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Short Game: Angus Glen anticipated Pan Am golf venue

Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont., is expected to be announced soon as the host venue for the inaugural Pan American Games golf tournament in 2015.

The public facility’s South course has been mentioned as the site, most notably last December by Bob Weeks in his blog on ScoreGolf magazine’s website, but never officially announced.

Teddy Katz, director of media relations and chief spokesperson for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am organizing committee, could not confirm Angus Glen as the host this week but said his group is “close to finalizing and announcing our plans” for the tournament.

Angus Glen director of golf Allan McDonell said he couldn’t comment when reached Thursday afternoon.

The Games will use 24 venues for the 36 sports that will be contested in Toronto and area in 2015. Markham will also play host to badminton, table tennis and water polo.

The golf site is one of the few that hasn’t been named. But two sources close to the event this week confirmed that Angus Glen was chosen from among the clubs that put forth bids last year. The Games’ Wikipedia page also lists Angus Glen as the tournament’s home.

The event is expected to be 72 holes of stroke play for 64 players: 16 two-person teams for each of the men’s and women’s divisions.

A final decision on whether the participants will be professional, amateur or a mix of both seems to be behind the delay in making an announcement on the tournament, which has been proposed for July 14 through 17, 2015.

Golf has been added to the Pan Am program for the first time in the multisport event’s history as a sort of warm-up for the game’s return to the Olympics in 2016.

Angus Glen is no stranger to elite competitions. Its South course has held the men’s Canadian Open (2002) and the Canadian Women’s Open (2001), as well as the Telus Skins Game exhibition (2001). Its North course also held the Canadian Open (2007).

Pan Am competitors would get a spiffed up South course. The track is in the early stages of a significant renovation to Doug Carrick’s original design. Workers have begun digging up the irrigation system in anticipation of installing larger pipes that are expected to be more water-efficient.

The bulk of the makeover will be done after the course is shut down for the season on Sept. 1.

The changes, which will be done by England-based architects Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert and largely completed by May 27, 2014, will include moving the tee box on the first hole to create a sight line to the green, adding a pond on the third and 11th holes, transforming the 15th into a drivable par-four and resurfacing the greens. Cosmetic changes are to include replacing some bluegrass with fescue.

The renovation plans were revealed this winter but positioned as a “revitalization” of the popular 18-year-old course that has been a favourite for corporate tournaments and daily-fee players, not as a prep for a major event.

“We feel committed to this course for the long term,” club president Cailey Stollery was quoted as saying in a Markham Economist and Sun story in April. “This will showcase Angus Glen and how great the property is.”

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Any news on Ceremonies? I am quite looking forward to Toronto's opening, expecting something good, esp after Vancouver which i enjoyed very much

Yes the director position for all four ceremonies was put out for a RFP last week.



Another image of Welland's canoe/kayak centre


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Didn't Ian Troop say that it was going to be "simple"? -.-

I remember he said that about the Toronto presentation at the Closing Ceremonies in Guadalajara. Not sure what the budget is for the actual ceremonies for the Toronto games.

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The field hockey venue fiaso continues:

U of T vows to bill city if council quashes plans for artificial turf

The University of Toronto is promising to send the city a bill it estimates at more than $12-million if city councillors vote this week to block the school’s installation of artificial turf on its back campus ahead of the 2015 Pan-Am Games.

It is expected that Mayor Rob Ford will make the vote his key item at this week’s council meeting, and will argue against a motion to designate the storied natural grass field as a cultural heritage landscape. If the motion passes, the university’s $9.5-million plan to build a pair of artificial field hockey surfaces will be halted in its tracks. The debate likely will be timed to take place on Wednesday, city hall sources told The Globe and Mail.

Councillor Adam Vaughan steered the heritage motion to the city’s preservation board late last month, which sent it to council.The fields are intended to be used when Toronto hosts the Pan/Parapan American Games, and by the university community for years afterward. But a war of words has escalated ahead of the vote and prominent figures have weighed in on both sides. Author Margaret Atwood has made known her opposition to the artificial turf, while Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut has said it’s the right move for sport in the city. Meanwhile, the plan’s detractors have already begun considering a possible alternative site in Brampton.

“Before we do anything that’s irreversible and before we cut into trees’ root systems and put new light standards up and all these sorts of things, we want to make sure that we’re not doing something that’s going to do irreparable harm,” he said.

Both U of T and Pan-Am officials are upset the motion has been introduced so late. The U of T made public mention of “a world-class double artificial turf field on its back campus” as early as 2009, and the project was approved in April, 2011. Construction is planned to start on July 1.

“The University will fight this as hard as we can,” said Scott Mabury, U of T’s vice-president of university operations., adding a heritage motion could have “significant financial impact to the city, because we will pursue damages to establish any new facility if we had to go some place else.”

Moving the site could cost $12-million to $13-million, he said, and “substantial additional damages are possible, presumably in the millions of dollars,” to unwind existing contracts.

Mr. Vaughan brushed aside Mr. Mabury’s warning, saying, “We have an issue we have to resolve,” and that U of T is acting “like a bunch of jocks, frankly.”

The university argues the synthetic turf will give students on the downtown campus better year-round access compared with the current grass, which is muddy and uneven. Mr. Aubut of the Olympic Committee and Gaétan Tardif, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, have both written letters urging city councillors to allow the artficial turf, creating a legacy for sport in Toronto.

“The cultural heritage of the back campus has been sport. You go by there today, there are goal posts,” said Bruce Kidd, warden of U of T’s Hart House and a proponent of the artificial fields.

In an e-mail, chief Pan-Am spokesman Teddy Katz called the issue “very serious,” urging council to “make the right decision.”

“Coming at the 11th hour just before we’re to begin construction, this could have significant financial implications for the Games,” Mr. Katz said.

“Yeah, sure, it’s the 11th hour,” counters Suzanne Akbari, a professor of English at U of T, who has helped spearhead community opposition. “The reason why is because all the decisions were done in camera, the contracts were signed, and then the announcements started to be made several months later.”

The plan’s vocal detractors have argued a cherished green space will be ruined, and also raised a host of environmental and accessibility concerns. In a recent letter to U of T president David Naylor, former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson wrote, “I wanted to signal to you my dismay and disapproval of this project even though I understand that the bulldozers are on their way.”

A grassroots group called Keep Back Campus Green is exploring whether the project could be moved to a similar artificial field hockey venue just built at Brampton’s Cassie Campbell Community Centre, and a second surface added there. Mr. Vaughan argues that would be cheaper, and said Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell is “willing to have the conversation.”

A spokesman for Ms. Fennell said TO2015 organizers have made no formal request about Pan-Am venues, and until they do, “Mayor Fennell and the City of Brampton will not discuss hosting any games, at any venue.”

With a report from Elizabeth Church

Edited by intoronto
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