Trump majors now include 2017 U.S. Women's Open at Bedminster, 2017 Senior PGA Championship in Washington, D.C.
To borrow from former Governor Tom Kean’s landmark tourism campaign, a new slogan for golf in the Garden State could be, “Donald Trump and the PGA of America… Perfect together.”
Thursday morning, a beaming Trump was flanked by PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua and PGA of America President Ted Bishop — at Trump Tower in New York City — to announce that the PGA will be returning to New Jersey when Trump National-Bedminster will host the 2022 PGA Championship.
“It’s such a phenomenal honor to have the PGA of America recognize Trump National-Bedminster with this Championship,” Trump said. “To be acknowledged for a men’s major championship is an important achievement for us. To work with great men like Pete and Ted makes it even more special and we thank them for their consideration.”
Trump has made no secret of his desire to host one of the major championships for men’s golf, and Bevacqua said it didn’t take the PGA long to slot the Bedminster club into the PGA Championship rotation. “The conversation begins and ends with the golf course,” Bevacqua said. “And the Old Course is phenomenal. But when you combine that with Donald’s passion for golf, with this unbelievable 600-acre site that can handle all the infrastructure a Major golf championship requires, this was an easy decision.”
Bishop says Trump’s commitment to golf and enterprise can’t be questioned. “This course was made to handle a major championship,” he said. “Donald Trump has such an understanding of what makes a great course, but he’s got a sincere love and respect for the game and its rules as well. He is a fun guy to be around and put this club in the perfect spot do draw golf fans and the greatest media market in the world. There is no downside — in any way, shape or form — to having Trump National host the PGA Championship.”
Trump began acquiring and developing golf courses since 1999; he now owns 17 around the world. Trump National-Bedminster, designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2004, is a sprawling, open 7,560-yard design — ranked 79th on the GOLF Magazine list of Top 100 courses. Featuring massive greens protected by imposing hazards, it boasts elevation changes that will make it easy for spectators to find locations that will give them 360-degree views of action all over the course. The 600-acre property, once owned by former automaker John DeLorean, is right in the middle of central New Jersey’s bucolic horse country.
“First, the course stands on its own merits. Tom Fazio did such a fabulous job building it,” Trump said. “I love golf, I love to compete. I have won club championships, and I respect what the major championships mean to these professionals. It is my honor to partner with the PGA of America. And when people see the way this magnificent course surrounds the clubhouse, it will deliver a remarkable experience for players and spectators.”
The PGA won’t be the first major championship that Trump National will host. Trump has been courting the United States Golf Association, headquarted in Far Hills, roughly two long par-5s from Trump National. The USGA started Trump off by hosting the 2009 U.S Junior and U.S. Girls’ Junior championships, before awarding him the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the Women’s Open,” Trump said. “This is one of the great courses in the world and we are proud to make it available to the best players in men’s and women’s golf.”
COULD TRUMP HOST AN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP?
Thursday’s announcement gives the PGA of America a large footprint in what will be a remarkable decade of championship golf in the tri-state region. Baltustrol Golf Club, in Springfield, is immersed in preparations for the 2016 PGA Championship. Between the two professional tours, New Jersey (and New York) will host five major championships between now and the 2022 PGA. Local golf fans also will have access to the 2018 U.S. Open, to be played at Shinnecock Hills; the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course; and Winged Foot Golf Club will host the 2020 Open. The Black Course will host the 2024 Ryder Cup, the team competition that pits the United States against a team from Great Britain and Europe.
The good news continued for Trump too, when it was announced at the press conference that Trump National-Washington, D.C., will host the 2017 Senior PGA Championship, presented by KitchenAid. Trump’s partnership with the PGA of America shows that he wasn’t taking anything for granted with the USGA. His “twofer” with the PGA and Senior PGA championships is a consummate Trump move, showing that he’s not going to sit by idly waiting for the USGA to grant him a men’s Open.
Trump may not be through with hosting major championships, either. Earlier this week, he announced that he’d be purchasing the storied Turnberry Resort, on the Western coast of Scotland. The Ailsa Course is the site of the historic final-round 1977 Open Championship “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. At 59, Watson turned back the clock at Turnberry at the 2009 Open Championship, when he finished second to Stewart Cink. Turnberry, which has hosted four Open Championships, isn’t in the immediate Royal and Ancient rotation, which hasn’t been announced beyond 2016. Trump hasn’t announced that the name will be changed, but has said that “Trump Turnberry has a nice ring to it.”