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Published on Friday, August 25, 2017

Canadian Open may slip away to Milton

ClubLink overture has conditions

Canadian Open may slip away to Milton
Glen Abbey Golf Course. No longer the permanent home of the Canadian Open?
— Oakville Beaver file photo
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

As Oakville residents fight to save Glen Abbey Golf Course, the powers that be are examining the possibility of finding the Canadian Open a new home in Milton.

On Monday (Aug. 28), Milton council will examine preliminary steps to redesigning RattleSnake Point Golf Club, which is located at 5407 Regional Rd. 25 in Milton.

The report to council notes the redesign is contingent on RattleSnake Point owner ClubLink and Canadian Open organizer Golf Canada agreeing in principle that RattleSnake Point will become the permanent home for the Canadian Open within the next five years.

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.

The event is witnessed by around 100,000 spectators annually and more than 830 million television viewers.

The Open also generates an estimated $20 million to $25 million boost to the local economy.

During a recent Oakville Heritage Advisory Committee meeting, ClubLink representative Mark Flowers said Golf Canada is looking for a new long-term home for the Canadian Open.

“Like it or not, that list does not include Glen Abbey,” he said.

During that meeting, Flowers also read a statement from Golf Canada Chief Championship Officer Bill Paul who said the Glen Abbey property and the surrounding properties do not allow Golf Canada to achieve its long-term objective for the Canadian Open.

“The physical footprint is simply too small to accommodate the numerous activities associated with conducting a PGA Tour event outside the ropes,” said Paul in a written statement.

Paul said Glen Abbey is currently scheduled to host the 2018 Canadian Open, but no decision has been made for future years.

Flowers said the search for a new home for the Canadian Open is unrelated to a ClubLink development proposal to build 3,222 residential units, including nine nine- to 12-storey apartment buildings at the Glen Abbey site.

ClubLink officials have pointed out 50.11 hectares (54 per cent of the total site) would be made up of publicly-accessible green space.

Plans for any redesign of RattleSnake Point are still in their earliest stages; however, the subject lands discussed in the report include not only the golf course but the lands north of the course, which extend to Britannia Road.

RattleSnake Point currently features 36 championship holes, the nine-hole Rattler Academy Course, an 18-acre practice facility, and a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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