Donald Trump has done a fine job of inserting himself into daily news by continuously inserting his foot into his mouth and saying some mighty repugnant shit in the process. As a result, many organizations and golf courses have distanced themselves from Trump. But is he bad for golf? Many new development courses and professional golf tour stops have already dropped any mention of the "Trump" name from their projects. A golf course his company will manage in the United Arab Emirates followed suit. The R&A just announced that one of Trump's most recent acquisitions, Turnberry, will no longer host The Open Championship following Trump's controversial remarks toward Muslims. An online petition urging the PGA Tour to "cancel or move the WGC-Cadillac Championship" from Trump-owned Doral has over 40,000 signatures. There are more examples.
So is Donald Trump bad for golf? I believe the answer to that question depends on whether or not you can separate Donald Trump the man from Donald Trump the organization.
Let's be perfectly clear on something: Donald Trump is not a good person. His views on foreign policy, protecting our country's borders and anything else that involves a race or culture other than his own are skewed and borderline racist. If you are planning on voting for him in this year's Presidential Race, stop reading this website. I don't want you here.
Here's something else you need to realize: the organizations distancing themselves from Trump are practicing damage control to prevent a PR disaster and not as a commentary on what Trump's dollars mean to their business. They are trying to widen the divide between Trump's wallet and his likeness.
But Donald Trump is much more than an individual. He is a multi-billion dollar entity that follows a business plan of finding weak or dying real estate properties or companies, purchasing them for dirt-cheap, dumping a ton of his own money to make improvements, and then selling the result for a substantial profit.
He's the epitome of a "flipper," and he's really damn good at it. And the properties that Donald Trump doesn't sell? Most of them flourish.
For example, the aforementioned Blue Monster Course at Doral Resort & Spa was in shambles. The property had filed for bankruptcy in 2012, threatening to render the popular championship-caliber course and site of a World Golf Championship obsolete. In swoops Trump, who purchased the property for $150 million, made some (admittedly controversial) course changes and salvaged a highly popular Tour event.
Other examples abound, and the list of Trump-owned golf courses read like a Who's-Who in luxury golf establishments. Yes, most of us will never set foot on a Donald Trump golf course, but that doesn't mean his resorts don't have the right to exist.
Golf, like any sport, needs its great arenas. Many golf fans will name Augusta National as golf's greatest arena while completely overlooking the racial abhorrence and degradation that surrounded the Georgia-based golf gem in its early years. It is an example of how we are able to separate today from yesterday out of respect for a game and all the good that comes along with it.
If Donald Trump has the resources and desire to build or restore some of the globe's greatest properties, golf as a sport can only benefit from his wallet.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, because most would agree Donald Trump is only good for his money and nothing else. So why not take advantage?