Langley's Redwoods GC May Not Re-Open Until 2024

The Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Continues At Langley's Redwoods GC - Image Courtesy Redwoods

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

A closure that was anticipated to last six months could drag on for two years as work on the Trans Mountain pipeline project continues at a snail’s pace at Redwoods Golf Course in Langley. 

When the last shots were struck at Redwoods on April 18 of this year, the hope was the popular course would be back up and and running this fall. But managing director Doug Hawley’s worst fears are now being realized....

“It’s been a much longer process than advertised,” Hawley says. “Every day, our hopes of opening for 2023 get smaller and smaller.” 

Redwoods is being compensated for the time it remains closed, but Hawley has understandable concerns about being shut down for such a long time. “When you close a golf course for two full seasons and take it completely out of the market, everyone’s habits adjust,” Hawley says. 

Hawley worries that some of Redwoods’ former customers will have moved on and found somewhere else to play by the time they get the course re-opened. “It is very disappointing. You spend 30 years welcoming people to the door every day and you open the door and there’s nobody here. . .it’s just hard.” 

If there is any kind of silver lining, it’s that Redwoods — already recognized as an excellent course — will emerge from this closure even better. Course superintendent Peter Szarka and his staff have been kept on and are working on numerous improvements to areas of the course not affected by the pipeline work. 

Image Courtesy Redwoods GC

Redwoods has also closed its driving range for a major renovation. It will re-open in May. Ted Locke, the original architect of the course, is consulting with the course on other improvements. “All 54 of our bunkers are being fully renovated,” Hawley says.

Click HERE to see more pipeline construction photos at Redwoods. 

“We are expanding some tees and doing lots of extra drainage. A number of our fairways, like No. 9, are being completely re-done. There is a lot happening on our side of things, so when we re-open it will never have been in such good shape. It will be pretty spectacular.”

Hawley hopes that is sooner rather than later. Right now, the best-case scenario is that Trans Mountain wraps up its work early next summer and the course re-opens next fall after restoration work is done. But Hawley rates the chances of a fall 2023 re-opening as “slim.” 

“We are anticipating they will be completed early summer. And then we’ll be in the restoration phase. I would imagine about the middle of June or the 1st of July we’ll know then what is happening. We have to get on to the restoration work. We don’t know how long it is going to take us to restore it. We just need them off site. Weather plays a big part in it. If it is a wet spring that will put them even further behind.”

Redwoods has kept its banquet business running during the course closure.

BIG IMPACT: Belmont, another Langley course, has also been closed by the Trans Mountain pipeline construction. The work there is not as intrusive as what Redwoods is experiencing and Belmont is expected to re-open next summer. Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford remained open with some changes to its routing during pipeline work on its course that is now completed.

Kinkora Golf Course, an executive course in Chilliwack, is also currently closed due to pipeline work. The Trans Mountain pipeline is going around the perimeter of Eaglequest Golf in Coquitlam, but general manager Luke McKenzie says it is not having any impact on his facility’s operations. “It is not affecting us at all, thank goodness,” McKenzie says.