Is Donald Trump Good for Golf?

Interesting situation this week:

Donald Trump is hosting both PGA Tour events: the Puerto Rico Open at Trump International Golf Club, Puerto Rico and The WGC Cadillac Championship at his newly acquired Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.

Doral brings his growing golf portfolio to more than a dozen courses, including what is arguably the world's most anticipated opening (on July 15): Trump International Golf Links, Scotland.

What I'm wondering is, if you agree that golf needs a boost in interest and participation, (as many of the game's stakeholders do), is Donald Trump's involvement a good thing?

There is certainly some evidence suggesting it is.

For example, Golf Odyssey recently reported that "swells in advance reservations are also evident" at some of Trump Scotland's neighboring courses: Royal Aberdeen, Murcar, and Cruden Bay.

"Suddenly, an oft-overlooked area is the hottest golf region in the UK," they wrote.

And, in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Gary Van Sickle, who called Trump, "the one-man answer to the golf recession," Trump said in two months he took Pine Hill Golf Club (now named Trump National Golf Club, Philadelphia) from 90 members to 350.

"I'm good for golf, Gary, what can I tell you?," Trump said.

By the way, in the same interview, Trump said he landed an upcoming U.S. Women's Open at his club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump hosting a major -- is this good for golf, too?

Again, some say he brings much-needed attention.

Others argue it's for the wrong reasons.

What do you think -- is Donald Trump good for golf?

Please share your thoughts below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
47 Comments
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Learnedithere

NO. He is self-serving, period. He didn't save any courses - he is playing the real estate game of buying distressed properties. If the value of the land becomes greater than the cash flow of his courses, I guarantee you those courses will sprout buildings! Courses in Aberdeenshire will experience a short-time spike due to the publicity of his track but the long-term impact will be more negative than positive. The destruction of the nature area and his housing development blight will more than offset any positives (economic and otherwise) he brings. Scottish golf survived and prospered for centuries before he arrived and will do so long after he is dead and forgotten. I've played all of the links (9 holers included) in the UK and IRE but have no intention of playing his artificial blight on the land. I can't wait for the day the circle of life comes full circle - the game will be much better for it.

Jim

no

David

I think the Donald is a great ambassador for the game of golf. He loves the game and is passionate about it. I was not much of a fan of the man until I watched his series on The Golf Channel, where I saw a more complete picture of him. There is much good about him that the media refuses to report, they focus on controversy and scandal. He is a very fair man, who really cares for his employees, family and club members. He is demanding, but there is nothing wrong with that, we would be in much better shape as a country if more people adhered to his high standards. He is knowledgeable about the history and traditions of golf, and respectful of them. He is talented in developing quality projects. The level of attention and detail he demands from his employees is what makes his golf courses wonderful quality courses. He has saved several courses that were in decline.

Bill Emmons

The Donald is bad for anything he comes near, notwithstanding the short term "bump" described in this article. He is an enormously insecure and enormously dishonest child, whose only concern is himself.

Worthwhile, long term, sustainable, growth in our sport can only take place/ utterly requiresat least a modicum of character, something a foreign to Mr. Trump as good hair and modesty.

Dale

Does golf need Donald Trump? Yes and no. Yes, because he can put some money into a few older courses and renovate them to modern standards, etc.

No, because all he ever does is drive up the prices to play on the courses he owns and the price to play nearby courses, and the prices to play any courses that believe they are as good or better than a "Trump" course.

Golf is already too expensive for many people, Trump is just going to make it more elitist.

Larry Gavrich

Members of The Point Golf Club on Lake Norman, north of Charlotte, are wrestling with this question in a more personal way -- they have to decide if The Donald is good for golf and them. He has made a $7 million bid to buy the upscale club and, as you might imagine, members are split over whether it is a good idea. On the one hand, he will almost assuredly upgrade the golf course and amenities but some members worry that they will pay significantly more for the improvements. As I wrote at my blog site, what's a few thousand more in dues if the values of their six- and seven-figure homes improve by a few percentage points because of the improved reputation of the club? (There are no reports if The Donald will insist on checking the birth certificates of members.)

Barry

He screwed all of his members at Trump Int'l in Palm Beach that paid upwards of $250,00 to join by taking in 100 new members for no initiation fee and around $22,000 in annual dues to boost cash flow so he could buy Doral. Who knows what he did at his other Clubs to boost membership. Is he good for golf long-term? Ask his creditors at his bankrupt casinos and hotels.

Pablo Sola

He loves golf and puts a lot of money on it.
I think he's definitely very good for the game, probably more than all of us who leave comments here...

steve pearson

The Donald is good for "developer" golf, PGA Tour golf,"trophy course" golf, and insanely expensive golf. Not so much for those who comprise the vast majority of the golfing public.If Trump wants to make a true contribution to the game I'd suggest he donate the cost of building one of his masterpieces to the First Tee program.By doing so he may even create a number of new customers.

Fred Murrell

I am personally pleased with anyone who supports golf, and Donald Trump certainly does that in a big way. He is controversial in the press, but in person he is both professional and very personable. Most big personalities have both detractors and supporters. I support Trump's efforts to promote golf. Those efforts help all golfers.

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Is Donald Trump Good for Golf?
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