Former President Donald Trump’s long-held aspiration of hosting a prestigious men’s major championship at one of his branded golf courses will remain unfulfilled. The R&A, the governing body responsible for selecting Open Championship venues, has reaffirmed its decision not to choose Trump’s Turnberry links.
Turnberry, known for its scenic beauty and storied history in golf, has witnessed legendary moments like the epic “Duel in the Sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in 1977. However, Trump’s ownership of the property since 2014 did not secure its place in the Open Championship rotation. While all other nine venues in the rotation have hosted the championship since Turnberry in 2009, it has been excluded.
Trump’s Golf Ventures and the Impact of Exclusion from the Open Championship
The R&A’s reservations about Trump’s rhetoric during his 2016 campaign and the events following his election loss led to their decision. Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, expressed in January 2021 that no Open Championship would be held at Turnberry due to concerns about the championship, players, and the course itself, given the circumstances at that time.
Today, the R&A’s stance on Turnberry remains unchanged. Security risks stemming from potential protests are still considered a significant concern, according to sources close to the organization. Eric Trump, in response, emphasized the Trump Organization’s dedication to the Open Championship and preserving Turnberry’s status as an exceptional golf course.
While Trump’s properties have hosted LIV Golf events, including Trump National Golf Club near Washington, D.C., they have yet to host any of the four majors. Trump lost the 2022 PGA Championship, previously awarded to his Bedminster property, after the 2021 U.S. Capitol riots. The major was relocated to Southern Hills in Oklahoma.
Although Trump’s desire to see the Open Championship return to Turnberry remains, the R&A’s position suggests that his dream is unlikely to be realized in the foreseeable future. Turnberry’s absence from the Open Championship underscores the ongoing impact of the events surrounding Trump’s presidency on his golf ventures.