Golf Inc - Summer 2012 - (Page 14)
The evolution of Donald Trump
By RoBeRT J. Vasilak Barack Obama isn’t the only worldfamous chief executive who’s been evolving of late. Donald Trump, the constant thorn in the president’s side, believes he’s also changing. No, it isn’t a political evolution. Trump is making a golf evolution, he says, one sparked by the experience of building a course on the mean but fragile coast of northeastern Scotland. He says the lessons he’s learned in shaping Trump International Golf Links, on property fabulously wrinkled by winds and waves, have led him to value and appreciate links golf. “My thinking has evolved,” explains the New York City-based developer. “I’ve always loved fine, highly manicured courses. But my tastes have changed. The land in Scotland, especially now that I’ve seen what’s been created there, has given me a new way of thinking.” This statement prompts an obvious question: Is this change we can believe in? At least until now, Trump hasn’t been a proponent of the less is more philosophy. To transform a scrubby flatland in West Palm Beach, Fla. into the first course in his collection, he delightfully rearranged 3 million cubic yards of dirt, planted 1,000 palm trees, and installed a threestory waterfall. Then he rinsed and repeated multiple times in New York, New Jersey, California and other places. So is it plausible to think he intends to spurn his gilded history and become a builder of more spartan, minimalist-type links? Will he soon begin to compete with Mike Keiser for the world’s premier waterfront properties? “He’s getting a deeper appreciation for design, and for what really great golf is,” says Tom Fazio II, one of Trump’s longtime design collaborators. For sure, some evidence suggests Trump has come a long way. For starters, he clearly has become enamored of classic links land — “You need the sea,” he acknowledges — and he’s learned to respect the effects that sand, water, and wind can have on a golfer’s psyche. He likens his course in Aberdeenshire to “a beautiful painting,” believes Martin Hawtree, its designer, has indeed produced “the world’s greatest golf course” and even allows himself to worry, just a bit, that this time he’s outdone even himself. “The land in Scotland is now my standard,” Trump says. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match it.” What’s more, it appears Trump’s taste
Donald Trump at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., for the announcement that the course would host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2017.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Golf Inc - Summer 2012
Golf Inc - Summer 2012
Table of Contents
Hiring Right: The First Step Toward Great Customer Service
New EPA Regulations Will Increase Turf Equipment Costs
Britain’s Greenkeepers Association Makes Operational Improvements, CEO Says
What the Future of Golf Could Look Like
Textron Financial, Capmark Put Golf Portfolios Up for Sale
With Commercial Real Estate Confidences Up, Is Golf Close Behind?
The Evolution of Donald Trump
Tasmania’s Coming of Age
Largest Management Companies
Renovation of the Year
Bald Head’s Logistical Challenge
The State of Technology in the Golf Industry
Britney Spears as Golf Spokesperson?
Golf Inc - Summer 2012