Donald Trump

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					                                                             |    Q&A |
                                                Donald
                                                Trump
                                               HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR            right now, President Clinton is on
                                               GOLF GAME?                             it playing golf.
                                               I’m not a bad golfer; I’m about a
                                               four handicap. I was better but        WHAT CLUBS DO YOU PLAY?
     My questions were prioritized and         the clock does nothing to help         Well I’m playing TaylorMade, I
     memorized in a concerted effort not       your game. I’ve played some very       have a Scotty Cameron putter and
     to waste one second of DONALD             nice rounds of golf. The equip-        I get treated really well by all the
     TRUMP’S time. In past celebrity inter-    ment is keeping me better than I       golf companies; that’s because I
     views, very few had time or interest in   was in the past in certain respects.   sell a lot of golf clubs I guess.
     small talk. Trump was pleasant, asked
     about the weather in Pebble Beach         WE HAVE HEARD GREAT THINGS             ANY NERVOUSNESS ON THE FIRST
     and surprisingly seemed like he was in    ABOUT YOUR WESTCHESTER                 TEE DURING THE AT&T PEBBLE
     no rush to end the phone call.            COURSE.                                BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM?
         While the father of five has made a   It’s been really successful. In fact   I tell myself it doesn’t matter. It’s
     fortune through real estate and astute
     business deals, his rapidly expanding
     golf empire is merely icing on the
     cake. The 61-year-old possesses sev-
     eral club championships and thor-
     oughly enjoys the sport; he designed
     his first course in Los Angeles and is
     working to create a renowned golf
     destination in Scotland among other
     golf projects.
         The television personality, author
     and entrepreneur makes any interview
     lively with his convictions and
     grandiose ideas. He was quick to
     point out Tiger Woods has played his
     courses and former President Clinton
     was on his New York layout that very
     day. He struggled only when I asked
     him to describe himself in one word;
     he said he would prefer a sentence.
     –Hilary Howard




28    NCGA Golf FALL 2007
irrelevant. Nobody cares. When you         ASIDE FROM THE DUNES, WHAT IS            brand new course and has nothing to
do that it takes the pressure off. I’ve    GOING TO DISTINGUISH THAT PROPERTY       do with the course that was there
played a number of times in the event      FROM A PURE GOLF STANDPOINT?             before.
and actually had a hole-in-one (No. 12     A stretch of 4 1/2 miles of ocean is         We’ve added a driving range of the
at Spyglass Hill).                         highly unusual. The dunes are not only likes which I’ve never seen — you’re
                                           large but they are magnificent in terms facing the ocean as you are hitting
WOULD THAT BE YOUR GOLF HIGHLIGHT          of what’s on them. We’re leaving them balls. There’s really nothing like it. All
OR YOUR CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP                  alone as you can imagine, and the        18 holes front on the ocean and we
VICTORIES?                                 location is spectacular. And the routing were able to do that by doing a step
I’ve won three club championships          looks like it was made by God for a      down to the ocean which nobody real-
and I would have to say that they’re       golf course. The routing is flawless     ly has done before because of the
more of a highlight for me. Because a      without doing very much. It’s really     expense of moving that much earth.
hole-in-one is luck, as you know,          going to be an amazing place. I’ve
whereas a club championship is a little    never seen anything like it.             TALK ABOUT REBUILDING THE 18TH
less than luck.                                                                     HOLE AND THE EXPENSE.
                                           WHAT CAN NCGA MEMBERS EXPECT AT          It’s the most expensive hole ever built.
HOW IS THE PROJECT IN SCOTLAND             TRUMP NATIONAL IN PALOS VERDES?          It cost $61 million — fortunately it
PROGRESSING?                               The Los Angeles course has become a wasn’t all paid by me. It was paid for
I have almost 2,000 acres in Scotland      tremendous success. It’s the only        by a combination of insurance and
and 4 1/2 miles on the ocean and it’s      course I’ve ever designed. I’ve worked other things. I had to make a decision,
in Aberdeen. They say that Royal           with Tom and Jim Fazio. I’ve worked      did I want to fix up the old course or
Aberdeen has the greatest nine holes       with numerous architects over the        build a new course? My original deci-
in the world, those are the dunes          years not only in buildings but in golf. sion was just to fix it up because the
holes. But they only have a 1/2 mile of    I’ve worked with the great Philip        location is so good — in Los Angeles
dunes. I have 4 1/2 miles of the dunes     Johnson on buildings so I know a lot     with 2 1/2 miles on the ocean and 300
that are the largest in the world. We’re   about architects and architecture. This acres. Having that kind of land I
in the process of seeking approval. If     course was designed by me. It’s a        thought the best and certainly least
we do get the approval, there will be
nothing like it anywhere in the world.




                                                                                                    FALL 2007   NCGA Golf   29
                                                                                             it would show phenomenally
                                                                                             for the fans. We can hold vir-
                                                                                             tually an unlimited number of
                                                                                             people there and I think it’s
                                                                                             something that would be out-
                                                                                             standing.

