It will be like having your birthday on Christmas Day when Montreal hosts two high-profile professional golf events next year.
While the 2011 RBC Canadian Open will be held at Shaughnessy in Vancouver, we found out this week from Golf Canada, the former Royal Canadian Golf Association, that Hillsdale in Mirabel will host next year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open.
That LPGA Tour event, as it stands right now, will come about six weeks after the second Montreal Championship, a Champions Tour event that will be played for the first time in July at Club de golf le Fontainebleau in Blainville.
In theory, having your birthday on Christmas Day means getting double the gifts, right? In practice, however, it may mean you end up getting screwed for your birthday gifts because too much of the family income is going out on Christmas.
The theory of too much at one time is something to consider with a Champions Tour and LPGA Tour event so close together in the same city.
“From a Golf Canada perspective, we think that it’s great that our nation is playing host to a PGA Tour event, an LPGA event and now, a Champions Tour event,” said Golf Canada executive director Scott Simmons.
“These types of events get people attracted to the game, get kids looking up to their heroes and their idols, so it’s certainly great for the game,” he added.
David Skitt, tournament director for the Montreal Championship, offered a similar thought.
“Golf fans in the Province of Quebec are very passionate about the game and have proved to be tremendous hosts to international golf championships in the past,” said Skitt.
“The thrill of being able to see Champions Tour golf legends and LPGA Tour stars together in the same summer will truly make for a remarkable summer of golf,” he added.
It’s difficult to argue with that. Montreal has indeed earned its reputation as a town that supports such golf events and that was enhanced big-time with its staging of the Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal in 2007. More could and should be coming Montreal’s way including the Canadian Open in the next few years.
Since the Presidents Cup, however, Montreal has been hit hard by the recession, but things are apparently improving.
Depending on economic conditions in a year – and who knows? – the big concern may not be the golf fans who come through the gate, but the corporations who support events through hospitality tents and provide other sources of revenue.
During the recession, the theory was that it was difficult for a company to spend money on a golf event when it had just laid people off, but that appears to be easing, at least at this point in time. However, will the budget allow for two events in the same city in the same summer?
Companies may take an either/or approach in which events they support. Even back in 2007, before the recession hit, the Presidents Cup in Montreal had an effect on corporate support for the Canadian Open, which was played all the way down the 401 at Angus Glen in Markham, just outside of Toronto.
On the positive side for the LPGA Tour event, this is an opportunity for the title sponsor to make a splash in the city where it makes its corporate headquarters and so many of its employees reside in the area.
The Champions Tour event, on the other hand, has the objective of becoming entrenched in the community with an annual event and that also inspires loyalty. It will have one playing behind it and a full year of working on the event leading up to the 2011 Montreal Championship.
The question now is will there be enough for two sets of gifts to celebrate two occasions or will the giving spirit only extend so far, even though both occasions are worth recognizing?
“From a golf perspective, having two professional events over the course of the summer certainly isn’t overpowering and I think golf fans will be delighted to have both events in the marketplace,” said Simmons.
I agree to an extent, but there may be some resistance among corporations in supporting both events. Even if there is some, however, it’s unlikely it will be a crippling blow to either event.