kelly Sutherland on the 98-yard 17th hole at Willow Valley with a nine-iron.
Garry McKay is a veteran, award-winning golf journalist and ex-sportswriter with The Spec. Garrymckay1@rogers.com
Mackenzie Hughes donated the glove he wore to win The RSM Classic to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.