Canadian golf history would fill up a substantial leaflet, so it's a bit surprising to see one of the most historic courses in the area getting a blessing for redevelopment from golf writers I respect.
While seemingly on the road to historic designation that will save Jack Nicklaus' second design, two of Canada's more respected writers seem to have lost sight of the big picture which goes something like this: golf course in a natural setting or housing development?
Bob Weeks writes for TSN:
Whether Glen Abbey is really worthy of a heritage designation is certainly debatable. A detailed report prepared for the heritage committee listed some notable attributes that the course possesses, such as spectator mounding for tournament viewing and Nicklaus’s use of the “spoke-and-wheel” design style, which has the course returning to the clubhouse a number of times throughout the 18 holes.
And there are other parts of the course that seem notable, such as the bunker on the 18th hole where Tiger Woods hit one of his most famous shots (Of note is that in ClubLink’s proposal for development, that bunker was to be preserved amid all the construction).
In my opinion, Glen Abbey is not the most famous course in Canada or the best. But under the Heritage Act, a case can be made that it is deserving. In other words, it’s not the golf course that should be faulted but the criteria of the act. They are so vague and generic that any golf course, anywhere, could qualify.
Robert Thompson for the Globe and Mail:
Truthfully, history hasn’t been kind to Glen Abbey as a golf design. Some of the elements highlighted for preservation could readily be considered the biggest shortcomings of the course. Described as “unusual,” the report says the “17th green with its horseshoe configuration around a left greenside bunker … is in keeping with the design intent of the course,” and “its uniqueness and novelty in tournament play deserves attention.” Some might also just contend the green is awful, and it has even been rebuilt to deal with its challenges. Other parts of the course are pedestrian to the point of being plain and dull.
That certainly may be the case, but I'll take plain and dull and protecting this natural habitat over town homes on the rim...