An iconic PGA Tour venue could have its golf course demolished as owners look to redevelop the site into residential buildings and offices.
The company that owns Glen Abbey Golf Club – ClubLink – has notified the town of Oakville, Ontario, that it plans to file an application to demolish the course, which has hosted the RBC Canadian Open a record 29 times.
ClubLink, which is Canada’s largest owner and operator of golf clubs, has been working for years to get approval to build 3,000 homes, as well as offices and parkland on the 80-hectare site.
It first filed the application to redevelop the property in October 2015, with the Town of Oakville Council responding just last month by making the golf course a heritage site in order to make it more difficult for ClubLink to do so.
According to CBC News, ClubLink CEO and chairman Rai Sahi called making the course a heritage site ‘extremely broad and overreaching’. “The town simply cannot use the Heritage Act to mandate land use,” he added. “That's simply not how the Ontario Heritage Act works.”
A ClubLink news release added that the redevelopment ‘would provide an opportunity for all members of the community to enjoy these lands and allow the town to establish an important publicly accessible connection within the valley both north and south of the lands’.
Built in 1976, Glen Abbey was the first solo design by Jack Nicklaus. It’s home to Golf Canada and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and has been owned by ClubLink since 2005.
It has hosted the RBC Canadian Open for the past three years, with the last two events won by Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas. It is currently in line to host the event again in 2018, with the official RBC Canadian Open Twitter account tweeting this:
A Twitter account - Save Glen Abbey (@saveglenabbey) - has been set-up by campaigners to raise awareness of the course's situation, with members of the public also taking to the streets in protest.