There won’t be any golfing at Walnut Grove’s Redwoods course this year, as pipeline construction drags on longer than planned.
“We definitely will not be opening the golf course for the 2023 season,” said Doug Hawley, managing director of Redwoods Golf Course.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is being built through North Langley right now, including a section that heads north through much of the course. Work began last year, and was expected to be finished in time for a course opening this year.
“The pipeline runs through five fairways,” Hawley said, about 22 acres of the site, all the way from the north to south ends of the course, between 88th Avenue and 96th Avenue.
And since the pipeline work isn’t finished yet, that means those fairways will still be blocked until the work is done sometime in the summer.
After that, Redwoods has to rebuild the course where it’s been dug up.
This isn’t a financial calamity for the course, which will be made whole financially by the pipeline, which is itself owned by the Canadian government.
In the meantime, weddings and other private events are still taking place, although the restaurant is also closed.
While the pipeline is coming through, areas like the driving range and the unaffected fairways, bunkers, and various other features are being upgraded in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible without such a long closure, Hawley said.
The closure is also letting the undisturbed sections of turf recover in a way that’s not possible for an operating course. When they re-open, there won’t be any divots.
“When the course opens, it’s going to be amazing,” Hawley said.
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Some sort of major re-opening event will be held in the spring of 2024 when the course re-opens, Hawley said.
“I don’t know what we’ll do, we have to do something!”
Redwoods is one of two courses in Langley currently closed due to work on the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Belmont Golf Course in Fort Langley has also been closed since Oct. 15, 2022. A statement at the time said they expected work to finish by June of this year, with a re-opening date yet to be announced.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is a project that will almost triple the amount of oil and bitumen that can be pumped from Alberta through the pipeline – originally built in the 1950s – through B.C. to a refinery in Burnaby. From there, the oil is either refined or loaded onto tankers for export.
Because of the massive growth in Langley over the last 70 years, some sections of the pipeline extension are taking different routes than the original line, especially around Walnut Grove and Fort Langley.
The controversial project was opposed by environmental groups.
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