Donald Trump has purchased the Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, Scotland from Dubai-based Leisurecorp at a price reported by UK-based newspaper The Telegraph as being £35.7 million.
This acquisition is likely to lead to the fulfilment of Trump’s ambition to host an Open Championship. Turnberry’s 54 holes include the Ailsa course, which has hosted the Open Championship on four occasions, most recently in 2009. It was designed by Mackenzie Ross following the Second World War, during which the existing Willie Fernie-designed course had been abandoned so the land could be put to use by the military.
In an interview with Golf.Com, Trump has confirmed that he does not intend to make any alterations to the course unless asked to do so by the Royal and Ancient: “I’m not going to touch a thing unless the Royal and Ancient (R&A) ask for it or approve it,” he said. “I have the greatest respect for the R&A and for Peter Dawson. I won’t do anything to the golf course at all without their full stamp of approval.”
Speaking at the HSBC Golf Business Forum this week, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said Trump’s acquisition is unlikely to affect Turnberry’s status as an Open venue. “Turnberry is a great favourite among the players and it’s on the Open rota for sure,” said Dawson, who received a lifetime achievement award at the event in Abu Dhabi.
Dawson continued: “Donald Trump is investing in golf properties in Great Britain and Ireland. He must have great faith in the future of the game, which is very heartening from a businessman of his stature.”