Donald Trump has officially opened his Scottish links course, reaffirming in the process his belief that he, along with course architect Martin Hawtree, has created 'the greatest golf course anywhere in the world'.
Trump struck the opening ball on the Aberdeen course, believed to have cost around £100 million to build on 10 July, playing alongside former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie. But Montgomerie, along with fellow Scottish pros Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird, were the recipients of letters from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, urging them to boycott the nine holes of the course constructed on a former mobile sand dune, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The letters, from Trust director of conservation Jonathan Hughes, said: “The construction of the course has killed the scientific interest of the dunes, and led to the loss of very rare dune wetland habitats. We are therefore writing to ask you not to play the nine holes built on the SSSI and in doing so send a clear message that unsustainable, environmentally destructive developments such as the Trump course have no place in Scotland.”
Hughes told the media: “Golf and the environment can go hand in hand and we believe golfers have a vital role in championing environmentally sustainable course design and management. The collective voices of Messrs Montgomerie, Lawrie and Laird could make a huge difference and we are urging them to do the right thing, for the sake of both golf and the environment.”
Trump confirmed his intention to move on with the construction of the rest of the resort on the Menie Estate, north of Aberdeen, if the Scottish Executive strikes down plans to build an offshore windfarm nearby. “As soon as we find out that they are not going to destroy Scotland by building windmills all over the place we will start immediately on the hotel. We're all set with it,” he said.
GCA will be visiting and playing the Trump course later this week, and will report in detail on the course shortly afterwards.