Following his expansion into Ireland earlier this year with the purchase of the Doonbeg Golf Club, billionaire golf enthusiast Donald Trump is turning back toward the United Kingdom, with his agreement to purchase the Turnberry Golf Resort on the west coast of Scotland. The resort has hosted the British Open three times, as the Sun Times notes, most recently in 2009, when Stewart Cink won a playoff over Tom Watson. The most famous was in 1977, the “Duel in the Sun” that featured Watson defeating Jack Nicklaus. Turnberry is the 17th golf property owned by Trump, including 12 in the United States. That includes Trump National Doral, which was renovated for this year’s World Golf Championship in south Florida.
According to the Daily Record, the resort is currently owned by Leisurecorp, a subsidiary of the Dubai government, and has been up for sale since the onset of the global financial crises. Leisurecorp first bought the resort and it's accompanying hotel from Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $87.5 million in 2008. The Sun Times says that Trump paid Leisurecorp just over $63 million for the property.
Construction Week Online reported that Trump is interested in the property as it plans to host its fifth Open in the next decade. This is surprising, as Trump previously stated he would no longer invest in Scotland after falling out with the Scottish government over its plans to construct an offshore wind farm in the country's Aberdeen Bay. Trump believed the wind farm would disrupt the view from his nearby golf resort, but lost the case in court.
The resort's hotel has 149 guestrooms and eight restaurants, and is currently managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
"We can't comment on press speculation but should the estate change hands, then Starwood expect to continue to manage Turnberry under the Luxury Collection Brand, independent of any potential change in ownership of the estate and building," a spokeswoman for Starwood Hotels and Resorts told the Herald Scotland.