Exclusive- How Donald Trump’s plans for Turnberry are shaping up

Donald Trump at Turnberry
Donald Trump at Turnberry

I was lucky enough recentlyto be given exclusive access to get a sneak preview at the latest developments taking place at Trump Turnberry.

And whilst unfortunately no photographs were allowed as work continues apace at the resort, General Manager Ralph Porciani was able to give me an insight into the very latest plans as we walked around the hotel and clubhouse.

Upon arriving at the hotel reception Ralph and I headed down to see the work that is currently being done on the clubhouse.

As I entered the building I was struck by the amount of extra space that has been created under the Trump proposals. Members and visitors will certainly enjoy a much more imposing and striking walk into the clubhouse, which is scheduled to re-open on April 20.

An extended pro shop will be positioned at the right hand side of the clubhouse with Ralph revealing that it will be stocked all year round and be much more customer friendly in terms of the positioning of the tills and items in the shop.

Staying downstairs, Trump has made a significant investment in bringing in a whole set of new windows which will bring in much more natural light to the clubhouse. An imposing shade of brown has also been chosen to spruce up the bannisters giving them a darker and richer finish when the work is completed.

Eric Trump, who is overseeing the plans for his father has also ensured that no locker space has been lost despite the fact that the new lockers will be significantly larger in size for members.

Moving on upstairs, the rooms upstairs are set to be changed in name, which will recognise Turnberry’s place in the golfing world. The current Gallery Room is set to be renamed the “Champions Suite” and by the time the Ladies Open comes around in July the room will be filled with pictures of Turnberry champions including Tom Watson, Greg Norman and Karrie Webb.

And speaking of Watson, his name is set to adorn the current Mackenzie Ross room, which will be turned into “The Tom Watson Boardroom”, in honour of his 1977 win and for coming so close to a historic sixth Open title at the age of 59, in 2009 on the Ailsa Course.

Perhaps best of all, the Tappie Tourie restaurant will be re-named “The Duel in the Sun restaurant” in homage to Watson’s famous battle in 1977 with Jack Nicklaus. The club have also recently purchased a claret jug from the R+A, which will give everyone the chance to have their picture taken with the famous trophy, something which Ralph predicts will be a hit across social media.

As for the restaurant itself, it will continue to serve golfers and members as a place to have a snack from 6am-5pm, including their famous bacon rolls. However, at night time it will turn into a fine dining experience of a steak and lobster eaterie as Trump Turnberry’s clubhouse restaurant offers locals and visitors another alternative place to dine.

Outside the clubhouse, a 13 foot fountain featuring a Roman centurion will be in place for the opening of the clubhouse in April.

As for the hotel, plans to make it the place to be for weddings and function suites is going at a rapid pace. A fully revamped Caledonia Suite will be in place for Mr Trump’s visit at the end of this month when he will present his course plans to members and the suite will play host to weddings and major conferences.

A large 500 capacity ballroom is also planned in the hotel with a planning application expected to be lodged soon.