PGA Championship | PGA, Donald Trump and politics

Incidentally, the PGA had a difficult escape. The PGA Championship actually came close to providing a great platform… for Donald Trump.

Posted at 7:00 am

Michael Marwa

Michael Marwa

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place at Club Trump National Stadium in Bedminster, New Jersey, owned by the former president of the United States since 2002. However, the PGA announced in January 2021, days after the Capitol was stormed by sympathizers. From the defeated candidate in the 2020 election, the championship will instead be contested at the popular Southern Hills Club.

“It became clear that hosting the 2022 tournament in Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA’s image of the United States,” said PGA President Jim Richerson.

Last week, PGA CEO Seth Waugh attempted to explain the decision: “Everyone wanted to make a political decision, but we were dragged into the political arena in spite of ourselves. We felt that retaining the championship at Bedminster would have been seen as a political decision and that the image of our organization would have been tarnished. forever. ”

Along the same lines, the Royal and Ancient of St Andrews (R&A) who run golf in Britain have advised against playing the British Open at Turnberry Club in the near future. The popular Ailsa tournament has hosted four Omniums, but none since 2009. Trump acquired them in 2014, a year before the 2015 British Women’s Open was presented, an event whose presence caused quite a stir.

In a statement, R&A Director Martin Slippers explained: “We will not be returning [à Turnberry] Only when we are confident that full attention will be given to the tournament, the players and the track itself, and we don’t think that is possible under the current circumstances. »

Except for a few tweets on social media, Donald Trump himself did not participate in the debate, instead delegating his son Eric, the vice president of the Trump Organization.

In a statement, Bidminster club management first denounced what they saw as a breach of contract and no agreement was reached until the end of 2021, with the PGA committing to pay an estimated sum of between 10 and 20. million.

PHOTO SETH WENIG, Associated Press Archives

Trump National Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, owned by Donald Trump

A way to buy peace…and to maintain highly profitable links between the two organizations. Announced in 2014, hosting the 2022 tournament in Bedminster was just one of several parts of the PGA’s partnership with the Trump Organization.

Commenting on the settlement of their dispute last December, Eric Trump said: “We are pleased to continue to support the mission of the Association of Professional Golfers and its professionals, who are the best in the golf industry.”

“True Love” for golf

Besides business and public relations, Trump allies – and there are plenty in the golf community – have not failed to lament the championship transition.

Among the active players, Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Roy McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson have all played at least one run with Trump, the former even receiving the President’s Medal of Freedom in 2019. Most remained cautious in their comments, but some The other was more severe.

Several of the former players are also regular Trump playing partners, the most famous of which is certainly Jack Nicklaus.

The 18-time major winner, Nicklaus has never hidden his GOP preference and even took public office for Trump during the last presidential campaign, in 2020, a very rare gesture in the golfer’s career that has been met with a lot of criticism.

Photo by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters archive

Jack Nicklaus

Commenting on the association’s decision, the hero denounced what he considers to be the culture of exile “I love Seth Waugh and I think he’s doing a good job, but this change of pitch is about the culture of banishment,” Nicklaus told Fire Pit Collective.

Donald Trump may be many things, but his love of golf is sincere and he loves his country. He enjoys studying sports and its history and is a great ambassador for golf. What he brings to the future of our sport will depend on what this culture of alienation will allow him to do. »

Now 82, Niklaus once said: “He [Trump] He loves golf even more than money. However, the truth is that Trump is making use of his interest in golf very well.

In 2016, when he was elected, Trump had at least 17 sessions, including two in Scotland and one in Ireland. Bedminster was the first club he acquired, in 2002, for less than 35 million. Still under construction, the first course opened in 2004 and the club now has 36 holes.

60 kilometers from Manhattan, it is the favorite club of Trump, who made it an “accessory” of the White House during his presidency. It is also the place where his daughter Ivanka got married, as he also built a mausoleum for his family and wish to be buried there.

Trump still only had four golf clubs in 2007, but he took advantage of the financial crisis at the end of that decade to double down on acquisitions on the cheap. It seems that the businessman applies the same recipes in managing these clubs as in all his activities.

In Bedminster, the use of part of the land for farming allows the club to pay only a fraction of the taxes normally levied on golf clubs.

Despite these perks, Trump’s 17 clubs have officially accumulated losses of 315 million since he acquired them…

In 2016, during the election campaign, Trump said he would not have time to play golf if he was elected president. You guess the rest

From Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, many American presidents have taken an interest in golf, but Trump has outdone them all. recorded at least 298 golf club visits and at least 150 rounds played during his tenure, according to estimates by most news sources.

Trump made most of these visits on his own grounds, and each time he did not hesitate to charge a hefty price for his trips. Thus niche sites estimate the cost, to American taxpayers, of their president’s golf activities at more than 140 million between 2017 and 2020.

“true love”? Perhaps, but also and above all very profitable.

Good player, Donald Trump?

PHOTO MANUEL BALCE CENETA, associated press archives

Donald Trump

Donald Trump obviously prides himself on being an excellent golfer and has won the Bidminster Senior Championships multiple times. According to the PGA website, the former president has an excellent margin of error of 2.8, but has not been updated since 2009. Contrary to his claims, Trump has never played a tour. Able to play with him for the past few years, however, he realized he had a certain talent, in and around the Greens and more. However, they also deplore a certain tendency to cheat, when calculating his movements, in particular …

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