When Donald Trump wanted to buy the famous Turnberry links almost 10 years ago, he requested the help of Chubby Chandler…
Chubby Chandler has described the fascinating tale of how he helped Donald Trump buy Turnberry in 2014.
The former agent recalled playing golf with the ex-US President and Lee Westwood at West Palm Beach when he requested Chandler’s services.
“I walked into the breakfast room at West Palm Beach,” Chandler told Matt Vincenzi of GolfWRX, “And he says ‘Chubby!’ and I’d never met him and I’m thinking why is he shouting at me? ‘Chubby, I want you to be my agent!’
“Anyway, we played which was quite an interesting exercise and he said, ‘I want to buy Turnberry, is it any good?’
“‘I can’t go and buy it because they’ll jack the price up and it’ll be difficult. Will you front it for me?’” Chandler added.
“I got busy and I made a few phone calls. It was actually owned by Leisurecorp, and I knew a guy that was just about the boss at Leisurecorp called David Spencer, and they put it up for sale and I got the realtors from him and I went through that.
“I got it quite a way down the line and someone wanted proof of funds, and it was going to be $60 or $70 million, and they wanted me to prove I’ve got $80 million, which I didn’t have.
“So I rang him and I said ‘Donald, I’ve got a problem’. He said ‘What’s that Chubby?’ I said, ‘They want me to prove I’ve got $80 million, and I just don’t have it right now’, and he said ‘Chubby, this is where I come in!’
“And he sent me his statement of accounts to send to them, and it was staggering and he took over from there.
“I got it halfway down the road and then he took over – he got the price he wanted, and I got him a bit more than the price he wanted.”
The American billionaire secured the Ayrshire resort featuring three golf courses and an award-winning hotel. The first course opened at Turnberry in 1901 and it hosted The Open for the first time in 1977.
But in 2021, the R&A confirmed its removal from The Open Championship rota with no prospect of returning in the foreseeable future.
Turnberry last hosted The Open in 2009 when Stewart Cink famously beat Tom Watson in a playoff on the famous Scottish links.
“Terrible,” said Chandler, who used to represent the likes of Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. “Such a wonderful golf course. What he has done to that golf course is unbelievable.”
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