As many are aware, 2017 represents the 150th anniversary of the creation of Canada as we know it. In no place will that be more celebrated than in the National Capital Region and surrounds. Countless numbers of festivities will take place to mark the occasion, and that will also include golf as some of the biggest tournaments in the nation will be conducted in Eastern Ontario.
The highest profile among them will be the CP Women’s Open. One of the biggest non-major events on the LPGA Tour, it will return to be played at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, where it was also hosted in 2008.
The tournament will have even more prominence as Brooke Henderson, an honorary member at Ottawa Hunt, will likely be the most-watched player in the field. That comes not just because she is already a major winner but because she grew up in nearby Smiths Falls and has become one of the most popular figures in Canadian sport.
When asked at the 2016 CP Women’s Open to look ahead to 2017, it was clear that the prospect of the occasion in the National Capital had been on the mind of the young pro. “You know, next year in Ottawa is going to be amazing. We (she and sister Brittany) recently became members at the Ottawa Hunt, so it’s my home golf course. It’s only 45 minutes from my house. Lots of family and friends are already asking for tickets to come down and watch. I’m just really looking forward to it. I’ve had such an amazing experience here in Calgary, and I think just being a little bit closer to home, I think the crowds will really be outstanding. I’m really, really looking forward to that…”
Lining up behind the CP Women’s Open will be a slate of other big golf championships to be hosted in Eastern Ontario in 2017. They include the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada National Capital Open, Canadian Junior Boys’ Championship (Cataraqui Golf & CC), Canadian Junior Girls’ Golf Championship (Camelot Golf & CC), and World Junior Girls Golf Championship (The Marshes). There are also rumblings that the Quebec Men’s Amateur will grace the Ottawa area in 2017.
Jay Gazeley, the Chief Operating Officer at Cataraqui G&CC says they are pleased to welcome the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in what is their centenary season. The PGA of Canada member says the event will be of benefit to the entire host city. “It’s good for Kingston, for economic development in the city, with about 150 kids with families coming in so that is a nice boost to the economy as well. ”He adds, “We’ve had some good juniors here, some good junior development programs, so it’s a natural fit for us to host it.”
The prospect of hosting a national tournament is just as enthusiastically received at Camelot Golf & Country Club east of Ottawa where Greg Richardson, the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, has not just one, but two big events on the slate for 2017. They will welcome the Canadian Junior Girls’ Golf Championship as well as the Monday Qualifying for the CP Women’s Open.
Richardson commented to Flagstick. “Camelot has recently come through a Strategic Planning exercise that includes focusing the club’s efforts on ensuring we have a championship golf course that is widely known and respected across Canada. Another key area we want to further develop is Junior Golf. As such hosting another Golf Canada national championship, that features the best Junior Girls’ golfers in Canada, is a natural fit to meet both these goals.”
He adds that hosting the National Championship also has stronger ties for the club. “On a more personal level, the club has been delighted to support accomplished Junior Girls champion Grace St-Germain, who herself won this event in 2014, and seeing her through her development over the past few years has been a matter of pride for many club Members and staff,” said Richardson. “While she has now graduated from the Junior ranks, and to Golf Canada’s National team, hosting this event continues the club’s support of Junior Golf for the next Brooke, Grace or whomever that may be.”
Across town from Camelot, at The Marshes Golf Club in Kanata, there will be a repeat performance of 2015 with the modern design once again playing host to the World Junior Girls’ Golf Championship.
Director of Golf Andrew Donaldson comments, “The Marshes Golf Club is once again honoured to be hosting the World Junior Girls Championship next September. Providing a stage for the world-best golfers to compete on while bringing recognition to our property and the supportive golf community in Ottawa is both rewarding and aspiring.”
He added, “2017 will be a celebrated year in Ottawa so we are pleased to be contributing to the festivity by showcasing the magnificent talents of these young golfers, which we hope will promote and grow junior development as a result.”
Yes, Canada Day in 2017 will create some big noise around the nation, and golf will be a big part of it for the National Capital and surrounding region.
(Editor’s Note: After this story was published Golf Canada released the date and site for the Future Links Ontario Championship for 2017…it will be held at the Brockville Country Club in May 26-28. GolfQuebec will also host the Quebec Men’s amateur at Eagle Creek GC in Dunrobin, ON on July 24-27)