THE new Donald Trump golf course has
officially opened in Aberdeen.
The man himself struck the first shot –
not in truth his best – followed by an altogether more impressive
effort by Colin Montgomerie.
Following seven years of development
and an investment of around £750m, George O'Grady, the chief
executive of the European Tour, Sandy Jones, his counterpart at the
PGA, and course architect Dr Martin Hawtree were among the golfing
dignitaries in attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Measuring over 7,400 yards from the
back tees, Jones said: “If someone shows me three courses that are
better in the world, they'll be hard pushed.”
The presence of Jones and Grady, as
well as Richard Hills, the European Tour's Ryder Cup director, is a
clear indication that Trump wishes to host top-class professional
events at Trump International Golf Links, which is some five miles
north of Aberdeen in the village of Balmedie.
The Scottish Open would be a logical
start, though not in the next two years, while the first available
Ryder Cup date for a home match is 2022. Gleneagles will host in two
years' time while Golf National, in Paris, is the venue in 2018.
Germany, Spain and Sweden would all be
likely to bid for the 2022 match although in a time of such economic
uncertainty looking so far ahead is largely guesswork.
“It has been a great privilege to
work with the Trump Organisation on such a magnificent site,” said
Hawtree. “Once can be sure that only the magic and grandeur of the
dune landscape can have driven the motivation and extraordinary team
spirit of that enterprise.
“Too many superlatives? There are
simply not enough of them to go round this project.”
As well as the championship course,
facilities include a huge driving range, short game area and putting
Over 160 staff are employed in
positions ranging from golf course operations to caddying.
The course officially opens to the
general public on Sunday and closes for the winter at the end of