The news that Hamilton would like to become the permanent home of Golf Canada and the RBC Canadian Open at King’s Forest sure caused a lot of commotion on social media, but it’s premature considering that the city councillor who brought this up hasn’t even received approval to start the process yet.
Sam Merulla is expected to bring it up at a council meeting on Wednesday, according to this story in the Hamilton Spectator, but there are several potential roadblocks standing in the way of its actually happening, not the least of which is cost of a new clubhouse, redesigning at least part of the course and putting in a new driving range.
It would understandably be a major sales pitch to the rest of council to sink significant funds into such a project without a study that indicates the benefits will outweigh the risks, so expect the initial conversation at council to be an ongoing one, instead of a snap decision.
Those are just the obvious costs. There’s more to hosting a PGA Tour event than the course and Golf Canada would need to take a look at the property and the surrounding area to see if it meets the needs of corporate hospitality, television compounds and other infrastructure that’s required.
It could be that that costs would skyrocket and the city would need to make a major commitment, not only inside the golf course but in the surrounding area as well, which is a potential deal-breaker.
There are other factors at work that could scuttle Merulla’s aspirations. For one thing, ClubLink’s move to turn Glen Abbey into a housing development is on a one-year hold as Oakville completes key planning studies.
It’s a good bet that ClubLink’s development plan for the Abbey will eventually be approved, but there are no guarantees and even if it does go through, how long will it be before ground is broken on the project?
Once that happens, there have been other sites mentioned as a possible home for the Open. The favourite I keep hearing is a transformed RattleSnake Point in nearby Milton, but Hidden Lake in Burlington has also been mentioned.
It’s also interesting to hear the term “permanent home” of the Canadian Open mentioned.
The national championship will likely be played in Southern Ontario for financial reasons more times than not, but not far from King’s Forest is a club you may have heard of, the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, that may want it from time to time.
There’s also the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver and the new Mickelson National that’s being built in Calgary that are potential sites for the Open, among others, so the term “permanent home” of the Canadian Open is a misnomer.
For the record, I agree with the social media chatter about this proposal. In an era when most cities are taking a long, hard, financial look at munis or considering the land they’re on for other purposes, this does seem like a long shot.
Before we jump all over this idea, however, let’s wait to see if it has any wheels at all.
Fleury And The Flames Fan
Calgary Flames fans that they are, the Graham and Ruby DeLaet Foundation has announced that former Flame Theo Fleury will join the celebrities playing in the Graham Slam Celebrity exhibition match in Saskatoon.
Fleury’s country music band, the Death Valley Rebels, will also play at the Graham Slam Live Concert that evening.
Both Graham Slam events will take place Monday, June 20, leading up to the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open, a Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event at Dakota Dunes.
“I was growing up when Theo was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1987, won a Cup there in his rookie year and I was hooked,” said DeLaet. “I don’t think it’s any secret that they are my team, and it’s great that Theo will be a part of Graham Slam to represent my passion for hockey and the Flames.”
Here’s a sample of Fleury’s talents:
Dues notices were mailed this week by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association to all member categories, with the exception of British Columbia, where members will receive their notices from the provincial association soon.
The joint dues notice program in B.C. is part of a national/provincial relations agreement and both organizations are hoping members will provide feedback to improve a process, which may lead to similar structures in other regions.
Dues for 2016 for the superintendent, golf course management and assistant superintendent classifications have been reduced by 25 per cent, with all other classifications remaining the same.
Payments can be made online, by fax, telephone at 1-800-387-1056 or (416) 626-8873, ext. 226.
The CGSA has also announced that sessions from the 2016 Canadian Golf Course Management Conference are available through its Live Learning Centre.
Among those available are on-demand learning opportunities that qualify for continuing education credits.