NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Trump Golf is one of the sectors of Donald Trump’s vast development empire that the President has been most passionate about over the years. The organization is one of the most globally recognized brands in luxury golf properties, owning and operating 19 properties around the world, from New York to Scotland, and Los Angeles to Dubai. Of those, 12 are in the United States.
Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, was the first acquisition by The Trump Organization back in 1999. Three years later, the Trump Golf portfolio expanded with the purchase of Trump National Golf Club Westchester, a Jim Fazio design just 30 minutes from Manhattan. In 2004, Trump National Bedminster opened amid the rolling horse country of central New Jersey; it’s now a highly-ranked 36-hole facility that hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and will be home to the 2022 PGA Championship.
Over the past 15 years, 14 more facilities have been added to the Trump Golf portfolio, the most recent being two in Dubai and two more in Indonesia. Phil Mickelson is redesigning an 18-hole course along the Indian Ocean that will become Trump International Resort & Golf Club Bali.
Golf is more to us than a game or sport – It celebrates history, tradition and family values that are carried beyond the course.
— Trump Golf (@TrumpGolf) May 1, 2019
Trump isn’t currently involved in Trump Golf’s operations, which instead are overseen by his son, Eric. But Trump certainly remains closely involved in the game during his presidency, both frequently playing and visiting his clubs. He recently referred to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, as the “Southern White House” on Twitter. As with many of President Trump’s involvements or decisions, his company’s golf projects and investments are frequently mired in controversy, drawing opposition from detractors or locals.
Trump’s first European golf project was built in Aberdeen, Scotland, on a property featuring massive dunes and imposing coastline that he bought in a remote corner of his mother’s home country.
The Trump Organization in 2013 acquired the Doral Resort and its four Miami-area golf courses, pouring $250 million into a property that was renamed Trump National Doral. The following year, Trump Golf added two iconic properties overseas – Doonbeg in Ireland (Trump International Golf Links Ireland) and Turnberry in Scotland (Trump Turnberry).
Trump has long said his courses are worthy of hosting major championships and Turnberry’s Ailsa Course has, as the site of the British Open in 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009. The property also opened a newly designed course, King Robert the Bruce, in 2017.
Trump Golf also helped complete the first new 18-hole course to open in New York in more than 50 years, with the public Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point opening in 2014.
Politics aside, Trump’s investment in the game of golf has been noteworthy.
At a time when many groups or individuals have been reluctant to put money into golf properties, Trump Golf has continued to grow and develop a reputation as one of the game’s foremost brands for luxury golf properties.
Trump Golf also invests heavily into many of its acquisitions — often controversially — including the substantial upgrades and overhauls done at both Doral and Turnberry, and the building of Trump International in Scotland, all of which are open to public play in contrast to the organization’s other high-end private clubs.