Donald Trump will have to sell his Turnberry golf resort before the Scottish course is considered for another Open Championship.
The 45th US president has been lobbying for his Ayrshire venue to be picked again, saying this month that “everybody wants to see the Open Championship here”.
However, insiders close to the R&A, the company which runs golf’s original championship, confirmed he is facing rejection again, with organisers adamant he will not be considered. Trump was told he was unlikely to get an Open after the US Capitol attack in January 2021. One source said the position remained just as robust as it did then due to the perceived security risk from potential protests.
The 151st Open takes place this summer at Royal Liverpool from July 16. But Trump, who is seen as likely to be the Republican nominee for a potential second stint in the White House, has been talking up relations with the R&A in recent months. In an interview with GB News during his last visit to the course on May 3, he said he had “spent a tremendous amount of money” redeveloping the course following advice from former chief executive of The R&A, Peter Dawson.
“It was done with a great architect,” he said. “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.”
He added: “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 favourite course, it’s the number one rated in Europe.”
Big events coming to Trump courses
Trump will host his biggest male tournament in the UK to date in August – the PGA Seniors Championship at his controversial links course near Aberdeen. There are also plans to host a LIV event at Doonbeg in Co Clare, perhaps next year. This year his courses are staging three of the Saudi-funded circuit’s events, including last week in Washington DC.
Trump purchased Turnberry in 2014, five years after it last staged golf’s oldest major. The R&A’s chief executive, Martin Slumbers, first said in Jan 2021 that his organisation “had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future”.
Three years on, an R&A source told Telegraph Sport “our position remains unchanged”. The source added: “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,” the insider added. Another insider close to tours added: “The way it looks now, he would have to sell up before anything changes.”
The former US president spent time at the resort in South Ayrshire three weeks ago. Trump Turnberry staff waved hats which said “Made Turnberry Great Again” as they greeted him.
He is still facing court action in the United States. He has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and is also facing a civil trial over an allegation that he raped an advice columnist in the mid-1990s.