by Jeff Skinner
Love him or hate him, we have to admit that Donald Trump has acquired himself a fairly extensive selection of golf courses. “The Donald” calls himself an avid golfer that is”committed to creating the world’s finest portfolio of golf courses.” He appears very committed to me. After all, how many course owners carry a big divot of turf around on their head? Trump is special; according to him every course he owns is the “best in the world.”
Trump has courses on both US coasts and a sprinkling of international courses. His most controversial project in Aberdeen, Scotland has taken another step forward this week as Trump named Ireland based SOL Golf Course Construction as its main contractor. SOL has worked on many Open Championship courses including St. Andrews, Royal Liverpool, Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale. Dr. Martin Hawtree is the course architect and has also worked on Open Championship courses.
The Scottish government has been very active in assisting Trump in acquiring the land he needs to complete his project. He has been awarded “special purchaser” status by local authorities which makes him the only one allowed to apply to purchase a half-acre plot that is critical to his plan. There are still a few holdouts that refuse to sell to Trump, but those parcels are not as critical to the development.
It looks like Trump is getting most everything he wants from the Scots and maybe even a little more. Local school children will spend time on Trumps’ seaside property planting grass on the sand dunes. The grass is used to stabilize the dunes and the program is part of an educational collaboration between the local council and Trump International. The local school is happy to give the kids a chance to understand their heritage and utilize the project for outdoor learning. Oh yea, Trump gets some free labor too, like he really needs it. For all the controversy, Trump looks to be making out fine.