capitol riot

The Trump Reckoning Spreads to the Golf World

Trump at a PGA event at one of his properties in 2014. Photo: US PGA TOUR

The soon-to-be-ex-president can’t really do anything on his phone anymore. After egging on his supporters who sieged the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attack that killed five, Donald Trump has been banned for life from Twitter, and his pages have been temporarily or indefinitely suspended from platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok.

The reckoning that has come for Trump’s online pastimes is now making its way to his favorite recreational activity. On Sunday night, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America announced that its board of directors had voted to move the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to a new location as a consequence of the Capitol insurrection. Holding the tournament at the Trump links in Bedminster would be “detrimental” to the PGA’s reputation, said the organization’s president, Jim Richerson. A second rebuke came hours later when the R&A, the U.K.’s elite organizer of golf tournaments, announced it would not consider Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland for the British Open for the “foreseeable future,” despite the club’s historic ties to the circuit.

Although the president has remained exceptionally quiet in the wake of the crisis — he reportedly hasn’t even spoken with Vice-President Mike Pence since Wednesday — his business did manage to respond to one of the crises enveloping the nation. In a statement, the Trump Organization decried the PGA for its “breach of a binding contract” and said it was “incredibly disappointed” in the move. Trump himself appears to be taking it quite hard too:

Trump and the PGA Tour have had disagreements before: During his campaign in 2015 and 2016, events were relocated from the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles and the Trump National Doral resort in Florida in the wake of his comments about Mexican immigrants. But with his $900 million in loans coming due in the next four years, becoming a pariah to pro golf will impact one of Trump’s somewhat-functional businesses.

The president will never be fully ostracized from the game he loves: He
owns 17 courses around the world in a sport that is synonymous with business types and the conservative elite — and that includes John Daly among its greats. But the executive who has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to four golfers may soon have to leave his own courses to artificially lower his handicap on outings with pros, or expect to further open his courses to the “low-class” supporters who still favor him.

The Trump Reckoning Spreads to the Golf World