                                                                                             DO YOU BELIEVE IN BUSINESS
                                                                                             GOLF?
                                                                                             I’ve made some of my best
                                                                                             deals on the golf course. When
                                                                                             people ask me how I do in the
                                                                                             golf business I always ask —
                                                                                             with or without the so called
                                                                                             business deal? I’ve made some
                                                                                             phenomenal deals on the golf
                                                                                             course that I don’t think I
                                                                                             would have made over lunch.
                                                                                             I don’t think they would have
                                                                                             happened.

                                                                                             DO YOU PLAY FOR MONEY?
                                                                                             Just small amounts of money.
                                                                                             It’s not my business. I place
                                                                                             nicely, but it’s not my business.

                                                                                             WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BET ON
                                                                                             THE COURSE?
                                                                                           Well I’ve had some big bets,
                                                                                           but it’s nothing I’m proud of
                                                                                           win, lose or draw. Again when
                                                                                           something’s not your business
                                                                                           you shouldn’t play for too
expensive thing to do would be to fix      DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING PLANNED FOR          much money.
it up and do a quick job. As I got         NORTHERN CALIFORNIA?
more familiar with the project, I          I have a number of jobs planned but in WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR EMPIRE
decided that this site deserves better     terms of the golf world, I actually have DOES GOLF COMPRISE?
than that.                                 one thing that I am thinking about       One percent. But it is fun and has
    We ripped down the original            but I can’t reveal it right now.         been very good. In Florida I get
course and built a brand new course                                                 $450,000 a member at the Palm
which is 7,350 yards. The holes are        YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT BRINGING A         Beach course. In Bedminster and
wide and beautiful. The 18th had           MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP TO ONE OF YOUR Westchester I get $350,000. It’s been
tremendous amounts of water going          COURSES — HOW CLOSE ARE YOU?             very good for me but it’s a relatively
through pipes under the land. And          My attitude is that I build the best     small section of my business.
when they built the original course,       courses; I have the best locations and
the bulldozers broke all the pipes         the rest is up to the USGA and PGA. WHAT ARE YOU FEELINGS ABOUT THE
going back and forth. So this water        It’s not for me to say. There’s no       LEGITIMACY OF GOLF COURSE RANKINGS?
really undermined the 18th hole and it     course like this in California for       Depends on who is going to do the
fell into the Pacific Ocean. That is one   example. To have 2 1/2 miles on the      ranking. There are some magazines
of the reasons I ended up owning it        ocean, to have every hole fronting the that are extremely fair and others that
because it fell in before I bought it. I   ocean — there’s nothing even close.      have an agenda. It really depends. I
spent a lot of money on the course. It’s   It’s better than Pebble Beach. This is   think the business of golf course rank-
the most expensive course ever built —     according to other people, not me —      ing is fine if it’s done fairly and even-
$264 million is the total amount           of course I agree with them. It would    handedly. But a lot of times it’s not
invested.                                  show phenomenally on television and done that way.

30   NCGA Golf FALL 2007
WHO IS YOUR IDEAL FOURSOME?               shot when you are over there. So I was     unlucky; I haven’t figured it out yet.
Well today you always have to say         little surprised to see him going for
Tiger Woods. He is a spectacular          the green. In retrospect, Phil admitted    AT WHAT AGE WILL YOU INTRODUCE
person and a spectacular golfer. He       he made a mistake.                         YOUR YOUNGEST SON TO GOLF?
goes to my courses quite a bit. Have                                                 I tell you, I want him to be like Tiger,
you heard that? I love Arnold Palmer,     WERE YOU AT ALL SURPRISED BY THE           so I am going to start him at two.
he is a special guy. I’d love to bring    POPULARITY OF “THE APPRENTICE?”            He’s just a year old so he’s just starting
back the great Ben Hogan in his           It became the number one show on           to walk. But as soon as he can stand
prime.                                    television and nobody would have           up properly, I think we’ll start him
                                          guessed that was going to happen. I’m      with golf.
KNOWING THE WINGED FOOT COURSES           a little bit surprised, but that’s okay.
SO WELL, WERE YOU SHOCKED BY              Most shows, 95% of them, get taken         WHAT’S ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE
WHAT HAPPENED TO PHIL MICKELSON           off immediately. The show, for a peri-     YOURSELF?
ON THE 72ND HOLE OF LAST YEAR’S           od of time, was actually the number        One word, I have to use one word. . .
U.S. OPEN?                                one show on television.                    it’s always easier to use more than one
Well Phil is a friend of mine, he is a                                               word. . .if I said it you would say I was
great guy. I wasn’t shocked because       WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GOING             bragging so I better not say it. You
that hole is a very tough hole. In ret-   ON —HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP DO             know, things that I have done have
rospect, he pulled his shot. I know the   YOU GET A NIGHT?                           been successful and people have liked
left hand side of that rough all too      Generally three to four. But that’s what   them. In terms of describing me the
well from personal experience. And        I’ve always had. For some reason I don’t   word is quality. I really strive for the
you don’t think of yourself as having a   require much sleep. I’m either lucky or    highest quality.




                                                                                                     FALL 2007   NCGA Golf    31