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Review: Trump Turnberry

I made two visits to Turnberry around The Open at Troon, and as The Donald prepares to accept the nomination, I hope you can set your views aside and just appreciate what he and his family have done to replinish and update Turnberry.

Every element of the experience is exceptional. Granted, I'm happy at the Brora's and Cruden Bays of the world, but I don't knock the person with money wanting to enjoy a luxurious, five-star experience. Trump and his team, spearheaded by golf architect Martin Ebert, has delivered for that audience and brought new life to one of the world's most amazing resorts, as envisioned over 100 years ago.

My review at

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Reader Comments (28)

Trump has done a great job at Doonbeg too.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
By the way, Geoff, when you are a 71-years old who pushes his bag and trolley around the links, you appreciate those carpet-like, Trump walkways.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
And will you have to have won the lottery to play Turnberry now?
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterStephen W
Played Trump Aberdeen last week and that is also a truly wonderful golf course - absolutely LOVE what DT has done for the game, and I am loyal Democrat !
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterRTG
Great review Geoff! This is yuuuuuge!! The facts, and only the facts, refreshing.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterDT
So this is as political as I will get, but Trump's profession distinguishes him from a typical politician.

Trump has to offer things (goods or services) that people will buy, and if these things are not good enough for people to buy, people won't buy them and Trump will go out of business. Every purchase of anything from Trump is a voluntary transaction. Someone opposing Trump might say that Trump University sold itself through misrepresentation, but even if that is true, the vast majority of Trump's goods and services (real estate and resort experiences) are what they are -- if you can afford to buy them and like them, you do; if you don't, you don't.

On the other hand, if a politician wants to get people to do something, he/she just passes a law and you have to comply or suffer legal consequences.

Trump has to sell what he's offering; politicians don't. And, if you don't like a law, you still have to comply with it. Big differences.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterHennie Bogan
Probably the only commenter to be thinking this, but it would be great to have a disclaimer on posts like this, so you could explicitly say that your round was comped by Turnberry in exchange for potential promotion in a published review, or if this was a straight-up campaign contribution to Make America Great Again. (Nearly tongue in cheek!)
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterMDM
MDM: Plenty of people get comped things to give their option. That is nothing new. DOES NOT mean that they have to like the opinion you give. Just so happens that sometimes the two line up. I think you may be being a bit too cynical.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterStephen D
@MDM If you know anything about Geoff, you'll know he's about as far on the other side of the political spectrum as you can get from Captain Combover. He still went and gave it a great review, which speaks to his clarity of focus on the design and experience, not whether he got comped, is shilling a political view, or otherwise.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterKS
@Geoff What's the cost of staying ad playing there?
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Steven T.: Not hard to find at the website. For example, one week next month in a "Deluxe Room" for GBP £350 - GBP £490 per night, including breakfast. Add another £250 per day for golf. Golf packages probably slightly less expensive. With the current exchange rate $463-648 per night. Book soon! Low end would cost you less than $5000 for the week (2 people, 1 golfer). I suppose if you want to stay in the Lighthouse, multiply by a factor of 3.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
LOL @ $5,000 a week. x 7 is about my annual salary. Sorry, but us hoi polloi will never play Turnberry, or any other Trump property (or St. Andrews, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, et al.) I work for a living.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterPMW
I feel the same way about playing here as my grandfather did about buying a Mercedes-Benz.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Interesting read. I've played a number of his course, and have found all of them (with one exception) to be superlative courses and clubs in terms of the quality of the facilities, the design of the course and the amenities. That said, I don't think what he's doing is great for the game. He's very upfront that he thinks golf should be expensive, for the rich. That's not a good development, and is at some levels a very American attitude about the sport. I played the Turnberry course years ago and would like to see what he's done to it. Ditto Doral.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
The O...

Why is Donald supposed to be "growing the game"? He's a businessman not charity.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterBernieinTampa
BernieinTampa - don't worry about it. In 20 years, when all of the old men with money die off, there'll be no one left to play Trump's courses; mostly because people my age (approaching 50) and younger won't have the time or money to play golf. But you're right, he's a business man, and he can sell to the highest bidder his products and services if that's the business model and market he is shooting for.

But even the stiff suits at Augusta National recognize that you need the youth of tomorrow to fall in love with this game to keep it going. That's why they have the Drive, Chip and Putt national championship there during Masters week now. Those young kids see Augusta National on TV and realize that they can be invited there to play in that event, and more kids would express an interest in the game that will carry with them the rest of their lives.

