Fresh off a successful grand opening of the completely renovated Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral Miami this past Thursday, February 6, the cyclone that is Trump Golf is howling again.
Donald Trump and his executive team announced that they have purchased Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland. Following the appointment of receivers in January, Trump has agreed to acquire the resort for 15 million euros ($20.5 million dollars). Not only has Trump landed Doonbeg at a bargain price, it also comes without the huge debts that plagued the previous owner, Kiawah Partners.
What does Trump get for his money? He takes hold of a flawed, but fantastic property hard by the Atlantic Ocean.
“I am thrilled to announce that we have purchased yet another incredible golf resort,” said Trump, in a statement released by the Trump Organization. “Doonbeg is already a terrific property that we will make even better. It will soon be an unparalleled resort destination with the highest standards of luxury.”
Soon to be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland, Doonbeg is a 2002 Greg Norman design sculpted from massive sandhills at the ocean’s edge. Always a fan favorite, despite some design hiccups caused by environmental issues, Doonbeg’s popularity reached new heights after a 2009 tweet from Stewart Cink: “Played Doonbeg yesterday with the kids. Course blew away my expectations. Only eight years old and looks ancient.”
Highlights at Doonbeg include the feel-good par-5 1st hole, its green nestled into an amphitheater of giant dunes, the par-4 6th, with its elevated tee perched above the beach, the par-3 9th that practically melts into the ocean and the par-3 14th a tiny terror of 111 yards that is one of the most memorable holes in Ireland.
In recent years, the project has suffered from financial issues and severe storms that have wreaked erosion-related havoc on the ocean holes. However, Doonbeg head professional Brian Shaw told Golf.com, “We got a fair bit of damage from January’s storms, but everything is easily fixable. The green surface at the 14th is intact and we have planning permission for some long stop measures. With the new ownership, the course will no doubt emerge better than ever.”
At the end of the day, Trump’s Doonbeg involvement is a victory for traveling golfers. The golf course is special, the location spectacular and the rooms and food and beverage are world-class. If Trump’s touch at his other reclamation projects is any indication, the property long known as Doonbeg has a very bright future.
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