For the sake of this exercise, let’s just pretend that we aren’t living in some late-capitalist cesspool of a world on the brink of revolution and instead imagine that the powers that be in this country actually cared to, you know, showcase our sport, its biggest stars, and its flagship event, one of the game’s most historic, to Canadians other than those who live within an hour of the C.N. Tower.
2023: Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club
A proven host—one that resisted scoring rather well the last time it hosted in 2011—in our second-largest city on the opposite coast. West coast starting times, yay! And it pictures well on TV, providing a uniquely Canadian backdrop.
2024: Hamilton Golf & Country Club (West/South)
A proven venue that is extremely well liked by the players. And it’s only gotten better with the latest renovation. Along with St George’s and Royal Montreal, it should be one of the “anchor sites” of the rota.
2025: Royal Montreal Golf Club (Blue)
Another proven host in a major city. The course, in its current iteration, may be a little passé, and slightly underwhelming, but it nevertheless checks many of the boxes for a “championship” test. The final few holes, especially, provide ample drama, as has been proven over the years. The massive facility is ideal for hosting events of this magnitude. Although getting to and around Ile Bizard is a bit of a logistical pain, it’s been done before and could be done again.
2026: St. Charles Country Club (Ross/Mackenzie)
The Open has not been hosted outside of BC, Ontario, and Quebec since 1961, but, by 2026, when Jim Urbina’s work here is completed, that should change. Winnipeg, as evidenced by the success of the reborn Jets, is a good sporting town and easy enough to get to, whether from the U.S.A. or from the rest of Canada. Based on Urbina’s plans, St-Charles has the potential to be a borderline top 10 course in Canada, I think. Yes, Johnny Palmer shot -25 when it last hosted in 1952, but if the golf is riveting, and the crowds are large, does that really matter? (I know it does).
2027: Pulpit Club (Pulpit)
2027 seems a bit early for a return to St George’s after 2022, so the Pulpit, although not quite as good of a golf course as St G’s, seems a good compromise. The long views, especially, and the odd architectural features of the course, would look cool on TV. Furthermore, the club is located within the GTA footprint, is easy to get to, and has ample room to house the required infrastructure. There were rumors of the L.I.V tour coming here, so the desire is there.
This is a rebirth of an abandoned Fazio project just outside Montreal that was supposed to host the open in 2006, then 2008, but ultimately never did. The vision of Gordon Stollery of Angus Glen fame and Stephen Ross of the RCGA, the plan was to “operate two 18-hole championship golf courses on a 1,000-acre parcel of land in Terrebonne, while the RCGA plans to construct and operate a 120-acre national training centre on the property. The Royal Canadian Golf Association has committed to bring the Bell Canadian Open to the CCQ courses five times over a 20-year period, with the first Open tentatively scheduled to be there in 2006. In addition, the RCGA will bring four national amateur championships to these courses over the same 20-year period.“”” I wouldn’t pick Fazio (although he’d be a fine choice) but to have a facility that would be the official home of Golf Canada—essentially a new Glen Abbey—might work now, particularly as a high-end public offering near Montreal, which currently lacks one. Frankly, to build this near Vancouver might be, in fact, the best option, especially if Shaughnessy closes, but I won’t stray that far from the original plan. My choice would be Gil Hanse for the first eighteen, and Mike DeVries for the second. This would become another anchor site.
2029: St. George’s Golf & Country Club
Hosting the open seems a perfect way to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary?
2030: Glencoe Golf & Country Club (Forest)
The obvious choice to bring the open to Alberta would be Mickelson National, but that seems out of the question for obvious reasons now. Glencoe, west of Calgary, possesses the pedigree and room to host, and the golf course (which I haven’t seen) has a reputation as being one of the toughest in Canada.
2031: Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club
A return to the west-coast after eight years. Considering the issues surrounding the land lease, perhaps this would be a swan song of sorts for the club?
2032: Hamilton Golf & Country Club (West/South)
Eight years since it last hosted.
2033: The Links at Brunello
Cabot seems far too remote to host an Open, even in such a hypothetical exercise, so, instead, this 2015 Thomas Mcbroom design gets the nod—I wanted to squeeze in a maritime venue. Located just outside Halifax, the course stood up extremely well to scoring in the 2019 Canadian Amateur. Getting the crowd around the property would be the main issue, but we could consider this a “boutique open”, like the USGA did with Merion in 2013.
2035: St. George’s Golf & Country Club
2036: St. Charles Country Club (Ross/Mackenzie)
2038: Pulpit Club (Pulpit)
2039: Royal Montreal Golf Club (Blue)
2040: Toronto Golf Club (Colt)
Another “boutique” Open at one of Canada’s most historic and best clubs. Considering the lack of options around Vancouver, perhaps this could be there, at Capilano.