Instead of the traditional Golf Digest Q&A, John Barton inserts observations, fact-checking and commentary into the November Donald Trump interview now posted in its entirety. I'm sure The Donald won't be pleased, but oddly you come away from it respecting him for partaking in the back-and-forth.
Here's a sampling of the fun that I didn't want to end (even though it's a pretty long piece), picking up midway through the Turnberry conversation.
JB: I saw somebody on your Twitter feed (@realDonaldTrump) said to you, don't mess it up.
DT: And I said, don't worry about it. I will not make any changes to the course without the strict approval of the Royal & Ancient.
JB: You're rebranding it Trump Turnberry. Could you say a little bit about that?
DT: Right, so my brand is a very hot brand...
JB: What does your brand stand for?
DT: It stands for quality and luxury. If I didn't use my name, Turnberry would not be nearly as successful as it can be. This isn't an ego thing; this is business. I've got the hottest brand in the world.
At this point, a somewhat fractious exchange ensues. One Trump tactic is to cite unnamed sources who agree with him. At a press conference in July, for instance, when asked about renaming Turnberry, Trump said: "I actually asked some people that are very important in Scotland, although I won't get them in trouble by saying their name, but I've spoken to very important and very powerful political people, and I said, 'What do you think of the idea of Trump Turnberry?' Everyone said that they would love it."
I decide to employ a bit of trumpery on Trump by citing unnamed sources who disagree with him. I tell him that I asked people in the golf industry what they think the Trump brand stands for, and offer an example of one that was less than flattering.
Trump bristles. He demands to know the source. He says, "If you put that in, it's no longer a good story, it's not even a fair story" and adds that the unnamed person is "gutless" for not going on the record. Trump says, "There is nobody more aesthetic than me."