I’m planning a camping trip in a couple of weeks, but the only tent I will be camped out in will be at the media centre at the 2009 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont. That tent provided good shelter in last year’s deluge at the Abbey, which is hosting the Open for the 25th time this year.
The 100th playing of the national championship comes at a time when the Open is enjoying a renaissance that started about a year-and-a-half ago when RBC came on board as title sponsor and immediately began elevating the tournament’s status on the PGA Tour.
This year, the Open has a solid field that, as of yet, is short on top-10 players, but is still filled with well-known names, including the usual Canadian suspects Mike Weir and Stephen Ames.
Weir and Ames aren’t the only home boys to watch as this year’s NCAA champ Matt Hill, U.S. Open low amateur Nick Taylor and Graham DeLaet, who has had such a hot hand on the Canadian Tour recently, round out a strong contingent from our home and native land.
The new Mike Weir Charity Classic has a star-studded lineup including Tin Cup star Kevin Costner, who will also play the Pengrowth Concert Series with his band Modern West. Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings are playing together, while Tom Cochrane and Red Rider round out the concert lineup.
It should be a fun week at the Abbey and GNN will be all over it. One of the guys we’ll be keeping tabs on is Kyle German, who earned his ticket into the Open by winning last November’s Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Club Professionals Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
There’s a good buzz around the Open, which will get most of the golf headlines in Canada that week, including here at GNN, but will the media coverage of this year’s national championship have any significant impact on the golf industry as a whole?
Personally, I believe that any time you get people talking about and watching golf in this country, it’s good for the game and the industry.
The Open’s mid-summer dates – forgetting for a second that horrible slot behind the British Open – can also be a time to refresh at the midway point of the season that euphoria that golfers traditionally feel towards the game at the start of the year.
With national television and the Internet, Canadians from coast to coast can stay on top of the action at the Open, but perhaps, you feel that its positive impact is felt more in the area in which it’s played as opposed to nationally. Maybe, you feel the Open doesn’t impact the industry at all.
We’ve posted this question on the latest GNN Poll and, as always, if you would like to expand your thoughts, please do so in the GNN Forum after you cast your vote in the poll.
SHAKING OFF BAD NEWS: The release of that brutal American jobless report that we wrote about in Friday’s blog, which was the 500th story published in GNN’s short history, didn’t shake the positive attitude that the golf industry has towards the Canadian economy.
A total of 42 per cent of respondents to our previous GNN Poll feel that the 2009 season has been better than expected so far, while another 42 per cent feel it’s been status quo, which isn’t a bad thing in a recession. Only 16 per cent of respondents still want to hide under the bed because of the economy.
That poll is now in our Archives section, but you can still read it and cast your vote for that and any other poll that’s appeared on the GNN home page.