Trump Turnberry Banned by Royal & Ancient Golf Club from Hosting 2020 British Open
A striking thing about Donald Trump’s campaign is that The Establishment’s hostility to him proposing immigration restrictions is costing him serious money, but unlike so many others, he has yet to flinch.
The term “The Establishment” was a 1960s hippie phrase, but it now seems to be mostly used today on the dissident right. Who exactly is “The Establishment” is debatable, but it seems fair to include The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the ruling body of golf outside the U.S., within any definition of The Establishment.
From The Independent:
The more offensive he is, the more popular he is – but not in Scotland, and not with golf’s ruling class
James Cusick Political Correspondent @indyvoices Sunday 13 December 201575 comments
The Turnberry golf course, which has hosted the Open Championship on numerous occasions, is one of two famous golf courses Donald Trump owns in Scotland
When Donald Trump bought the famous Turnberry golf club in Ayrshire last year, he believed his name would soon be cemented alongside the legends of the game.
But his dream of handing over the trophy at The Open is in tatters, The Independent on Sunday can reveal, after golf’s governing body, headquartered in Scotland, privately decided that his reputation is now so toxic that the newly renamed Trump Turnberry can no longer host the game’s most prestigious tournament.
Controversial remarks made by Mr Trump in his campaign for the Republican nomination – about Muslims, Mexicans, Chinese and women, among others – have given him a near-pariah status in the global game, raising the risk of a boycott by sponsors and international players.
Previously, the new chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Martin Slumbers, had been expected to endorse Turnberry as a venue for the 2020 Open. …
But his call for a “total and complete shutdown” of US borders to all Muslims, until, as he claimed, “our country’s representatives figure out what’s going on”, appears to have been the final straw for the R&A.
One member, close to the championship committee, told the IoS about recent discussions: “One word was thrown around: Enough.”
The property tycoon bought the Turnberry resort in April last year from the subsidiary owned by the Dubai investment group chaired by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It was renamed Trump Turnberry and a £200m upgrade was promised.
And that gives me a chance to talk about golf courses …
Turnberry has the most spectacular site of any of the British Open courses, the Scottish equivalent of Pebble Beach. But its current golf architecture doesn’t take much advantage of its ocean clifftop location.
Fortunately, Trump has announced a host of revisions that would fully exploit the potential of the location, such as this new par 5 10th hole, which would one-up the 18th at Pebble Beach by constructing tees on the rocks by the lighthouse, offering a chance at eagle for those long enough and daring enough to risk the cliffs on both their tee shots and long iron approach shots.
Trump’s taste in golf architecture tended toward artificial waterfalls in the past, but it has improved over the decades, and his plans for Turnberry appear to be outstanding.
The purchase appeared to give the billionaire the near-guarantee that when the Open came to his place, he would be centre-stage at the winner’s presentation party on the 18th green, along with Mr Slumbers and other dignitaries, a ceremony shown to millions around the world.
Trump took time out from campaigning last summer to host the Women’s British Open at Turnberry.
Although the R&A is stuffed full of establishment figures, Turnberry with Trump is now seen as a risk they will not take. Another insider said: “2020 will not happen here. Turnberry will be back. But perhaps not Trump Turnberry.”
Even after his remarks about Muslims, Mr Trump still leads current polls of Republican voters with about 35 per cent, double his nearest rival, Ted Cruz.
However, while he may dream of handing over the Claret Jug having jetted into Scotland from the White House, the R&A doesn’t see it that way. Middle East sovereign wealth is a key element of European Tour golf sponsorship. Leading sponsors include DP World, the Dubai-based marine terminal company chaired by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
Jumeirah Golf Estates and the Emirates airline are also leading sponsors of the big-money finale to the European tour. The Damac real estate company in Dubai, currently building a multi-million-dollar golf complex marketed with the Trump signature, this week stripped his name from the project.
I’m always struck by how Trump haters assume that listing other Trump haters, such as Persian Gulf oil princes, will rally the average voter to hate Trump too.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal called Mr Trump “a disgrace to all America”, saying he should withdraw from the US presidential race.
Mr Trump’s reply indicated his disregard for any consequences. He called the prince “dopey”, saying that he wouldn’t be allowed to control US politicians when he became president.
We can’t have that: it’s unthinkable that US politicians wouldn’t be controlled by Arab oil princes.
Organisations that represent tour players in the United States and Europe, have so far said nothing official in response to Mr Trump’s racist comments. But that is not expected to last much longer….
Perhaps. But touring pros are not all that Democratic. Tom Watson was the only tour pro to vote Democratic in 1972 and he soon became a fervent Republican. Scott Simpson was the only pro to publicly express Democratic leanings in, I think, 2000.
Mr Trump himself has filed estimates which say his golf-related business is worth $1.5bn (£1bn) of his estimated $10bn fortune, though experts claim his golf assets are over-valued.
Trump has bought a bunch of top golf courses in the teeth of what may be a permanent golf recession. Does he know something everybody else doesn’t know? Or does the entrepreneur, whose mother was born in the Hebrides, just really like golf?