Before launching his presidential bid, the American keeps an eye on his beloved Scottish golf resorts – and causes a stir with his Scottish Open comments
DONALD TRUMP jetted into Scotland recently and didn’t waste any time getting down to business. The American is close to completing the finishing touches to the so-called Trump Triangle, the link between his properties in Aberdeen and Turnberry in Scotland, and Doonbeg in Ireland, and in typical bullish fashion, he also stated that the Scottish Open was, potentially, on its way to his Aberdeen resort, with only the paperwork to be completed.
“The Scottish Open is coming and the Scottish Open wants to be here permanently, forever,” he was quoted saying in the Financial Times.
The Scottish Open will be held this year at Gullane and Castle Stuart in 2016, meaning the next available date for Trump to acquire the event is in 2017. Trump, who recently announced he is going for the US Presidency, is a noted friend of Martin Gilbert, the chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, title sponsor of the Scottish Open, and their relationship might work well for both parties.
In a rousing speech at the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce dinner earlier this year, Trump said he would be spending around £200m on redeveloping the entire resort at Turnberry - including work on both courses - and work is well underway. “I’m going to make it the best in the world,” he said. The first phase of that project has been unveiled, a brand new luxurious upgrade to the clubhouse. The building is now ready in time for the staging of the Ricoh Women’s British Open in late July.
Changes included the creation of a new East-facing balcony, an extended retail shop, and a new restaurant named ‘The Duel in the Sun’ in honour of the play-off between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 Open.
The renovation completes the first phase of a two-year upgrade to Turnberry which started last year and includes “dramatic and sensitive improvements” to the Ailsa course, a rebuilding of the Kintyre course, and a makeover of the hotel to the “highest standards of luxury”. The Trump organisation says all of this work will begin in October.
“Our vision for Trump Turnberry is to make this unique and special place the finest golf resort in the world,” said Trump at the reopening of the clubhouse. “(The clubhouse) is on track to becoming the world’s most impressive 19th hole.”
The Trump organisation also opened the new £5million clubhouse at the Trump resort in Aberdeen, with, obviously, a view to it becoming a regular stop-off on the European Tour. The clubhouse now boasts a pro-shop twice the size of the original one, whilst the building includes two new “snugs”, otherwise known as lounge areas where you can relax before and after your round.