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Donald Trump purchases Turnberry - Page 2

post #19 of 31
Originally Posted by Wally Fairway View Post

Anyway, my concern about Trump is that he likes high profile deals and they seem to be more about him and his getting publicity; and how he owns one of the jewels of the golfing world. 


I think his deals are intended to make him more money.

post #20 of 31




From the Telegraph (UK)

By James Corrigan

11:12AM BST 29 Apr 2014


The horror which greeted Telegraph Sport’s exclusive revelation that Donald Trump is in the process of buying Turnberry was akin to the reaction which would be inspired by a Peter Stringfellow purchase of the Sistine Chapel or Simon Cowell wresting control of the London Philharmonic.


Campaigns have been launched (on that plaform of courageous crusade known as “social media”, naturally) with people genuinely concerned about what this will mean for a national treasure which would surely face the acronymical humiliation of being rechristened Trump International Turnberry.


The outrage was comical in some senses but misplaced in so many others.


Trump is not waving £35m in front of a down-at-heel Scottish clan who have for centuries owned that piece of land overlooking the Firth of Clyde. He is not waving his wad in front of the Turnberry members. Trump is not even securing the resort off some greedy local council, in the manner of a property developer sending their bulldozers on to school playing fields.


Trump is buying it off Dubai.

Yes, Turnberry will no longer be owned by an oil-rich country with a somewhat dubious history of human rights, but by an individual who, the last time I looked, has never outlawed homosexuality or been castigated by multiple international agencies for his wretched treatment of migrant workers.

As far as I can deduce, Trump has yet to imprison a woman for reporting a rape. Yet he does have a funny comb-over.

But then, his opponents will point to Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and tell you to watch the 2011 documentary “You’ve Been Trumped” and to consider the rights of the humans who have always lived between the dunes on the Menie Estate.

Like many, I winced when I saw the little old lady bemoaning the excavators which had suddenly invaded her previously blissful peace and blighted her vista. It did not seem fair.

Still, nor does the fact that each and every big development has a negative effect on somebody, somewhere. Blame the planning authorities, the environmental agencies, the politicians, not Trump. He is a developer. He develops.

Trump also improves golf resorts. Doral was a crumbling mess in the middle of Miami before he bought it out of bankruptcy for $150m in 2011 and undertook a $250m overhaul. The place is unrecognisable three years later. The same is true of the majority of his 16 golf courses. Trump buys resorts in distress and does them up.

It’s a simple gameplan for which golf should be very thankful. The game does not need quality courses descending into disrepair. Doonbeg, his £12m acquisition, in Co Clare, Ireland, will be the latest to benefit from his big vision, if and when he wins planning consent.

That’s what Trump does, he improves and updates with a view to making a profit and since he has started using architects of the renown, among others, of Gil Hanse and Martin Hawtree, the game’s integrity is being maintained.

Of course, none of this should be neccesary at Turnberry. The course is fantastic as it is. Trump, who is a highly skilled golfer, knows this and any work undertaken will be more maintenance than modification. Yet it will be the very best maintenance as he ensure it remains one of golf’s greatest venues.

Which brings us on to the thought of Trump lording it over an Open Championship at Turnberry, probably some time in the next eight years.

No, it is not the most desirable of images, Trump arriving in his helicopter, “The Donald”, as the world’s best do battle on the iconic links. But I’d take that over the sight of snooty members at male-only membership venues such as Muirfield continuing to ruin the game’s image.

They are holding back the sport far more than someone like Donald, who, with all his investment, is actually a positive presence in golf. Give me “the big I am" over the bigots, any day of the week.

post #21 of 31
Originally Posted by Wally Fairway View Post



Can't say this thrills me; interested for an opinion from those on the other side of the pond?


I'm probably in a minority on this one Wally, but I'm a bit more open minded than most on it.