But without getting the kids into the game, the game will die a slow, painful death. That's what we are already seeing as hundreds of golf courses around the country close every year.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterPMW
I'm not suggesting he has an obligation to do so. I'm suggesting that view of golf is inconsistent with the greater good of the sport. Plus, it increases the chance that competitive golf will become like tennis: something dominated by people from outside of the US.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
@ KLG or @ Geoff Can I stay elsewhere and play Turnberry for the same $250+ ?
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Play some of these from November to March. It is cold, but surprisingly playable at a fraction of the cost. I've played these courses in March and it's a good cheaper way to play many of the famous courses. Royal Troon however didn't allow visitors during the winter. Don't know if that's changed.
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Interesting pricing. Turnberry is charging 275 GBP for non-hotel. That would make it 60 GBP more than the next most expensive in Scotland - Trump Aberdeen @ 215 GBP. Sustainable pricing? Probably not. But it sure makes Cruden Bay look cheap at 90 GBP
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterIan B
Muirfield and Troon are both 220. Shame the Open doesn't help their finances enough!
07.21.2016 | Unregistered CommenterChico
how much is chambers bay?
07.21.2016 | Unregistered Commenterschlepper
Chico, I think it has more to do with Muirfield and Troon not wanting the deluge of guests that would come with a more "accessible" green fee. Muirfield in particular would likely have the same type of demand as tOC if it were priced more like 125. 220 is a "we don't want you here, but if you're willing to pay it, we'll take your money" type of fee.

And I think that it would not change one iota even if they kept every dollar from hosting an Open Championship. It's kind of like the professional sports owners here who lament that ticket prices need to be high due to the player salaries. The NHL used that line, said prices would be lowered if a salary cap was instituted. One was, ticket prices did not go down.
07.22.2016 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
"Muirfield and Troon are both 220."

The "great" trophy course of the UK are much more accessible than they are in the USA.

At least there is an option for a non-member to play w /o having to be accompanied by a member. Try getting on ANGC, Winged Foot, Oakmont, Baltasrol, Oak Hill, Cherry Hills, Muirfield Village, or any number of high-profile private clubs in USA that has hosted a major or a reputable Tour event.

Of course Pinehurst #2, Whistling Straits, and Pebble Beach are full-fledged public-access tracks and are easily accessible simply by paying the proper tariff - $250 - $400+ per round. Chump change perhaps for some.

We send more U.S. golfers to the UK, than we do to U.S. resorts.
07.22.2016 | Unregistered CommenterThe Tour Operator
Sorry@Pat- my point was that having the Open enables clubs like Troon and Muirfield to charge these high fees(for Scotland) and therefore get significant income whilst still keeping numbers playing to a comfortable figure for the members. To suggest the Rand A isn't generous enough to them I is a bit rich!
07.22.2016 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Ian B, Stephen T, Easingwold

There is a web site golf empire co uk and also happy golf which post open competitions. My regular playing companions only want to play our course, so I get my mid-week fix in Senior Opens, some over 50, most over 55 & occasional individual opens on a weekend, when they are on holiday etc max handicap is usually 18. Click on the links.

I have met a bloke from Yorkshire a couple of times over the last few years who stays in a budget hotel in Central Scotland and plays 3 or 4 senior opens in a week a few times each summer. I have also met 2 brothers who come over each year from Northern Ireland and do the same.

I sent the below on a recent post

DavidTheWorm, kenoneputt,

I have played competitions at the following in the last couple of years, there have been others however, I have left out the well-known/big ticket courses. My own course is in this list, so maybe our paths may cross.
In no particular order or preference
Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Bellshill, Clydebank & District, Cardross, Kilmalcolm, Hollandbush, Tillycoultry, Muthill, Binny, Carluke, Easter Moffat, Pumpherston, Uphall, Bathgate, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Falkland, Dundas Parks, Duff House Royal, Swanston, Monifeith, Duddingston, Drumpellier, Mount Ellen, Winterfield, St Michaels, Dunning, Gogarburn, Colville Park, Swanston, Greenburn, Muckhart, Thornton, Crow Wood, Haddington, Forfar, Deer Park, Downfield, Drumoig, Kirriemuir, Balbirnie, Charleton, Aberdour, Harburn, Strathendrick, Strathaven, Milnathort, Kinross, Grangemouth, Leven Links, Scoonie, Kinghorn, Anstruther, Alyth, Strathmore, Blairgowrie, Braids, Silverknowes, Falkirk Tryst, Canmore, Schawpark,

since that post I have played at Aberfeldy, Braehead, Milngavie, Lochwinnoch and I'm playing Stirling this weekend.
Happy googling
In the grip, many thanks for posting the links. For some time, I've organised open days for a few friends by painstakingly clicking on individual clubs. Impressed by both of these, I'll save them to favorites for future use. Much appreciated and good golfing to you.
07.22.2016 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I guess that it's now high time for SPG to get a management contract for Gleneagles, kick butt-brain Kohler out of the Old Course Hotel or heist St. Andrews Bay into their portfolio since there's no friggin' way I'm ever going back to Turnberry whist Trump has his name, crest and fountains on property. Ugh. Always used to start or end my Scottish trips in Ayrshire at the old railway hotel, but - quoth the Raven ...
07.23.2016 | Unregistered CommenterBill V

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