One of the most important golf courses in Canada may someday cease to exist. Glen Abbey's parent company recently filed a proposal to redevelop the golf course's 230 acres into a residential and shopping area. The golf course has hosted the Canadian Open many times, and has been in operation for 40 years. It is an important part of the community in southern Ontario and the history of golf in Canada.
Canada's Globe and Mail reports that the parent company, ClubLink Corp., was not motivated by flagging profits in the golf industry or the lure of property developers' money. "This is just a very preliminary thing," CEO Rai Sahi told the paper. However, Glen Abbey occupies a very valuable slice of real estate, and another ClubLink course that closed last year may also be turned into an upscale neighborhood.
Glen Abbey was one of the first golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, who went on to design dozens of other courses. The 18th hole on the course is famous for the stunning shot Tiger Woods pulled off there at the Canadian Open in 2000.
Locals are not happy about the potential for construction on the course, or with the prospect of losing the prestige and publicity that come to the area because of Glen Abbey's place in the golf world. "Losing this site, which can never be replaced, would be a tragedy," one resident said.