Donald Trump’s Turnberry Purchase Opens Major Championship Door

April 28, 2014

The 10th hole at Turnberry. (David Cannon/Getty Images) The 10th hole at Turnberry. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is poised to purchase Scotland’s legendary Turnberry Hotel, according to a story in London’s Daily Telegraph.
Is this a man bent on world domination—in golf? Not quite yet, anyway. Trump just wants to host a men’s major in his lifetime, among other ambitions. The purchase of the Turnberry Hotel and its golf courses, obviously includes the Ailsa, one of the rota courses for the Open Championship, and the Donald then would get his wish.
Trump asked me about Turnberry late in 2013, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out why. It’s an iconic property, with its grand Edwardian hotel perched atop the cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea and boasts the seaside Ailsa links, venue for Tom Watson’s greatest triumph, the “Duel in the Sun” victory over Jack Nicklaus in 1977. It was also the scene for Watson’s saddest loss, an overtime affair to Stewart Cink when the Claret Jug was in his grasp at the 72nd hole.
When Trump and I conversed on the topic of venues and majors, he chuckled, wistfully, albeit with humor. He told me his Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeen was worthy of an Open, but that he’d never get one in his lifetime, due to the fact, well, that he’s Donald Trump. “My kids will see one there, but probably not me,” he said.
If the acquisition goes forward with Turnberry, he’ll own celebrated public access properties, bookended on each coast, one classic and the other modern. He’ll also get an Open—and that’s what he wants. Say what you wish about the man, but as this year’s PGA Tour event at Doral proved, Donald Trump moves the needle in golf. We need that about now.
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