Trump takes swipe at organizers of British Open for not holding golf tournament at his Scottish course

Former president says his Scottish golf course wasn’t chosen for The Open Championship because he’s considered to be ‘too controversial’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 18 July 2021 15:51 BST
Related video: Donald Trump arrives at Turnberry

Former president Donald Trump has taken a swipe at the organisers of the British Open golf tournament for hosting it at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent, England instead of his Scottish golf course Turnberry.

“I have spent some time watching The Open Championship (formerly known as The British Open), and it is terrific!” Mr Trump said in an email from his post-presidential office.

“But as almost all of the great players, sportscasters, and golf aficionados know, the greatest site and course of all for The Open is Turnberry, in Scotland. It is truly a magical place, the players want to be there, and at some point in time the players will be there,” he added.

Mentioning himself in the third person, Mr Trump claimed that his Scottish course “was not chosen for The Open because they consider a wonderful person, and many-time Club Champion, named Donald J Trump, to be too controversial—this is, of course, a false reputation caused mainly by the Fake News Media”.

“Remember, though, controversy only makes things ‘hotter’. In any event, Turnberry is also the course where the greatest match of all time was played, nicknamed ‘The Du[e]l in the Sun,’ which boiled down to an Open between the great Jack Nicklaus and the great Tom Watson.”

The Turnberry battle during the 106th Open between Mr Nicklaus and Mr Watson took place in July 1977.

The golf course has been owned by the Trump Organization since 2014. Mr Trump, whose mother Mary Anne MacLeod Trump was Scottish-American, is thought to have paid $63million for the course.

Royal St George’s in the south-east of England, the course chosen for the 149th Open, has been criticised by some players.

“It’s not my favourite venue that we’ve played,” US pro golfer Brooks Koepka said earlier this week. “Whether it be a couple shots to nothing, a couple blind tee shots or shots in where you can’t really see much. I’m not too big of a fan of that.”

“Turnberry is on the ocean with the most spectacular holes, sightlines, shots, and seaside views of any course in the World,” Mr Trump continued.

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson shelter from a storm on the final day of the British Open held at Turnberry Golf Club on July 9 1977 in Ayr, Scotland.
Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson shelter from a storm on the final day of the British Open held at Turnberry Golf Club on July 9 1977 in Ayr, Scotland. (Getty Images)

Following the insurrection and Capitol riot on 6 January perpetrated by a pro-Trump mob, many businesses cut their connections to Mr Trump and the Trump Organization.

The Open, Europe’s only major, has been played at Turnberry four times, most recently in 2009.

UK filings by Mr Trump’s company shows that around $100m was spent on improving the course, as well as other expenses, following the acquisition.

“It is a shame that the phenomenal Turnberry Golf links, the best in the World, sits empty during Open Championships, while far lesser courses are on display. Oh well, life proceeds forward! Someday The Open will be back at Turnberry,” Mr Trump concluded.

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