PGA Tour Canada's Celtic Classic moving from Ben Eoin to Baddeck
Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck will take over as host from The Lakes Golf Club in Ben Eoin
A late season stop on the PGA's touring schedule in Canada will once again be in Cape Breton this year, but after three years at The Lakes Golf Club in Ben Eoin, the Celtic Classic is moving to the Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck.
Jeff Monday, the president of PGA Tour Canada, told CBC News earlier this week he was "getting the details finalized" to play in Baddeck.
The plan all along, he said, was to try to relocate the tournament around Cape Breton Island from time to time.
The Cape Breton Celtic Classic is part of PGA Tour Canada's schedule, which sees dozens of up-and-coming professional golfers play in tournaments held across the country from May through September.
Monday said the experience at The Lakes was a good one with most of the golfers finding convenient accommodations about a 20-minute drive away, in Sydney.
While there's "no official facilities agreement" signed with the new host club in Baddeck, Monday is confident he'll be able to make the official announcement in two to four weeks, complete with tournament dates.
As for the quality of Bell Bay, the president is effusive in his praise.
"Similar to The Lakes, just absolutely beautiful," he said. "Very good test of golf — a mix of long and short holes, mix of dogleg left, dogleg right holes. The par threes are tremendous."
"I think the players will really like Baddeck," Monday said, adding that many will find a place to stay in the local area while others may favour a longer trip — about an hour-long drive — into Sydney.
Jim Gilbert, the CEO of The Lakes Golf Club, told CBC News he's happy the tournament is staying in Cape Breton but had no further comment.
While the details still have to be worked out, Monday said he's hoping Bell Bay will sign on for a similar three-year contract as The Lakes did.
"That would be the goal," he said.
Monday said he's looking forward to finalizing the agreement so the players "can come back and enjoy not only the great golf, but the great hospitality."