In Focus

PGA of America delivers major blow to Donald Trump’s golf business

Trump National Bedminster is dropped as host of the 2022 PGA Championship

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America has voted against using one of Donald Trump’s golf courses for the 2022 PGA Championship men’s major. 

Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was scheduled to host the tournament in May next year, CNN reports. But the PGA said the venue would be “detrimental” to its brand following the riot at Capitol Hill in Washington last week. 

In a statement PGA of America president Jim Richerson said: “It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programmes and sustain the longevity of our mission. 

“It was a decision made to ensure the PGA of America and PGA professionals can continue to lead and grow our game for decades to come.”

Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, added: “We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? 

“Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”

Donald Trump golf

Donald Trump plays golf at The Trump International Golf Links Course in Balmedie, Scotland

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

‘Incredibly disappointed’

Trump National Bedminster is one of 17 golf courses owned and operated by the president’s company. The Trump Organization owns 12 courses in the US and five across the rest of the world, including Trump International Golf Links and Trump Turnberry in Scotland.

In response to the decision, the Trump Organization said it has “a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision”. 

The statement continued: “This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement. As an organisation we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster. 

“We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.”

The president is an avid golfer and according to Trump Golf Count he has reportedly made 298 daytime visits to golf clubs since his inauguration. The website says there’s evidence of Trump playing golf on at least 150 visits and at a cost of “about $144m” (£107m) to the US taxpayer.

The winner of the US PGA Championship takes home the Wanamaker Trophy

The winner of the US PGA Championship takes home the Wanamaker Trophy

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Which course will host the PGA in 2022?

The 2022 PGA Championship, awarded to Trump National Bedminster in 2014, was set to be the first men’s major contested at one of Trump’s golf properties, ESPN reports. It had previously hosted the US Women’s Open Championship in 2017.

With Trump National Bedminster now stripped of its hosting rights in 2022, the PGA of America will have to decide on a replacement venue for one of the sport’s four biggest men’s individual events.

In its Tour Confidential column Golf.com asks which venue, in light of the decision, should hold the tournament? “Any course not associated with Donald Trump,” said senior writer Michael Bamberger.

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