Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
« "People take the game too seriously" | Main | Guan Makes Cut, Besting Masters Non-Invitee Beljan »

Not April Fools: Trump Hires Coore/Crenshaw For Virginia Project

A Donald Trump public course to be built by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would normally cause me to check the calendar, but Joe Passov isn't joking in this exclusive story.

Though it's probably years away, the Virginia project on the Kluge estate near Monticello still sounds great. Assuming The Donald doesn't find a way to screw it up make it even greater than Coore/Crenshaw could have imagined.

Last September, he told several media outlets that a handful of golf course architects had toured the property and those architects came away impressed.

"They all unanimously came back and said this could be one of the best golf courses in the country or in the world," Trump said.

Trump's course won't be the first-ever golf course on the property. Years ago, the Kluge estate housed an Arnold Palmer design, but Kluge's third wife, Patricia, who obtained the estate in a 1990 divorce proceeding, let the course go fallow. The old course will not be part of the new design. However, Trump said the new course will take advantage of the Kluge estate's historical setting.

"We can hit a pitching wedge to Monticello," Eric Trump said, referring to Thomas Jefferson's iconic estate next door. "Kluge had amazing taste in land, and coincidentally, so did Thomas Jefferson. We're situated on the same ridge as Monticello. It's incredible to look out from the top of the hills."

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (35)

I played the Kluge Estate on a nice afternoon as a guest of her CFO. One thing about Charlottesville VA and Central VA that is one son of a bitch place to try to grow grass! Trump better go get one of the assistant superintendents from Kinloch.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
But we still despise donald , right? You know, the only guy building and renovating golf courses. Say it with me out loud: he is terrible for the game! There, feel better?
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe one really hates Donald per se, he just has a habit of annoying the crap out of people when all he needs to do is smile and actually listen to what other people think. Agree with you 110% he is doing good in terms of putting $$ into the game. But we all could use less of those waterfalls/golden-plated-palaces of extravagance and more affordable and well thought out courses open to more than one tax bracket.

To the topic: It would be fun being a fly on the wall when Coore/Crenshaw and Trump go for sit down and a site visit to 'hash out some ideas' wouldn't it?
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I am with joe,usually lots of hate around this place for a guy investing in golf.
Love the three twangs in that room... Texas, Carolina, and New Yorkish!
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
Johnny: maybe one day when you make a crap load of money you can build a golf course to your exacting specs.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Lot's of obnoxious people have done good things. As a matter of fact, when you look back at one of the most popular cars of all time, the person behind it was a lot worse than obnoxious.

We are supposed to give Trump a pass on simple civility because he has built and ''saved'' some golf courses. I'm not that shallow.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Another $300 public course. Is this really good for public golf?
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
From the article: "'I've never seen a piece of land as good as this,' said Eric Trump...."

Now really, is this trite statement absolutely obligatory to recite for ANY course that has been announced over the past 30+ years? Is there a rule somewhere that requires it?
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
@ joe: "make a lot of money" is the correct term. glad you didn't misuse the word earn. you need to read up on this self-promoter who inherited a real estate empire. read up a bit on some of the people he has hustled over the years.

i bet you thought Ivan Boesky was a great philanthropist when he gave away some millions out of the billion-plus that he stole while manipulating the market.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed Ray's Pipe
Ted and Steve....Thank you. As probably one of the leading "haters" of the donald, I still find it hard to comprehend how he's growing the game, or is a good thing for "the game." How many people will have access to this golf course? You think he's going to allow a couple of the local high school teams to play there? What's the green fee going to be? How the hell is this good for the game Joe? Ted your comment about Ivan is spot on. The modern day a##hole thinks as long as he donates some money to charity then he gets a pass and can do whatever he wants. By the way, I know exactly where the Estate is and there is not a player on the face of the earth that can hit a wedge to Monticello from Kluge. Good to see the son is following pops in the field of embellishment.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
High among the most despicable humans traits are arrogance and conceit. Is there anyone on the plant who disagrees that Trump displays oodles of each?

<< I am with joe,usually lots of hate around this place for a guy investing in golf. >>

"Investing in golf" is certainly a relative term. If you say that he's bringing new golfers into the game, making it easier for kids to have access to courses, that he's encouraging people to play with reduced green fees and easier-to-walk tracks, then by all means, I'll concur with those who say Trump is making a positive impact. But he's not, is he?

With few (one?) exception, Trump's layouts are cart-mandatory.... thus reducing that nasty exercise factor while contributing to his bottom line. "Public golf course" invariably means an over-designed, over-priced, overly-opulent "resort" that caters solely to those with a few hundred to burn on a round of golf... hardly a lure for the masses. But forget all that -- there are those who enjoy the "country club for a day" experience even if it is a bit spendy.

But once again we're seeing the inimitable Trump family arrogance come through as son Eric happily parrots Daddy with his proclamation that this new track will be "one of the best courses in the country or the world." Silly me.... here I was hoping for the day when age would catch up to the 66-year-old Trump and at least put a governor on the hype. Sadly, looks like Donald has his equally-annoying kids well-trained in the art of bluster.

