Oakdale Golf and Country Club, located in suburban Toronto, is set to host the RBC Canadian Open, a major championship-esque event. Established in 1926, this Stanley Thompson original design has a rich history and is now a 27-hole facility. It will welcome 11 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, all competing for a $9 million purse and a first-place prize of $1.62 million.
The tournament course at Oakdale comprises a composite routing, with the front nine consisting of four holes from the Thompson nine and five holes from the Homenuik nine, played in a specific order. The back nine follows the Knudson nine in sequential fashion. With a par 72 scorecard, the course measures 7,264 yards and presents a unique parkland-style layout that emphasizes accuracy over power.
Renovated by architects Robbie Robinson and Ian Andrew, Oakdale challenges players with narrow fairways, lush rough, and tricky angles. Ian Andrew, in particular, stresses the importance of precision off the tee and on approach shots. The course favors players who can hit their iron shots into the 100-150 yard zone with proximity to the hole being a critical factor.
One interesting statistic to consider is "opportunities gained," which measures a player's ability to hit the ball inside 15 feet on approach shots. Several players, such as Ben Martin, Cam Young, Rory McIlroy, Ryan Gerard, and Kevin Roy, excel in this category and could be strong contenders. Putting will also be crucial, as converting birdie putts will be key to success. Players like Scott Piercy, Sahith Theegala, Dylan Wu, Sam Burns, Ben Martin, and Justin Rose are known for their birdie-making abilities.
Oakdale Golf and Country Club presents a fantastic venue for the RBC Canadian Open. Although it may not compare to other renowned golf courses, it demands respect as a national championship host. As a new course for many players, those who can adapt quickly, showcase skill with their short irons, exercise patience off the tee, and capitalize on scoring opportunities will likely emerge victorious.
With the stage set at Oakdale, both the players and spectators eagerly await the unfolding of this prestigious golf event, where attention to detail and a strategic approach will be essential for those vying for victory.