Like the Men’s Open, the C.P. Women’s Open in recent years has regained much of the vaunted repute it once possessed, prior to it losing its major championship status in 2000. Unlike the roster of Men’s Open venues, however, the roster of recent Women’s Open venues is geographically varied, mainly as a result of its less strenuous infrastructural demands, both to the host golf course and to the surrounding logistics. All in all, the roster is quite interesting; nevertheless, I’ll try to improve upon it.
2023: Laval-Sur-Le-Lac (Blue)
Since Shaughnessy, the scheduled host for the 2023 Women’s Open, was selected by yours truly to host the Men’s Open in 2023 (an overlap I wasn’t aware of prior to writing last week’s article), I’ve instead selected this wonderful Ian Andrew/Mike Weir collaboration as its replacement. And it is a fine one indeed. Considering that the vast majority of women play a far different, far more strategic and thoughtful (read: interesting) game than their male counterparts, I believe that watching them try to navigate the bold contouring of the fairways and the kickers and feeders slopes near and on the greens (as opposed to simply playing it through the air like the men would) would be riveting to witness, especially in late-August when conditions are firmer. Like at the nearby Royal Montreal, getting to and from the course is a bit tedious, but, because of the slightly smaller crowds, I think it would be somewhat manageable.
I omitted to select a host course from the Edmonton area in last week’s article, so this is my rectification. Like Laval, this 2004 Rod Whitman design is slightly out of the way, but, once again, I think the logistical issues could be worked around. The scene down the stretch, with the fading sun illuminating the river beside which the final holes are routed, would be incredible on TV.
2025: Royal Ottawa
Host of the final du Maurier Classic, the newly renovated course would make a great host. Largely to cheer on Brooke Henderson, the hometown hero, Ottawans have flocked to the Hunt Club when it has hosted recently, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t cross the river to do so at Royal.
Although probably too short and cramped to host the men, Cap would be a perfect host, I think, for the Women’s Open. The scenery—from the mountains, to the pines, to the long views across to downtown Vancouver—would dazzle and the architecture of the course would shine.
My token G.T.A. selection is this historic venue where Arnold Palmer won his first PGA Tour event in 1955; at 6800 yards, however, the course is too short to host the men any longer, but perfect for the women. By 2027, Andy Staples will have worked his work, and I am sure that crowds would flock to the venue.
Taking a page from the USGA’s playbook for Pinehurst, CGQ’s introduction to the golf world would be a double dip in 2028. After all, ain’t that the point of this project? Having a few weeks between the events would help the turf recover, especially around the greens where divots tend to cluster.
2029: Ottawa Hunt
A proven host that’s delivered highly successful events repeatedly.
2030: Cabot Cliffs
Coming after three “surefire” venues, the powers-that-be could afford a “boutique” open, and where better to do so than here? I can’t see any realistic scenario where this would work, but we can dream, can’t we?
This piece accompanies “A Hypothetical Roster of Future Canadian Opens,” discussing future RBC Canadian Open venues. To view the first edition of the series, click here.