I think the genesis of this might be in a Trump corporate video, where Donald Jnr is looking out over the Balmedie links lamenting that the only thing it lacks is history, but that in 100 years time that will be forgotten etc He's right. In buying Turnberry though, he's now purchased 'class'. There is a fine line between class and vulgar ostentation though. Does Trump know that? True class doesn't need to scream and announce its presence. It allows others to advocate on its behalf, whilst maintaining an under-stated dignity. Not exactly characteristics you associate with Donald. The Trump brand might be synonymous with luxury, but class is different, and it will be interesting to see how the corporation manages that. I suspect he might make the mistake of equating luxury with class


We'll get an early clue with the naming. Who would fancy being the market research manager who has to explain to him that 'Turnberry' generates more affection than the word 'Trump'. Does anyone fancy telling him that there is an unspoken protocol surrounding double barrelled names. The word containing the more syllabules, is usually used first. 'Turnberry Trump' scans better than 'Trump Turnberry' (quite apart from the fact that the word Trump means to break wind in popular English - normally used by children in fairness)


Another criticism of Trump is that his courses are far too expensive. Well Turnberry is already pretty well Scotland's most expensive green fee at £250 (The Trump International is £220, and the Old Course at St Andrews £160). I should perhaps point out that the Trump International does have a discounted rate for local residents. Neither Royal Aberdeen or Cruden Bay do. Come to think of it, none of the other Scottish courses do. In truth, a lot of Trumps previous course investment has involved building from scratch, or projects with significant sunken remedial costs. He doesn't face that at Turnberry, so I'm optimistic that he won't ratchet the green fees up. Indeed, if he was thinking really smart, he could generate some fantastic PR by cutting them £25, that would knock the wind out of a few turbines!


I actually suspect that all the talk about Trump wrecking the Ailsa course is well off the mark as well. Trump for all sorts of reasons, won't want to go down as the man who destroyed one of the world's most loved courses. There is always an issue of improvement work anyway, and its important the two aren't confused. Turnberry made alterations to their 10th and 16th holes ahead of the 2009 Open, and both holes were widely regarded as having been improved. Courses evolve, that's part of development and responses to new equipment. It's also the case that we have a particularly talented generation of course architects in the world today, and Trump doesn't lack money, and is prepared to buy in what it takes. I don't believe that owner or architect would want a hand in anything that damaged the course, but both would want to improve it if they can identify the opportunity to do so. I suspect he'll have Martin Hawtree in again.


I do think that the people looking at the Ailsa course are likely looking in the wrong direction though in honesty. I would expect the hotel to be massively enhanced, as I would also expect the accommodation offer to receive a boost with more lodges and long lets built. I wouldn't be at least surprised to see the Kintyre course improved, nor would I be surprised if the Arran course were extended to 18 holes, and perhaps a fourth course built in the medium term, with who knows, a fifth to follow


The golf resort complex of the type you have in California or Florida doesn't really exist in Europe, well they don't exist in Scotland anyway. The nearest we have to these are in Spain, and to a lesser extent Portugal. The quality of the courses these resorts support however, are not in the same league as Turnberry (and when I say Turnberry, I include the Kintyre course too). What Scotland doesn't have is the climate, but then that's a big part of the links attraction anyway.


Scotland's been losing market share in Europe to Spain for the last decade, largely based on sunshine. American's can play target golf in warm climates back home though, so its not you who is going to Spain. Given the choice American's would play Scotland ahead of something they could do on the gulf coast. Scotland has 14 courses in Golf-Digest's world top-100. Scotland has a land mass about the size of South Carolina. Work it out. Where would you rather play? I'm sure Donald's looking at this. But how do you get there?.


