Iconic golf course owned by Donald Trump suffers new blow after guilty verdict

by Jessica
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Donald Trump owns one of Britain’s most iconic golf courses, but it’s unlikely that the Open Championship will be held anytime soon. The former US President dominated the headlines on Thursday after he was convicted on all 34 counts of falsifying business records during his criminal trial in New York. Trump, who is running in this year’s presidential election, will be sentenced on July 11.

The controversial political figure could face prison time due to the severity of his conviction. The news is a blow for Trump Turnberry, the golf course he owns in Scotland, which is hoping to be selected for the Open – one of golf’s four men’s majors.

Turnberry has seen significant investment in an attempt to position it to host the Open once again. However, due to concerns about potential protests against Trump, organizers decided to exclude it from consideration back in 2023. Turnberry last hosted the Open in 2009 before being purchased by Trump five years later.

Despite the businessman’s insistence that “everybody wants to see the Open Championship here”, sources close to the R&A – the organizers of the tournament – told The Telegraph in 2023 that Trump’s aspirations will be thwarted. It has been suggested that in order for the resort to host the Open, Trump would need to sell the course due to his connections posing a major security risk. Trump’s conviction is extremely unlikely to have helped his cause.

Nevertheless, the Trump family remains committed to their goal, hoping that the quality of their course will win out in the end. “My family is deeply committed to Scotland and has one singular focus – preserving Turnberry as the best golf course anywhere in the world,” Trump’s son Eric said in a statement last year.

Eric added: “We have invested nearly $200 million in the property. We achieved the most prestigious accolades in the world of golf and have a course that is universally considered to be the best in the Open Championship rota.” Turnberry has hosted the Open four times: 1977, 1986, 1994, and 2009. It has also hosted the Senior Open Championship seven times: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2003, 2006, and 2012. It hosted the Women’s British Open in 2002 and 2015.

The former president has been promoting his course to the open organizers, emphasizing its design quality. “It was done with a great architect,” Trump said on the renovations last year. “A great golf architect recommended by Peter Dawson… I said, give me the best one and Martin Grant Hawtree. He’s a fabulous guy, a fabulous man.

“What he does is this type of course, he really did a great job. We’re going to make a couple of little minor adjustments but it’s fantastic. Everybody wants to see the Open Championship here – the players, it’s their favorite course, it’s the No 1-rated in Europe.”

However, Trump’s aspirations might be on pause as a source close to the R&A disclosed to the Telegraph: “We have no plans to stage any of our championships there in the foreseeable future and will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players, and the course itself.”

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