Donald Trump on Verge of Buying Historic Turnberry in Scotland

Fred AltvaterContributor IIApril 30, 2014

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is buying Turnberry.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is buying Turnberry.Associated Press

The Telegraph reported that Donald Trump is in the process of adding another golf property to his vast real estate holdings.  

Trump is purchasing historic Turnberry in Scotland. Yes, that Turnberry, the site of the "Duel in the Sun" with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson battling for four rounds over the iconic links course in 1977, with Watson eventually emerging as the winner.  

This is the very same course, where at the age of 59, Watson once again nearly won his sixth Open Championship. He totally captivated the golf world that week, and every golf fan was pulling for him to hoist one more Claret Jug.

According to reports, Trump is spending £35 million ($59 million). Leisurecorp, a subsidiary of Dubai World, purchased Turnberry in 2008, and it has been managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts under the Westin brand.

The consensus is that the Trump purchase is a good thing for the resort. He has a history of investing millions of dollars to improve golf properties and make them even better.

His recent renovation of Doral in Miami has drawn rave revues. The $250 million investment at Doral is an example of Trump bringing an old iconic golf resort and hotel into the 21st century.

Trump has wanted to host a major championship for some time. He will probably get his chance. Turnberry has been the site of four Open Championships throughout the years.

Tom Watson beat Nicklaus in 1977, Greg Norman won in 1986, Nick Price claimed the Claret Jug in 1994 and Stewart Cink outlasted Watson in 2009.

Turnberry has also hosted seven Senior Open Championships, with winners Neil Coles, Gary Player (twice), Bob Charles, Tom Watson, Loren Roberts and Fred Couples.

Karrie Webb won the Women’s British Open when it was held there in 2002.

The resort sits on the Firth of Clyde in southwestern Scotland. It is comprised of three links golf courses, a golf academy, a five-star hotel, plus a lodge and cottages.

All things considered, $59 million doesn’t seem like all that much for such an iconic landmark in the home of golf.

Turnberry also has great historical significance as it was a Royal Air Force airbase in both WWI and WWII. The hotel was converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers.

With the purchases of Doonbeg in Ireland along with Turnberry, Trump now has 16 golf properties worldwide.

The purchase of Turnberry also alleviates a small problem for The R&A. Turnberry was a male-only private club. Trump is sure to add women to the membership.

The R&A will vote in September to allow women members into that august society, and they will certainly require that future Open Championship host venues accept women members.

Trump is an avid golfer and brings a ton of money to upgrade and improve a historic old facility.

It should be a win-win for Scotland, The R&A, Turnberry and golf in general.