Papers filed to turn Glen Abbey into housing

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Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ontario has hosted the RBC Canadian Open 27 times. If its parent company gets its way, though, it may not be hosting golf of any kind in the near future.

According to a report in Toronto's Globe and Mail, ClubLink Corporation has filed preliminary paperwork to turn the course into a residential community that would include 3,000 houses as well as offices and retail stores.

Glen Abbey has hosted the Canadian Open four times in the last eight years, including this year when Jason Day won with a dramatic birdie on the 72nd hole. It also hosted the tournament in 2000, when Tiger Woods hit one of his most memorable shots - a 6-iron from a fairway bunker on No. 18 - to edge out Grant Waite.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed course opened in 1976 and is one of seven courses that rotate as host sites for the Canadian Open. Glen Abbey is scheduled to host the event again next July, but its fate after that remains very much in doubt.

"I would imagine the Canadian Open would still be there next year," said Oakville mayor Rob Burton. "They're applying for development of all their land, basically, and indicating that golf would not be part of the future."

According to the report, the filing - known as a preconsultation - simply initiates a process that could take several years to complete. But another ClubLink-owned course in Ontario, Highland Gate, closed permanently last year and will instead be replaced by "high-end housing."

ClubLink owns more than 40 courses in Canada and Florida, and its CEO, Rai Sahi, also runs Morguard Corp., a real estate company. 

"What we are doing is...protecting the future zoning," Sahi said. "When that might get developed is some time in the future. It could be five years, 10 years. This is just a very preliminary thing."