CanOpen to Laval, Coppinwood or Devil's Pulpit?

The Globe’s Lorne Rubenstein raises some interesting possibilities when talking about where the Canadian Open may go after 2011 when it is at Shaughnessy in Vancouver. The piece doesn’t appear to be online yet, but essentially Rubenstein mentions the possibilities for courses beyond 2011. Those listed include Coppinwood, which the RCGA has taken a look at previously, Devil’s Pulpit, which would seem unlikely given its location, and Laval’s second course in Montreal. Rubenstein suggests that course will be renovated by Mike Weir and “design associate” Ian Andrew (Lorne’s words, not mine, since I know we didn’t hire a “design associate” at Weir Golf Design. Mike and former IMG head Brad Pelletier hired a designer.)

I think Coppinwood and the Pulpit, while interesting choices, are unlikely. The biggest issue is the television deal, which ends in 2012, and sponsor RBC’s deal, which ends at the same time. Both are linked. If a new television is presented and is attractive to RBC, they’ll sign on again. I think that much is certain from my discussions with them on the matter. Where the tournament goes is another issue, especially if the date remains the same. RBC would still like to get its hands on the former Buick date that has gone to the Greenbrier, though that is only a one-year deal. All of this complicates any renovation at Laval sur le Lac by Weir Golf Design.

So here’s how I see it:

2012 — Glen Abbey

2013 — Laval

2014 — Hamilton (discussions are once again on about this)

2015 — Glen Abbey

2016 — Other? Options — Coppinwood, Westmount, Ottawa Hunt

2017 — Laval

There’s also the option that’s been floated about a one-off at Banff Springs, which would be a remarkable feat, but probably very difficult given environmental issues. It would be a great spot to showcase Canada though. I hear Royal Montreal is out of the mix, having turned down the opportunity to host the Open. Their golf course is the weakest of the above list, so I don’t see this as much of a loss.

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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 Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • AGN,

    I would say the lack of hotel accomodations, it’s the same problem with Osprey which is just up the street; other then the Millwood there really aren’t any hotels other then up in Orangeville or Brampton ( I would love to see it there though). And why wouldn’t the Paintbrush’s name get thrown in there with the Pulpit’s?

  • I’d say it is without doubt. The greens are awful, and you’re well aware of that Jeremy. Great club. Not a great course.

    As for the Pulpit, I’d suggest it is just too far from Toronto and RBC isn’t likely interested in taking it there. I’d suggest the same is true with Coppinwood.

  • Robert,

    I would say Royal is the only site in Montreal that can hold the Open. It’s a perfect place for them to go every three years….if the membership would take the Open. 2003 won’t be at Laval, they are unable to host the event.

    I think Shaughnessey is on its way out too, the course is a fine venue, but the time zone issue is an issue.

    I wish it would go to Hamilton and St. George’s regularly, but I see the clubs reluctant to do so.

    I think Coppinwood, Paintbrush, Westmount are all too far out of town to work.

    Which brings us full circle to Glen Abbey, it’s my least favourite venue, but it’s the easiest ad most convenient. I think you right about the Abbey in 2012 and I think it will go by default there again in 2013.

  • Sagebrush in 2017. It would be guaranteed to produce a very exciting Canadian Open. With plenty of time to add another hotel in Merritt logistics could easily be handled. The Canadian Open has never been to a course like Sagebrush.

  • Can we not learn lessons from past mistakes?? For goodness sakes, we’ve only had the luxury of seeing this movie play-out over the past 30-years… you know… the one with a real bad ending!

    If our national championship doesn’t customarily play at our country’s historically best courses (St. Georges, Hamilton, Shaughnessy, Royal Montreal, etc.) history will repeat itself.

    All the gains the RCGA made by playing at Hamilton, Shaughnessy and most likely St. Georges this year, will be lost if they revert back to Glen Abby or anything less than our best courses. Playing a great golf course PGA Tour players will get over time zones issues but they will not with a mediocre course.

    The RCGA needs to be careful, even the perception of Bill Paul looking at Devil’s Pulpit is a cause for concern and they really needs to find a long term solution or it will just continue to fester.

  • I thougtht Weir Golf Design hired a golf course architect and not merely a designer.

    Nobody has mentioned Beacon Hall . . . It should get some consideration one might think.

  • OK, what about the National? It may not be my fave, but I think it fits the bill for a Canadian Open.

  • Personally, I think Laval would be an ideal chioce for our National, if the proposal goes forward for Ian Andrew and Mike Weir to rebuild the Blue Course at Laval.

    The club has a very storied history. Laval sur la Lac was the first golf club organized by French Canadians. Albert Murray designed a temporary 9 hole layout in 1917 for the members, and in 1920, Willie Park Jr. (an honorary Quebecois in my mind given the number of courses he laid out there, including his all time favorite, Mt. Bruno) redesigned and expanded it to 18 holes. Best to Mike and Ian as proud Canadian’s and Our National Open being truly Canadian in all respects.

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