photo courtesy Golf Canada
The 2018 RBC Canadian Open, the third oldest event on the PGA Tour, is scheduled to begin play at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario July 26-29. The event has been won by many golfing legends including Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods. This year’s field is as competitive as ever, and fans are wondering if Venezuelan golfer Jhonattan Vegas can become the first golfer to win three Canadian Opens in a row. For fans visiting the Oakville and greater Toronto area, there are many exciting attractions and courses to see and experience.
Guide to Oakville, Ontario / Greater Toronto
Oakville, Ontario is a beautiful medium-sized town on the the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Visiting the lake is easy with a trip to one of the numerous lakeside parks, including Coronation Park, Water’s Edge Park and Bronte Beach Park. If you want to get into the water, nearby Lake Kelso at the Kelso Conservation Area is a great choice to beat the summer heat. In addition to swimming, visitors can rent a canoe, kayak or even a boat and explore the area. If you’re looking for more excitement, visit iFly Toronto for an indoor skydiving experience. The facility is one of only two indoor skydiving facilities in Canada and provides a safe thrill to customers. After your adrenaline wears off, head for a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens to see the world’s largest collection of lilacs or test your luck betting on the horses at the Mohawk Racetrack in nearby Campbellville.
After a busy day, try one of downtown Oakville’s dining options like Maro’s, a mediterranean restaurant noted for its delicious shawarma and generous portions. Or enjoy fine Italian dining at Cucci, featuring everything from pesto pasta and monkfish to veal tenderloin. More casual dining options include Stoney’s Bread Company, a bakery known for its delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and pizzas. Then try one of the local beers at 3 Brewers Oakville or head into Cameron’s Brewing Company to pick up one of the breweries limited edition runs. For breakfast, the Sunset Grill is the spot for delicious and hearty breakfast foods served all day including omelettes, pancakes and home fries.
Greater Toronto Area Golf
The Greater Toronto Area is home to many of Canada's best courses. Before hitting the links, head over to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame to look at the history of Canadian golf including that of the Canadian Open. After learning some history, head out to play some of the Greater Toronto Area’s best courses.
Redcrest at Cardinal Golf Club
Cardinal Golf Club is a semi-private golf club that is home to 4 courses. Redcrest, the club’s signature course, was designed by Kevin Holmes and opened in 2009. The course is relatively flat, and uses a lot of water hazards to up the challenge of this course. In fact, only 2 of the 18 holes feature no water at all. The course has generous fairways and larger greens, so if you can avoid the water you have a pretty good chance of scoring low on this course. Fairly straightforward, Redcrest offers enough surprise to keep your round of golf interesting.
Don Valley is Toronto’s best loved municipal course. The course was designed by Howard and John Watson and opened in 1956. The course is built on beautiful and lush rolling hills and conveniently located in central Toronto. The variety of holes keeps the entire round challenging, and requires strategic shotmaking throughout. Be sure to get on the course early if you can, this popular spot can play very slow during peak times in the summer.
Osprey Valley Golf Club in Alton, Ontario has three fun courses but the older Heathlands stands out above the rest. This course, designed by local architect Doug Carrick, was built on the side of an old gravel quarry to resemble a classic Scottish links style course. Naturally, the course is wide open with deep rough and treacherous pot bunkers dotting the course. Strategy is key to this layout and it plays as a no frill homage to those early links layouts.
Copper Creek’s beautiful golf course is located north of Toronto in the town of Kleinburg that has long been considered one of the area’s top public facilities. The course features numerous elevation changes and plays through thickly forested land. In fact, over 1,500 mature trees were planted on the front-9 during the course’s construction. Water also features prominently on the course, and the variety of holes means golfers will use every club in their bag during the round. The club also guarantees a full round of golf in 4.5 hours or less, offering discounts if the pace of play is slower than this rate.
Angus Glen Golf Club is a premier golfing facility hosting two splendid courses. The South Course opened in 1995 and hosted the Canadian Open in 2002. The North Course opened in 2001 and has hosted the 2007 Canadian Open. The South Course was renovated in 2015 and is known for its difficulty and beautiful views. The North Course was also given its own renovations by Donald Love III and matches the difficulty of its sister course. Consistently ranked as 2 of the best courses in the country and the only facility to host PGA Tour events at multiple courses, Angus Glen Golf Club is worth the green fees to experience championship calibre golf.