Trump International Golf Links Scotland is spectacular and controversial
How much great linksland in Scotland is still undeveloped? This is a question of considerable debate, but when a new links course opens somewhere in The Home of Golf, inevitably the claim is made that it is “the last great links course” in Scotland.
Over the past seven-plus years, Donald Trump – real estate magnate, television personality, and erstwhile political poseur – has fought a considerable battle to develop some astoundingly beautiful linksland in Aberdeenshire. The result is the recently opened Trump International Golf Links Scotland.
Lying practically on the Aberdeenshire strand, Trump International is worth the long wait and the arduous battles with local landowners and environmental regulators.
The Donald’s efforts were, by some accounts, Herculean, but they were also aided by a Scottish government eager to bring tourists and development to an otherwise relatively remote corner of the country.
But just because the course is now open doesn’t mean the controversy and contentiousness have subsided. Next on the horizon – literally – is a proposed wind farm, which is slated to be erected some 10 miles off the coast.
Donald Trump has complained bitterly and loudly about the proposed project, arguing that it would ruin the views from the golf course. And even the starters and caddies echo Mr. Trump’s argument.
Having recently played and reviewed the course, however, I’m having trouble understanding the concern. The views from the course’s many elevated tees and greens are spectacular, but even on the clearest day, the rotating wind turbine blades (which, in my opinion, are rather hypnotizingly lovely) would be mere specks – certainly less of a blight than the dozens of oil tankers plowing through the North Sea in plain sight from the course.
While I was covering the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, I had the honor and good fortune to have lunch with Mr. Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland. When asked whether the wind farm would be built, the First Minister responded unequivocally, “Absolutely.”
Unbidden, the First Minister continued to stress, in no uncertain terms, that he did not appreciate “Mr. Trump trying to dictate my energy policy.”
Thus continues the political wrangling associated with Trump International Golf Links Scotland. Will any of it affect golfers? Probably not. The track is already breathtaking, and will only get better as it matures, whether or not some turbines are faintly visible out beyond the waves. It’s unlike anything else I have played in Scotland, and should be included on any list of must-play modern links courses.
Click here for a full review and picture gallery, and see for yourself.
The 14th at Trump International is a very special hole.
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I am a reporter with the Aberdeen Evening Express. I was wondering whether you could contact me regarding Mr Salmond's "absolutely" comment.
The hotel and housing complex were initially 'postponed' due to the 'economic crisis'. Now it's because of the turbines (which were planned before the golf course), I suspect he's just looking for an excuse to leave.