Donald Trump golf courses will keep events despite firestorm

Donald Trump has been widely criticized for his comments about Mexican immigrants.
Donald Trump has been widely criticized for his comments about Mexican immigrants. For the Miami Herald

Donald Trump runs one of golf’s biggest international tournaments out of Trump National Doral, but recently, in his bid to become president, the outspoken Trump hasn’t made too many international friends, particularly in Mexico.

Nevertheless, the governing bodies of golf — at least for now — are standing by Trump, even if a bit hesitatingly.

The upshot of that: don’t expect the prestigious World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship held on the Blue Monster course at Doral every March to be going anywhere or making any major changes because Trump, during his campaign, linked Mexican immigrants to being rapists, drug dealers and criminals.

In a joint statement, the PGA of America, the LPGA, the USGA and the PGA Tour said they will not make alterations to tournaments being held on Trump courses because of his comments, and that includes Doral.

There are “no plans to alter any of our upcoming venues,” the organizations said.

However, some other Trump affiliates have taken action, pretty drastic action, in fact, in the wake of Trump’s Mexican comments. Macy’s, NBC and Univision have all severed ties with Trump.

“I’ve had tremendous support from the golf world, because they all know I’m right,” Trump told The Golf Channel. “I’ve been great to golf. I’ve been investing while everybody else has been fleeing.”

That said, golf’s support of Trump wasn’t as unhesitating as he made it seem.

“We feel compelled to clarify that [his] remarks do not reflect the vision of our organization,” the PGA said. “Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

Trump, who owns 18 golf courses throughout the world, has been a longtime avid player and fan of the game.

In fact, he has hinted that when he dies he might be buried on one of his golf courses.

“Where can you have a nicer place to end up at than a golf course?” Trump asked recently, noting he’s naturally in no hurry.

Although Trump is notably not very tight-lipped, the golf hierarchy certainly wants everybody else to stay away from commenting on his Mexican comments.

Butch Buchholz, the tournament chairman for Doral’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, said that the various golf organizations have dictated silence about Trump’s comments from the individual tournaments.

“They do not want us to talk about it right now,” politely explained Buchholz, who said he would follow that mandate. “That’s what everybody has been advised.”

The field at the WGC-Cadillac Championship is extremely international, with the national flags of the players competing in the event surrounding the practice putting green. A year ago, totally based upon scores and rankings and not political ideology, there were no Mexican players represented in the Doral tournament. The field for the March 2016 tournament is a long way from being set.

The most famous Mexican golfer of all time is Lee Trevino, the man nicknamed the Merry Mex who has 29 PGA Tour victories to his credit, including six major championships. He has not yet made comment on Trump’s disparaging remarks. However, Trevino was complimentary several years ago when Trump bought the Doral complex, saying Trump might eventually make the Blue Monster “… a hell of a U.S. Open course.”

Trump and Trevino also appeared together in January 2014 in a golf merchandise show in Orlando.