Global Golf Post: Can Canadian Open Move to Next Level?

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 10.45.42 AMI used some of the discussion on this site to create a column about the future of the Canadian Open for my Global Golf Post column this week.

The full column is at the link, but here’s a taste:

Move forward or perish.

In the minds of some that’s where the RBC Canadian Open finds itself despite having 12 of the Top 50 players in the world at Glen Abbey two weeks ago.

“I don’t think we’re in a transition, but we’re always looking to improve,” says Scott Simmons, executive director of Golf Canada, which runs the Canadian Open. “It is a very successful event with a ton of history and RBC has helped bring it a long way.”

There’s no doubt it is successful. But could it be more so? Does the event need a refresh, a change into something more than just another PGA Tour event? That’s the situation Simmons has to ponder.

“We always have to look at the alternatives,” he explains. “But it is just a theoretical discussion at this point. We have to investigate every possibility.”

The possibilities Simmons has to consider are intriguing. Some have floated the idea of RBC upping the ante, coughing up significantly more cash in a pitch to make the Canadian Open a World Golf Championship event. Or maybe there’s a play for a spot in the FedEx Cup.  The goal is the same – create a tournament that is something more, that will bring names that grab headlines, stars that casual sports fans recognize.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently a columnist with and Ontario Golf, and a contributing writer to ScoreGolf, his blog, Going for the Green, was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Robert, you mentioned some of the comments pro and con for the Cdn Open to be a WGC or FedEx event so that it could generate additional funds for Golf Canada.
    At one time the Cdn Open was considered the 5th major, now it is a 3rd tier event. The event is so poorly judged by the PGA tour player that virtually the only top 50 players attending were bribed by sponsor RBC with annual sponsor fees.
    Traditionally Canada has a higher percentage of golfers playing than the USA. However Canada has had very few great players. The best being George Knudson and Mike Wier, both a long way from International Hall of Fame status, however, Golf Canada has improved the coaching and competition for young golfers the same as Basketball Canada or Tennis Canada have. If they continue Canada will eventually have some top golfers.
    This article comes out the same week the USGA announces a $100 million a year TV contract. It isn’t public knowledge what revenue the Canadian Opens receive and you can’t compare because American events are majors but transparency would help in any discussion.
    It took years to destroy the reputation for many reasons, it will take some time to restore the reputation.
    I said it before and I will say it again, making the Cdn Open a WGC or FedEx event is a quick fix covering up the years of mismanagement by the RCGA(Golf Canada) and misses the whole point of being a national open.

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