Planet Golf — 14 December 2015 by GW staff and news services
R&A joins PGA in dumping Trump

The R&A has “privately decided” that Trump Turnberry will no longer be part of the Open Championship rotation, according to a report from The Independent.

Donald Trump first raised the ire of golf’s governing bodies in June for his inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, and was rebuked in a joint statement from the USGA, LPGA, PGA of America and PGA Tour.

On his final day as R&A chief executive in September, Peter Dawson called it absurd” that “something somebody said on the political trail in America” would have any impact on the rotation. “We have other priorities,” Dawson said at the time, “but that’s for a future committee to judge.”

But Trump’s latest stance – the banning of all Muslim immigrants to the United States – appears to have changed matters for the R&A, now led by Martin Slumbers.

With respect to Trump’s initial comments about Mexican immigrants and new comments about Muslim immigrants, one anonymous R&A member told the Independent: “Those who forecast worse would come, including warnings from our American cousins, have been proved correct.”

Other sources told the Independent: “One word was thrown around: Enough,” and that the 2020 Open “will not happen here. Turnberry will be back. But perhaps not Trump Turnberry.”

Trump purchased Turnberry in 2014, rebranding it Trump Turnberry. The club’s Ailsa course has hosted the Open on four occasions, most recently in 2009, when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a playoff. Earlier this year, Trump announced a plan to make significant changes to the golf course, most notably changing the ninth hole to a par 3 featuring the property’s lighthouse.

This is not the first time Trump’s political stances have potentially cost him an event. Trump and the PGA of America “mutually agreed” not to host this year’s PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Los Angeles following his initial comments on Mexican immigration. Trump said the move would give him an opportunity to renovate the golf course. The event was ultimately cancelled.

Last Friday, the PGA Tour released a statement that it will consider moving the WGC-Cadillac away from Trump Doral, which has hosted a Tour event every year since 1962.

“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” the statement read. “The PGA Tour has had a 53-year commitment to the Doral community, the greater Miami area and the charities that have benefited from the tournament. Given this commitment, we are moving forward with holding the 2016 event at the Blue Monster. Immediately after the completion of the 2016 tournament, we will explore all options regarding the event’s future.”

Turnberry most recently hosted the RICOH Women’s British Open this past summer, with LPGA head Mike Whan stating shortly before the tournament that he would prefer the event not be played there, but that the LPGA was logistically unable to move the championship with so little time.

Current major championships still scheduled for Trump golf courses include the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey and the 2017 Senior PGA at Trump National Washington.


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