Reports Link Donald Trump To $58M Purchase Of Turnberry From Leisurecorp
Donald Trump "is set to buy himself a piece of golf’s most historic tournament" with a £35M ($58M) deal for Scotland's Turnberry golf course, expected to be finalized soon, according to James Corrigan of the London TELEGRAPH. The "revered" South Ayrshire course, which is "almost guaranteed to host its fifth Open in the next decade," is currently owned by Leisurecorp, a subsidiary of the Dubai government, and has been "unofficially up for sale since the global financial downturn hit the emirate so hard." Dubai bought the resort -- which includes two other courses as well as a golf academy, a five-star hotel and lodge and cottage accommodations -- for £52M ($87M). Yet Trump "is ready to increase his ever-expanding golfing empire" -- which currently stands at 16 resorts -- by paying almost £17M ($28M) less than the Sheikhs "at the same time as earning himself a place at the heart of the game’s establishment." A source said, “The deal is not done yet, but it should be soon.” It "will be interesting" to see how the Royal & Ancient reacts to Trump’s purchase. However, "it would be highly doubtful Trump would affect the course’s status on the rota." Within the sport, Trump’s influence "is seen as positive, as he has updated and substantially improved golf resorts" (TELEGRAPH, 4/27). In Glasgow, Jody Harrison reported Turnberry "is the only course on the Open roster which is in private hands." Leisurecorp are "known to be keen to sell." Trump, who already owns the Menie golf resort course in Aberdeenshire, "has previously said he would not invest in Scotland again after falling out with the Scottish Government over plans to construct an offshore windfarm in Aberdeen bay." However, "it appears that the chance to get his hands on" a course due to host the Open has been "too much to resist for the businessman" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 4/28).