Golf championship will not head to Donald Trump-owned Turnberry in 'forseeable future'

Donald Trump at Turnberry in Scotland. Credit: AP

A golf course owned by Donald Trump will not stage the British Open for "the forseeable future", the chief executive of a worldwide golf governing body said.

The Turnberry course in Ayrshire, Scotland is owned by the US president. It has not been selected to stage the Open Championship since it was purchased by Trump in 2014.

“We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said.

It comes after a New Jersey golf course, also owned by Donald Trump, was stripped of next year’s US PGA Championship. On Sunday, organisers said using the course would be “detrimental” to their brand.

Both moves come less than a week after supporters of the US President staged a riot at the US Capitol.

Neither the R&A nor PGA explicitly referenced the events in Washington DC in their statements.

“We will not return (to Turnberry),” Slumbers said, “until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances.”

The Ayrshire course last held the Open in 2009, when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a play-off.

Speaking in 2017, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said Turnberry remained on the Open rota.

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“I think it’s very important that we’re clear about what our business is, which is making sure that the Open Championship is one of the world’s greatest sporting events, and staying out of politics,” Slumbers said.

“We are clearly now in uncharted territory. Sitting presidents have attended US Opens. We have not had a sitting President of the United States at an Open Championship.

“We’re all learning as we go through this. But I think it’s important for us that we understand where the game is and make sure we keep to that without ignoring all the other factors that go around it.”

Slumbers said he believed President Trump had been “good for golf” in terms of the renovation of a number of his courses and that he would accept an invite to play golf with him, as the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have done.

In February last year, Slumbers said infrastructure was “one of the key issues we need to solve at Turnberry”, adding: “I am sure it will stage an Open there in the not-too-distant future.”