Donald Trump to take over famous Scottish golf course

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Donald Trump to take over Turnberry golf course
Donald Trump to take over Turnberry golf course

Donald Trump has struck a deal to take over one of the best-known golf resorts in Scotland.

The US tycoon confirmed widespread speculation that he has bought the Open Championship course and hotel at Turnberry, South Ayrshire. Words and photo: PA.

In a statement, he said: "It is an honour and privilege to own one of golf's greatest and most exciting properties. I intend to invest many millions of dollars in order to bring the hotel to the highest levels of luxury.

"When completed, I believe that the Turnberry Hotel will be the finest and most luxurious hotel in all of Europe."

The purchase comes two months after Mr Trump pledged to turn his back on the country after losing a legal challenge in a planning row about an offshore wind turbine test centre which he says will spoil the view from his other Scottish golf course, in Aberdeenshire.

Turnberry is home to six restaurants, a spa and five-star hotel which will continue to be managed by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the Trump Organisation said.

The resort sits on more than 800 acres and has views of the Irish Sea and Isle of Arran.

Mr Trump said the course will not in any way be "touched or altered" other than with the approval of the Royal and Ancient, which organises the Open Championship.

He first set his sights on Scotland more than eight years ago when he promised to build the best golf course in the world on protected sand dunes at the Menie estate to the north of Aberdeen.

Since then, he has been involved in damaging rows with locals and politicians, including First Minister Alex Salmond.

The Westin Turnberry Resort along the coastline of Turnberry in Strathclyde.
The Westin Turnberry Resort along the coastline of Turnberry in Strathclyde.

In February, he lost a legal battle over plans to build wind turbines in the North Sea within sight of the north-east resort.

On the same day, he revealed he had snapped up Doonbeg links course on the Atlantic coast of Ireland, where he insisted he would direct all his investment.

He then withdrew a planning application to build a second golf course at Menie.

Mr Trump said his Aberdeenshire resort is doing "record business".

He expects to be "ultimately successful" in stopping the offshore wind turbines and claimed turbines will not be built near Doonbeg because of the "importance of tourism to Ireland".

John Scott, Scottish Conservative MSP for Ayr, said: "This is very exciting news for golf at Turnberry, Ayrshire and the west of Scotland.

"Mr Trump's canny investment in the only privately-owned Open Championship golf course will attract golfers to Ayrshire from all over the world.

"It will have the potential to bring more visitors to our already world-renowned Clyde coast golf courses, and will provide a welcome boost to our tourist industry.

"The investment would also have the potential to boost tourism through Prestwick Airport."