Donald Trump has never been a comfortable person for golf.
Not as President of the United States, a polarizing position long before the advent of Twitter or any other form of social media. Not even when he merged his affection for golf with his ambition to serve the wealthy in his hotels and golf courses.
The star of any elite level golf tournament is usually the player or the course. Unless it’s on its way, and Trump has talked about it.
And now it’s coming to an end, if it hasn’t already.
He was indeed fired.
Trump was silenced on Twitter and faces indictment for “ incitement to insurgency ” resulting from his supporters invading the U.S. capital last week. On a much smaller scale – it should be anyway – he suffered a loss when the PGA Championship was pulled from his golf club in New Jersey in 2022.
The PGA of America voted to terminate the contract on Sunday evening. More than being the right thing to do, it was the only thing.
“We are in a political situation that is beyond our control,” Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, told The The Bharat Express News.
The contract with Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey was signed in 2014, when Trump’s platform was reality TV, not the White House. A year later, Trump announced that he was seeking nomination as Republican president, and then he really started to make golf uncomfortable about his relationship with him.
His derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants when he announced his candidacy in June 2015 forced golf organizations to enter politics with concern. The backlash was still strong when Trump took to Golf Channel and said the golf industry backed him because ‘they know I’m right’.
The PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA of America and USGA have issued a statement saying he was wrong. And a week later, the PGA Golf Grand Slam at its Trump National Los Angeles was canceled.
It wasn’t just tournaments on its golf courses.
Trump said in an interview with Golf Digest in 2014 that golf got it all wrong in trying to make the game accessible to the masses. “I would make golf ambitious instead of trying to get everyone golfing to never be there anyway,” he said.
Waugh thought the PGA of America would be criticized in some corners for taking four days to decide the obvious. It wouldn’t be the first time golf has been accused of slow play. In this case, he said there were procedures to follow and, without a doubt, a contract to analyze in the event of a legal challenge.
“Our decision wasn’t about speed and timing,” said Waugh. “ What matters most to our board and leadership is protecting our brand and reputation, and the ability of our members to lead the growth of the game, which they do with so much powerful programs in their communities. ”
The R&A has been avoiding questions about the return of the British Open to Turnberry since Trump bought the scenic links on Scotland’s Ayrshire coast in 2014. He finally spoke on Monday morning with a statement that he will not be returning there -low ” until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself. ”
“And we don’t think that’s feasible under the current circumstances,” said Martin Slumbers, head of R&A.
What other golf course is?
In addition to the US Women’s Open in Bedminster and the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National in Sterling, Va., Trump Courts have already hosted two PGA Tour stops (Doral and Puerto Rico), and the first major tournament on the one of its routes has been the LPGA Tour. Championship at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida. He made sure that every player had a BMW as a courtesy car. He invited them to his seaside resort of Mar-a-Lago.
And he made sure he was on show and in charge.
One year old Karrie Webb hit a tee shot on the seventh par 3 hole that looked like it was rolling in the water until it was held back by the rough. That night, Trump said Webb was lucky because the shot should have gone into the water. Why was the grass not mowed more closely on the slope? That night, he asked his team to shave the bank and it was scalped so much that green spray paint was needed to cover the dirt.
It was in the middle of a tournament.
At the 2015 Doral World Golf Championship, Rory McIlroy was so disgusted with his shot on the eighth par 3 that he pushed his 3 iron into the lake. It happens in a sport which can be boring even for the best. Trump seized the moment by hiring divers to retrieve the club, and he put on a show of bringing the club back to McIlroy on the stand before the final round. Never mind that McIlroy already had a replacement.
“He’s never the type to miss an opportunity,” said McIlroy.
This is one of the reasons Doral, a Florida swing staple since 1962, last hosted a PGA Tour event in March 2016.
It was not a question of politics. It was about Trump. The tour couldn’t find a sponsor willing to pay $ 12 million a year knowing he would share the stage with Trump. The tournament went to Mexico, from all places.
At the time, golf’s relationship with Trump was made difficult by his ego and elitism. Now it comes to the threat to democracy, violence and destruction that killed five people, including a Capitol Hill police officer.
There is no longer a relationship with Trump and the golf tournaments.
Golf cannot let this happen again.