My guess is that nice-guy Ben Crenshaw comes to tears before its all over.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
If he is as bad as everyone says, why would someone with Crenshaw's character even consider doing business with him? Coore, Hanse, as well?
The Donald is an obnoxious and pompous ass but he is associated with some quite nice courses, though some are a bit artificial.

Will Ben go for waterfalls?
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
@ No Longer ........ probably because there is a dearth of course design work out there right now would be my guess. they don't want to work overseas (@ least Ben doesn't) and there are precious few new courses being built domestically.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed Ray's Pipe
joe: maybe when you make a crap load of money maybe you can buy a les obnoxious personality
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
I think you of all people need to look at this from a different point of view!

While Trump doesn't have to be your pal, and you can call him the most obnoxious person on the face of the planet all you want but, he is putting money, time and energy into golf during a time in history where Golf is a dirty word in development. He's making Golf a good word again with money people, because his focus is on creating GREAT golf whether you play his courses or not.

In my opinion, this all dictates what a great golf course can be and it isn't on the side of a mountain with homesites taking precedence over the golf itself. He is also taking advantage of the guys that can get him there: Gil Hanse and now, Bill & Ben. They will deliver.

Simply put, love him or hate him, the Donald gets that its going to take good designers with classical influences to be able to deliver the golf he wants.

04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
I second Mr. Naccarato!

A lot of Florentines probably thought the House of Medici were a bunch of stronzos but Lorenzo and the boys sure financed some great art.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad S
Golf needs some growing badly. It's not growing in New Zealand there has been a 4% per annum drop in membership for 4 years:

The union of two exclusive golf clubs could open up a large parcel of land to our biggest city's squeezed housing market. The Royal Auckland Golf Club and the neighbouring Grange Golf Club bosses agreed this month to begin talks about a possible merger.
Most golf clubs face falling membership - more than 13,000 people belong to clubs in Auckland, but membership has fallen by 2600 over the past four years.

I think you need to re read my post... I am not calling Trump ''off'' -like saying he should stay away from golf-- I am saying that a lot of obnoxious (and how about pure evil--my car reference was the VW, and you know who commissioned that ''car for the people'') people do good things.

I was simply trying to say that to call out Trump on his lack of knowledge of Amy Vanderbilt (I have her works) is not a dishonest POV here at the Shack- but other than my not liking the spoilage of the dunes in Scotland, hey, let Donald roll, but please, The fake waterfall situation is just tacky.

The original waterfall, #7 which plays as #`16 at The Hills at Lakeway, site of the Kinko's Champions events, well that is a real natural waterfall in front of the green, a common feature on creeks thru out the hill country. Jack N. did a great job in creating a beautiful hole while not disturbing a natural feature.

C&C will do well-I am not a fan of Ben's large greens- I wonder if some of you who have played the original course have a feel for what might be done in the way of the green complexes...and I don't think Ben will do a waterwall behind the 18th green, unless his girls are costing an arm and a leg going to college...that would be sad ;)

Reread it Tommy. I'm good.
04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Presumably golf course architects are similar to building architects:
Prima Donna- the client gets what the architect decides at that time (to impress the architect's peers). Take it or leave it Mr Client I'm the architect and I'm in charge of spending your money as I think fit. And later the design will need changes if my experiments don't work out.
Consistent style- the client gets what the architect does and always does well delivering on time and on budget.
You name it- the client gets what the client wants

Its your last sentence, what I was calling into question. (and no, your not that shallow)

You see, in this economy, I'm more for people ho are trying to do things for golf--positive things. Trump isn't doing this per say out of the bottom of his heart, but he's doing what most wouldn't do, and that's walking the walk. I truly do believe that Donald Trump wants to do the right thing and thats build the best golf he can, despite how much he'll try to convince you he had the best all along!

He wanted the best and got it. How can anyone fault him!?!? Regardless of what you think of C&C greens, which I will say are my favorite in Golf. (generally speaking. When you have an architect that is inspired by Perry Maxwell, your in for a good time!

And here I had you on my "Friar's Head one day" list! ;)
04.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
Reread it Tommy. I'm good.

04.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth >>

Hmmm... do I smell a whiff of that infamous Trumpian ego rubbing off on some folks?
04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
See Kluge v. Trump. He hustled The place for two bits a few weeks ago.
04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentermore of the same
When Trump donates some money for a muni renovation, then I'll believe he's "growing the game." Another CCFAD doesn't do it for me.
04.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.

Dadgum, I answered you last night, but it is not posted. I was so tired, I an not sure I hit ''create post''.

I'll be brief (ha!) I was trying to say that even obnoxious people, and even evil people (the VW) can do good things, and to be critical of MR. Trump's poor manners is ok, and not related to his commitment to helping keep golf alive.

Ben, Ben, Ben. Ben. Man, that hurt. :(

Yall keep me in line.

I remain your humble poster buddy,

04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I posted last nite-- it's not here.....I posted this morning-it's not here.

