Is Turnberry set to lose The Open?

Donald Trump at Turnberry during the Women's Open
Donald Trump at Turnberry during the Women's Open

Donald Trump’s controversial remarks are believed to have scuppered Turnberry’s chances of hosting The Open in the near future.

The owner, who put his own name to the resort last year, suggested during a speech in his bid to become President that ‘All Muslims should be banned from entering America’.

Those comments along with previous remarks about Mexicans in the summer appear to have riled golf’s governing body, the Royal and Ancient.

A report in the Independent on Sunday which has since been carried by news organisations across the world has suggested the R&A have privately decided to ditch Turnberry’s famous Ailsa Course from the list of courses which host the Open Championship.

However, the news has not yet been confirmed officially by the R&A.

Their chief executive Martin Slumbers only said this week in response: “It is my belief and that of The R&A that golf should be open to all regardless of gender, race, nationality or religion.”

The course is currently undergoing the biggest transformation in its history with five new holes being created ahead of a re-opening in June 2016. The re-design includes making the 9th into a Par 3 where golfers will hit a tee shot over the rocks with Trump claiming it could be the greatest hole in all of golf.

The course has hosted The Open Championship on four occasions, most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink stopped Tom Watson from becoming the oldest ever winner.

The tournament injects millions into the local economy and it had been rumoured that the course was being lined up to host the 2020 edition.

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP Corri Wilson said: “If true, this news is hugely disappointing, particularly because of its impact on the local economy. Hosting the Open Championship would have been a great boost, not just to Turnberry, but to the tourism sector right across this part of South Ayrshire. However, I fully understand the R&A’s position on this issue. Mr Trump has repeatedly sailed close to the wind with his remarks, and he must have understood that these latest comments would have consequences in terms of who wants to do business with him.

“I can only hope he shows more restraint in future, so as not to irreparably damage the long term prospects for this famous golf resort.”

The R&A are no strangers to controversy themselves and only finally admitted woman members last year after being criticised for hosting The Open at the all-male Muirfield club in 2013.

However, The Open will be hosted in 2016 at the all male Royal Troon Golf Club though they are “reviewing” that policy and will jointly host with the Ladies Golf Club.

Mr Trump is hoping to be the Republican Party’s nomination for United States President in 2016 and his remarks have not stopped him consistently leading over his rival nominees.