What no one seems to have realised in all of this, is that during the 1970's a particularly ill-fated piece of regional policy gone wrong, left Prestwick with an international airport capable of taking big jumbo jets. Prestwick is about 20 miles from Turnberry (and home of the original Open championship itself from 1860). Today Prestwick largely does cargo and small charter flights. It's owned by the Scottish government, and I believe its something of a millstone round their neck. I suspect Trump could buy Prestwick for not very much and charter flights etc


I reckon Trump has got ambition to build Europe's premier international golf resort along the American model you see at places like La Quinta, using the Turnberry name and the Ailsa course to reach a level that would frankly threaten to blow the Spanish out the water. His product would be infinitely better than anything in Iberia. In terms of the international market, it would be an entry that potentially sent a shudder through quite a few resorts if apex Scottish courses were to start competing backed by Trump investment. Also don't forget he's just purchased one in Northern Ireland too. Turnberry would be a short private flight. In fact, what is even less well known is that Turnberry golf course was used as a bomber base in the war! The runways are still in tact more or less, even though they've been masked from the television cameras. 


I think this is all about the concept of golf resorts and putting Scotland at the forefront of a market that has really passed us by and which we've never entered. Trump has a free run at it, which is why I'm possibly more interested to know what his plans are for Turnberry's other two courses. That should be the clue to his intentions I'd suggest


Lets put it another way. There was no evidence that Dubai was putting money into Turnberry. Trump has a greater love for the game than some government sovereign investment fund which was otherwise holding onto Turnberry as a balacne sheet asset. I don't think the usual arguments invoked against Trump actually stack up so well in the case of Turnberry. I just hope he isn't using it as leverage in his on-going dispute with Alex Salmond, but if he did that, then his name would be mud across the world of golf, and something tells me he craves acknowledgement from this constituency as a serious golf man, and not just a property magnate. At £37M he's got a bargain. Hell, Real Madird paid £90M for Gareth Bale!

post #22 of 31

I live about 3 mins from the trump course here in Rancho Palos Verdes. Everyone I've talked to, and all the reviews I've read, and from what I've seen, leads me to believe that if donald treats all of his courses like he does this one, a bunch of people are not gonna be happy campers. he charges very high prices for everything in the pro shop, it's $30.00 for a lrg bucket of balls, the practice range is almost void of grass, yet 30 bucks...?


I've talked to 3 of his ground keepers, suffice to say they aren't totally thrilled working there, but jobs are scarce, so..


Look at the courses website sometime, outrageous green fees, for a course that only boasts ocean views, to bad the service, and the grade of the course don't match. Then again if your filthy rich, you may not care, and that's who donald caters to.  

post #23 of 31


Yep that's Turnberry golf course from the second world war. I doubt Trump could do much more damage to the course than this



This one is from the first world war when it was used as a training school for the Royal Flying Corps. They knew what they were doing! Not for them the trenches, mud, mustard gas, barbed wire, freezing temperatures and viles disease of the Somme. A qucik flight round Ailsa Craig and then an afternoon refining their long iron game



I believe this one is probably WWII despite it featuring bi-planes. Turnberry was used in the battle of the Atlantic which meant that aircraft that could stay on patrol for prolonged periods were more use than heavy bombers that used up more fuel. They were essentially trying to spot u-boats, albeit they weren't going to find many lurking around the 10th hole. Ironically there is a submarine on the Scottish golf course of Elie (well sort of) but that's another story


I should clarify as well, that my reference to a Trump course in Northern Ireland, could be an error on my part, or a rumour I'd heard. I first heard about Trump showing interest in an apex Scottish course about 3 months ago, (about the same time as he said he wouldn't spend another dime in Scotland). I'd kind of guessed it was likely to be Carnoustie, as Trump normally looks for a nearby population, which was something Turnberry doesn't have, but Carnoustie does.


Turnberry's about 60 - 90 mins from Glasgow, which wouldn't fit the British description of being nearby, but would of course conform with an American perception of proximity. The roads are pretty narrow and far from great, so there's a chance he might want to improve the infrastructure there a bit. The last train rolled out of Turnberry station in the 1940's though, whether there's any scope to plug into the old line and link it up with the west coast line that serves Troon, Irvine and Prestwick however, I wouldn't know. There's a host of course running along this track including the Gailes courses, and a new links called Dundonald (could he not accept that this one is named in his honour and leave the Turnberry name!)

post #24 of 31
Anyone investing into the sport of golf is a good guy in my eyes. Even if he seems pompous as a person.
post #25 of 31

From yesterday's Scottish Herald:




Much has been made over a possible name change for the resort, but Mr Trump said: "I haven't decided over the name yet.