Ben, Ben, Ben, Oh, Benny. Keep me in line. I'll be good.

Tommy, I'll try again.... I was saying obnoxious people can do good things, and it is ok to criticize their poor manners, but still praise their accomplishments.

I remain sincerely,

Your humble blog buddy,

04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Got it!

Now we have to figure out how to get you back on board the Friar's Head bus! ;)

I look at huge greens like this: One of my favorite is the 5th on the Old Course of St. Andrews.... Enough said! :) (All of the greens there for that matter!)

But here I think I'm going to get out of this with little comment! The greens are a mix of subtlety to bold and work differently from different approaches in the fairway. The guard and defend the hole, which is our target, to finish up in it. Most if not all C&C greens seem to accomplish this. At least in my experience with them.
04.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
Maxwell built the course I learned to play on, and the course that BC and TomK grew up on with Harvey- the second location of AustinCC, now Riverside GC, and though I played it in it's original glory, it has had several hole redeux, and replacements, and sadly, the new holes do not capture the wonderful greatness of the originals. I larned to play in the winter, on days off, using 4 balls, and playing 36... the equivilant of 8 rounds in a day! I shot an 89 in April after that winter, and I thought, heck, I'll be in the 70's by the fall! Riiiiggghht.....err-nope.

Anyway, the greens are medium sized at most, lots of false fronts and virtually every hole offers the option on playing it on the ground to GIR.

Have a great day, everyone!
04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I love this from Old Harv: The modern day a##hole thinks as long as he donates some money to charity then he gets a pass and can do whatever he wants.

So we have seen...and seen...and seen...

As for the Donald, he has not always been good for golf. That place of his in Scotland is still a source of local dispute and unrest. As for Crenshaw -- he and Trump are probably thick as thieves. Where did the bad-tempered Crenshaw get the reputation of being nice? "Gentle Ben" was always a sarcastic nickname. He is a rabid rightwing Dubya-lover -- Trump is his kind of dinenr partner and they will doubtless get along fine. Trump has latched on to one of the better current architectural firms in C&C. They have probably lucked into a better fee than usual.

But as posted above -- how does the creastion of yet another exclusive, probably vulgar, preserve "grow" golf?
04.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie

I really can't say you were wrong in any of your assertions, from the poor temper ( not really the issue it once was) to the Dubya notes.

I must say though, if the POTUS is in your hometown, out of respect for the office even I would probably accept an invitation to a social event offered up by 43. Remember, I did work for the man; I do consider him a war criminal; I think all one has to do is realize that he let thousands of people starve and hundreds die in NOLA, an American city, while he was on vacation- he let NYNY be attacked, too busy chain sawing crap trees to read (he can read, I suppose) his briefing that warned us of EXACTLY what happened, and thousands died; he chose a buddy of his father, a man who set up the privatization of the military's foundation, while Clinton put it all in to play,

Cheney saw the fool that Bush was, and took advantage of him. I will leave it at that for now.

Ben Crenshaw is a Texan, and he actd as woulde most Texans if the POTUS, party affiliation need not matter, wanted to offer a hand of friendship. Even citing all that I have I would have accepted 43's hand.

I hope I am right aout BC and his casual relationship with Bush. I would be very dissapointed if it was any more than that.

So that brings us to BC and Trump. Ce la vie. I got more BBQ than I can eat, so let someone else figure that one out.

Oh, and WTF on the Bush Library? All that to have an Ikea bookshelf with one book and a comic book collection?
04.29.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Back in the day, before the real estate bubble burst and Patricia Kluge had carved out a portion of the property not under vines for a luxury real estate development, I worked for the agency selected to market Vineyard Estates.

My first impression of the land, after being checked through the main gate for the initial site visit and client meeting, was "this would be a great place to build a golf course." Fantastic views. Lots of elevation changes. Natural drainage.

(And with all due respect to ol' Harv, Charlottesville is awash with connections real and imagined to our third president. Of course nobody can hit a wedge from the estate to Monticello, but Mr. Jefferson's place is just over the hill, so to speak.)

But I digress. While I think The Donald is world-class vulgarian, I do feel that a C&C golf course on the land is better outcome than another collection of multi-million dollar second, third or fourth homes. So, he's got that going for him.
04.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike T.
Mike T, drove by there today actually just out of curiosity and you are right, the land is quite stunning, depending on where the course will go. You can almost picture golf holes. I don't remember being able to see the estate as easily as I could today from the road. I am sure C&C will do a nice job, it will be interesting to see what they do with this type of terrain, and also with this type of boss. Obviously I am not a fan of TD but hopefully he'll leave them alone and let them do their stuff. As I stated earlier, no one will be hitting a wedge, or even a driver, close to Monticello. A Trump embellishment all the way.
04.29.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
"why would someone with Crenshaw's character even consider doing business with him?"

Their political opinions are largely identical, so that would be one reason. I agree that Crenshaw will probably weary of Trump over the long term, because despite the similarity of their opinions, they arrive at that point via vastly different temperaments.
04.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.