Glen Abbey After the Canadian Open

You watched on TV as Dustin Johnson beat the field at the 2018 Canadian Open. But how would you score at world-famous Glen Abbey? Now that the Open crowds have dispersed, it’s time to find out.

Glen Abbey Golf Club (Image: Clublink)

Glen Abbey is a championship test in every sense. Fairways are tightly trapped, greens heavily contoured, and water comes into play on 11 holes. (Image: ClubLink)

 

(Last updated July 2018.)

Dustin Johnson’s triumph in the 2018 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club marked the 30th playing of our national championship at the Jack Nicklaus-designed beauty. Immortals Greg Norman, Lee Trevino, Curtis Strange and Nick Price all won twice at the Abbey, back in the days when the tournament was considered golf’s unofficial fifth major. Nicklaus himself was the runner-up three times there, bringing to seven his frustrating tally of second-place finishes in the Open without a victory.

But perhaps the most unforgettable champion of all was Tiger Woods, who sealed his win in the 2000 Open with an astonishing 213-yard bunker shot over water to the 18th green.

Memories of tournaments past might soon be all that’s left for fans of Glen Abbey, which is scheduled for redevelopment by ClubLink, the property’s owner. The 2019 Canadian Open will be played at nearby Hamilton Golf Club. The tournament is also moving to early June on the PGA Tour’s schedule, one week before the U.S. Open.

So take your shot at this world-famous course before it’s too late. And be sure to bring your A-game. Glen Abbey, located about 30 minutes west of Toronto in Oakville, is a championship test in every sense. Fairways are tightly trapped, greens heavily contoured, and water comes into play on 11 holes.

But Nicklaus, in his first solo commission as a golf architect, saved his best work for the valley holes, 11 through 15, which run alongside twisting Sixteen Mile Creek. This stretch starts thrillingly with a drive off the 11th tee into a wooded gorge some 120 feet below. During an Open practice round, John Daly once awed onlookers by driving a ball into the creek 396 yards away.

Like a symphony conductor, Nicklaus builds momentum slowly before ending with a wallop on the par-five 18th. Ever since Woods’ astounding bunker shot on this hole in 2000, few golfers have been able to resist the temptation to drop a ball in the same bunker and try their luck.

Also found at Glen Abbey is the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, an entertaining showcase for exhibits recounting the history of golf in Canada.

For a rundown of the top courses in the Greater Toronto Area, see our feature story Toronto: Canada’s Great Unsung Golf Destination.

 

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