Donald Trump has stirred up plenty of controversy in the UK, but his new course, Trump International Golf Links, is widely considered one his greatest creations and one of the best links courses in the world.
The BBC has aired a lengthy and scathing program on the development of Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland. In the feature, which the Beeb calls a “documentary” Trump is depicted as a rude bore and a bully who raped the Scottish landscape and took advantage of the inhabitants.
Most golfers are reacting with a collective yawn.
One UK consultant, Kevin Munt, has said he will boycott Trump International GL because of the BBC report. “I do not believe that any golfer with a conscience, having watched ‘You’ve been Trumped,’ could give the Trump organization a 200-pound green fee and enjoy their round,” Munt told "Golf Club Managment."
Golfers disagree. The course has received rave reviews, many ranking it among the best link courses in the world.
There is little doubt that it is the kind of course that may never be built again. The permitting hurdles and capital investments alone are things only someone like Trump could pull off. The entrace road to the clubhouse cost more than many new courses in total, and virtually every golf expert has declared that in this case the hype, for which The Donald is famous, is worth it.
But Munt is having none of it. “I have no intention of supporting Trump International Golf Links by remaining silent,” he said. “As a person earning my living and reputation out of the game of golf, I am not prepared to support golf at any cost. The lack of respect, intimidation, bullying and total disregard for the welfare of his neighbors that Trump has shown in the name of golf development is sickening to me and should be to others who earn their living from this game.”
Sam Baker, owner of Haversham and Baker, one of the world’s leading golf tour operators, acknowledged that his clients want to play the course, and he is more than willing to accommodate them.
“While I may have strong political views, our company is not into political issues or causes," Baker said. "We’re in the business of arranging for American country clubs and their members to experience overseas golf at its finest. We’ll leave the boycotts to those with a different agenda than ours.”
Munt seemed shocked that more people haven’t recoiled at Trump’s abrasiveness. He obviously hasn’t watched “The Apprentice.”
“I cannot find any industry comment on the film or its content,” he said. “This lack of comment is disappointing as I cannot see how Donald Trump’s approach to the realization of this project can have done anything but damage to the reputation of golf as a sport.”
But noted golf travel writer Tom Bedell, no friend of The Donald’s, summed it up the sentiments of most when he said, “Sometimes you just have to separate the art from the artist.”