TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND | Donald Trump’s political aspirations are seriously getting in the way of his golf. Last week, for example, he was busy arguing with this person and that across the Atlantic when he could have been enjoying the best of times at the unofficial opening of his reconstructed links at Turnberry. And doing as everyone else in trying to get closest to the flag at the 11th.
The club members were the first to be let loose on the course, shortly to be followed by the golfing media. The anticipated protesters will no doubt add a different dimension to the coverage when Trump arrives for the official opening on 24 June but, last Tuesday, the golf-writing fraternity were dispensing nothing but praise.
Trump has thrown at least £200 million at the course and the hotel and, if you forget the pseudo-Roman fountain in front of the clubhouse, the money could not have been better spent.
Martin Ebert, the course architect recommended by the R&A, has done everything that could have been done to make the most of the Turnberry landscape. The fourth now runs alongside a previously hidden stretch of beach, while the ninth, 10th and 11th hug the rugged clifftops to a scintillating degree. What is more, women, who are so often forgotten in the process of golf course design, have not been denied the fun of hitting over the water. At both the ninth and the 11th, Ebert and his team have uncovered appropriately exhilarating teeing positions for even the shortest hitters on the distaff side of the game.
No-one was saying as much, but Trump must have been delighted when Muirfield’s “no-women” vote cost them their place on the Open rota. It could mean that Turnberry will slip seamlessly into what should have been Muirfield’s slot in 2022 or 2023. (That, of course, presupposes that Trump will escape unscathed following a fresh airing of what he said…..READ FULL ARTICLE