"Turnberry is an important part of the name but we have not decided whether we are going to add Trump to the name."

Asked whether Trumpberry was a possibility, he replied with a resounding "no".


Is Trump showing signs of 'getting it'? If he really wanted to make a statement about the special status that Turnberry holds, the jewel in his crown, (or his so called 'Love-fest') then the single biggest gesture he could make would to set his name aside and allow Turnberry to stand alone on its own name. Only two weeks ago he was quoted as saying "Trump Turnberry has a nice sound to it" (it doesn't actually for reasons of protocol - but perhaps that's been explained since). He also said that he'd make an announcement imminently. He hasn't, and seems to be indicating that Turnberry might be given a unique status within his empire as being the one course allowed to stand alone on its own name. If he does this, then I think it's a really smart move, and in line with this nebulous concept of class that I was fishing around for earlier. At a stroke he sets Turnberry to one side as being different. It sends out all the right signals, and in many respects will give the course a higher profile for being the single Trump course that isn't given the corporate treatment

post #26 of 31
I could see him splitting the baby a bit. Leaving the course name alone, but renaming the hotel and facilities "The Trump Resort at Turnberry" or some such thing.
post #27 of 31

I think you might be onto something there David


My own suspicion (as I've said) is that he's looking at entering the 'resort' market, and transplanting that American model into Europe. He's only really got the Spanish to worry about and its a simple question of golf versus climate. If the golf is of the quality that Turnberry can undoubtedly offer, it should win


Turnberry already markets itself as the 'Turnberry Resort Hotel' but it's name only. The use of the word 'resort' needs to be qualified. I doubt Trump, or any American familiar with the concept of a golf resort complex, would recognise any of the Scottish golfing centres as 'resorts'. 


That being so, Turnberry is one hell of a global name to underwrite your resort. I honestly don't think it makes commercial sense to replace it with Trump, and risk it becoming 'yet another Trump course'.


If he wants a 'Trump course' he could rename the Kintyre course, or an 18 hole Arran course, or build a new one


I suspect that if he were hell bent on calling the whole thing Trump, he would have announced it by now. That he hasn't, and that he's seemingly signalling a compromise does make me suspect he's thinking along doing something as you describe

post #28 of 31

looking at what DT has done in the past, I could almost guarantee the name Trump will appear somewhere at Turnberry. 

post #29 of 31
Originally Posted by Hammer 4 View Post

looking at what DT has done in the past, I could almost guarantee the name Trump will appear somewhere at Turnberry. 

If I paid $57 million for something, my name would sure as hell appear at it somewhere!
post #30 of 31
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

If I paid $57 million for something, my name would sure as hell appear at it somewhere!



And there's nothing wrong with that. IMHO, I think DT want's the exposure, i.e. he loves being on TV, and I feel that one of his purposes is to get his name out there on everything he owns.


If I bought an old course like Trunberry, or the like, I'd have some doubts about changing the name, as some things are better left alone, but, that's just me.

post #31 of 31

You'd have thought that he'd look to do what will work best commercially. Also, if he's sincere about wanting to be taken in by the family as a serious 'man of golf', what will also be most palatable to the constituency he seems to be trying to embrace. He's certainly gone out of his way in the last 2 weeks to ingratiate himself to the R&A in particular and has been showering them with compliments and respect etc (would make me nervous if I were the R&A!). I wouldn't be surprised if the Turnberry name is given primacy, as I also happen to think that would be the smart call too, but I also think those of you who are saying that his own name will appear on the ticket are going to be correct as well


"Turnberry, Trump"


or something along the lines of what David's suggested with the use of the word "resort" would be my best guess

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