Donald Trump has confirmed to Golf.com that he purchased the Turnberry Resort in Scotland on Monday night. Speaking by phone, Trump said that he wasn’t looking specifically to buy the Open venue on Scotland’s west coast, but he couldn’t pass it up after an inquiry revealed it might be on the market.
“It was an opportunity, as far as I was concerned,” Trump said. “Turnberry is considered one of the greatest courses in the world. It’s a special place. It’s an important place.”
The Independent in London reported that Trump paid Dubai-based Leisurecorp just over $63 million — 37.5 million pounds — for the resort, his 17th golf property.
The purchase of the Turnberry Hotel and its golf courses means the Donald would realize his ambition of hosting a major title. The Ailsa Course has hosted four Open Championships and was the 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 defeat, an overtime loss to Stewart Cink in 2009 when the Claret Jug was in his grasp at the 72nd hole.
Trump acknowledged the scenic beauty of the property, nodded to its historic status in golf and claimed he’s hands-off on golf course changes for the immediate future.
“Some of the greatest championships in the history of golf have taken place at Turnberry,” Trump said. “And the golf course itself is considered one of the greatest in the world. Some rate it as the best in the world. I’m not going to touch a thing unless the Royal and Ancient ask for it or approve it. I have the greatest respect for the R&A and for Peter Dawson. I won’t do anything to the golf course at all without their full stamp of approval.”
What Trump will touch is the fabled Turnberry Hotel.
“This is a fabulous property in a great location,” Trump said. We’re going to bring a new level of luxury to the hotel. Our aim is to make it the finest golf hotel in the world.”
Will he insert the Trump name into the property?
“’Trump Turnberry’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” said Trump. “We’ll make that decision fairly soon—in a couple of days.”
With whatever name the property goes by, it’s virtually certain: Donald Trump is getting himself a men’s major championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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