Hillsdale Gets CN Women's Open — Hamilton, Beacon Hall for RBC Men's Open?

Golf Canada today announced next year’s CN Women’s Open — going to Hillsdale in Montreal, an interesting selection and a golf course with a neat history. Nice to see the women’s top event heading to interesting courses — now how about Scarboro G&CC in 2012?

At the same time, rumors have increased that Golf Canada is trying to strike a deal to bring the RBC Canadian Open back to Hamilton, maybe even in 2012. Members of the club were sent notes telling them nothing would be done without their approval, which suggests that a discussion has been had. Of note, 2012 is the last year RBC is committed to the Open, though I have every indication that the bank wants to continue. But chief brand officer Jim Little recently told me all of the bank’s golf deals — including the arrangement with the PGA of America — come to an end in 2012.

However, Golf Canada needs the tournament to continue and has to plan beyond that time. Currently Shaughnessy is the last announced Canadian Open in 2011.

So if Hamilton is once again serious about hosting the tournament, who else might be in the mix? I’m hearing Beacon Hall is interested — and one has to wonder why it couldn’t go to the course in Aurora. It is easy to access, has great facilities, a strong course and lots of space for tents and hospitality. Why wouldn’t they consider the course — it would also fit the bill of bringing the Canadian Open to the best courses in the country, and I understand the club is keen on investigating the possibility.

If one throws Hamilton and Beacon Hall in the mix, adds a dash of Glen Abbey, and the Mike Weir/Ian Andrew project in Laval goes forward, it would appear the Open could be set through 2017. And at least we could stop talking about it and settle into the fact that courses had been selected, decisions had been made and a rotation — such as it is — had been set.

Of course I wouldn’t expect announcements on any of this until early next year, at which point RBC will have agreed to move forward with the sponsorship or backed away.

As for the notion of a new date, I think the bank would stay right where it is if its sweatheart deal to hold the event after the British Open remains in place.

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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.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I understand the Ladies is not as big an event as compared to the mens but, it still has logisitical requirments. While I enjoy Scarboro a lot, I see similar problems to St. Georges. While double ended,and probably just long enough for the girls, the range is pretty narrow and errant balls have the potential to land on two separate fairways unless fencing installed. I suppose you would have build a bunker by the 19th hole for practice, thus taking away real estate for other purposes. There are quite a number of holes where spectator movement will be severely restricted. I don’t see too many areas for grandstands. There is next to no room for hospitality tents, spectator village, tournament trailers etc. You would have to close off the road and given that it is not flat, not sure how you could place the above items. The club parking lot isn’t very large to accommodate vip/admin parking or trailers. I guess you would have to open up the clubhouse and curling to house both hospitality and logistics. I have no idea where spectators would park.

    In theory, I like Scarboro and the renovations recently made. I think it would make a fine course to host but, I have a little trouble with the non golf items. Perhaps some of these items have been addressed??? I would be interested in hearing.


  • Magna isn’t a strong enough test for the big boys, they would chew it up. Beacon is another level up on the difficulty scale. Its much more suitable.

  • Beacon Hall would make sense, but doesn’t make sense with this new “Golf Canada” branding. I was under the impression they were trying to shake that image and here they are going to courses that the average guy….that they are suposed to be attracing…will never play!! I agree all are beautiful facilities with fantastic history but it seems like the more they change the more things stay the same. Have to wait and see!


  • The Canadian Open shouldn’t pander to the lowest common denominator and play accessible, “average guy” courses.

    Imagine if The Masters were held somewhere other than Augusta, and the U.S. Open never made its way to Oakmont, Winged Foot, Shinnecock and Olympic.

    (and while the U.S. Open does play public courses such as Pebble, Pinehurst, Torrey Pines, Chambers Bay and Bethpage Black, these courses are, in my view, a huge leap up from the Angus Glen and Glen Abbeys of the world)

  • Haven’t we seen enough of the Abbey? Beacon Hall is a great course but Eagles Nest would better suit the big hitters. Most of the pros will not need to hit the big stick all day.

  • Mr. Latta,

    I didn’t suggest that the Canadian Open should just use a lottery to determine what course hosts the event, I was simply stating that if the RCGA/Golf Canada is trying to obtain a few more members they should try and find public access courses to play.

    If you are going to tell me that they don’t exist you are dead wrong. Sure maybe some concessions will need to be made, but for crying out loud at St. George’s they have to take a ten minute cab ride to get the range. can you imagine if there is a rain delay and a hundred plus pro’s are shuttling their way to the range?

    There are challenges any place they choose but if the USGA can polish up Bethpage I would like to think that the RCGA could find a facility somwhere in the country that meets their criteria!

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