Donald Trump poised to buy Turnberry
It is believed a deal worth €67m is close to being signed by resort’s Dubai-based owners
Buying Turnberry would expand Donald trump’s portfolio of golf courses, which also includes Trump International Golf Links, Ireland in Doonbeg, which he acquired in February for a cut price €15 million. Photograph: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Donald Trump spent a reputed €110 million in developing Trump International Resort near Aberdeen with an eye on one day hosting the British Open. Now, the American billionaire is set to get his hands on the iconic Turnberry resort, which has staged golf’s oldest championship four times, and due to host it again in a few years time, for less than half that price.
It is believed a deal is close to being signed by Trump and the resort’s Dubai-based owners Leisurecorp for €67 million, which would see the businessman expand his portfolio of golf courses, which also includes Trump International Golf Links, Ireland in Doonbeg which he acquired in February for a cut price €15 million.
Turnberry’s status as the only privately-owned links on the British Open rota is unlikely to be affected by Trump’s imminent purchase of the resort and its Ailsa and Kintyre courses.
The R&A’s chief executive Peter Dawson, speaking to the BBC at the International Golf Forum in Abu Dhabi, last evening said:
“Turnberry is a great favourite among the players and it is on the Open rota for sure . . . I don’t have any difficulty with that, whatsoever.
“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.
“I’m quite sure if he does buy Turnberry, he will be putting a lot of investment in.”
Trump’s move to buy Turnberry is a surprise given his reaction to the Scottish government’s support for a windfarm off the coast of his new links in Aberdeen which he opposed in the courts.
He lost that battle and, in vowing to appeal against the decision to allow turbines which he described as “ugly monstrosities” in an open letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Trump would be “focusing all of our investment and energy towards our new acquisition on the Atlantic Ocean (at Doonbeg).”
The availability of Turnberry, scene of the famed “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 British Open, obviously changed his mind.