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Published on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Milton bids to host Canadian Open

Glen Abbey is currently scheduled to host the 2018 Canadian Open...

Milton bids to host Canadian Open
2017 Canadian Open Action
By Julie Slack, Milton Canadian Champion

At its Monday night meeting, Milton council unanimously endorsed a redesigned Rattlesnake Point Golf Club that will become the permanent home for the Canadian Open within the next five years.

It requires that the lands be included in a preferred growth area for consideration through the Regional Official Plan Review, currently underway.

It requires an urban boundary expansion to include lands extending north of Britannia Road.

In a recorded vote, council had nothing but good things to say about the proposal, following a brief presentation by Glen Schnarr, RattleSnake Point owner ClubLink’s planning consultant.

“I’m in absolute full support of the staff report,” he told council. “Ever since Golf Canada made the decision that Glen Abbey was no longer capable of holding the Canadian Open, ClubLink has worked closely with the Town of Milton in our efforts that we might relocate to Rattlesnake Point. This is a very significant and important first step in that.”

Councillor Robert Duvall, who represents Ward 1, where the course is located, said he is “super excited about this.

“How fast can we get this upgraded so they can get their job done? And $25 million to the local economy…I just can’t think of anything better.”

Echoed Local and Regional Councillor Mike Cluett: “It would be an understatement to say that the Corporation of the Town of Milton is not excited about this opportunity of hosting the permanent home of the Canadian Open,” he said. “It’s not only just a boon for the Town of Milton but it keeps it here in Halton Region where there are hundreds of thousands of people – not only Milton but the people of the surrounding municipalities – who will benefit as well. A definite plus for the Town of Milton and the Region of Halton.”

Having the Canadian Open come to Milton is tremendous, added Ward 2 Councillor Mike Boughton.

“I want it here, but I hope that it would still remain in Halton,” he said. “But I want it here and if we have to pull an ace out of our sleeve, then we gotta do it.”

The Canadian Open, conducted by Golf Canada, is the premiere professional men’s annual golf tournament in Canada and the third oldest (113 years) continuously running tournament on the PGA Tour.

Some 100,000 spectators attend the event and it has a worldwide television audience of more than 830 million. It provides an estimated $20 to $25 million boost to the local economy.

Currently, it rotates to golf courses across the country; however, Golf Canada want to secure a permanent home for the venue that could potentially serve as headquarters for Golf Canada’s head office and its 56 full-time employees.

The Canadian Open has been held 29 times at Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Course, which was designed to be the championship’s permanent home in 1976. Golf Canada said that Glen Abbey, also owned by ClubLink is too small for its objective for the Canadian Open.

Glen Abbey is currently scheduled to host the 2018 Canadian Open, but no other venues have been chosen beyond that.

“Milton is willing to consider options for the lands through the current Regional Plan review process which will allow us to present a competitive option to Golf Canada,“ said Andrew Siltala, director of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives for the Town of Milton. “In addition to the economic benefits to the local economy, there are high performance sport and science synergies that can be explored with our partners in the Milton Education Village.”

Milton is already considered the home of Canadian cycling, anchored by the presence of Cycling Canada. Beginning this December, the Mattamy National Cycling Centre will host a leg of the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup for the next three years. Securing a permanent home for the Canadian Open and Golf Canada would be Milton’s second world-class sporting event paired alongside a national sports organization.

RattleSnake Point owner ClubLink senior vice president Robert Visentin told the Champion on Tuesday that he is pleased to be working with the Town of Milton to explore the potential redevelopment of the club into a newly designed championship course and full-time long-term home for the Canadian Open.

“We believe the proposed site provides, in combination with additional lands up to Britannia Road, the size and scope required by Golf Canada to create not only a long-term PGA Tour quality home for the Canadian Open featuring an outstanding fan experience, but also the Golf Canada village and other amenities under consideration,” he said. “ We will continue to work with leaders at the Town of Milton to advance this proposal for Golf Canada’s consideration as it moves forward with its search for a new, long-term home for the Canadian Open.”

Rattlesnake Point Golf Club includes 685 acres of land that now contains 36 championship holes, a nine-hole academy course, a 20-acre practice facility and a 35,000 square-foot clubhouse.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: ClubLink , Glen Abbey Golf Course , Canadian Open

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