There are scores of century-old golf links in Scotland. It seems like Donald Trump's own links course has been in the works for about that long.
Alas, Trump International Golf Links will open in July of 2012 on Scotland's northeast coast. Currently, tee times can be booked at the TrumpGolfScotland.com website.
Having visited the proposed site back in 2006, I was blown away with the coastal spot and certainly understood why he fought opposition that wanted him to move elsewhere.
A lot has changed since 2006. Back then, one British Pound equaled about $2.15. Economic collapse was still just a twinkle in Bear Sterns and Lehman Bros. eyes. Officials I met with had hoped to break ground in 2007, but that ended up getting pushed back several years.
Today, the climate for both golf and the overall economic is decidedly cooler, but the masses continue to make their way to experience Scotland's links courses (where the exchange rate is a lot better for Americans at about $1.55 to a Pound than five years ago). Trump's course will be the most talked about golf course in Scotland for 2012 and will be compared to the country's other modern links like Kingsbarns, St. Andrews Castle Course and Castle Stuart.
The Trump folks sent along a few images by Brian Morgan of how the course is progressing. The above photo is of the third hole, which will feature not only beach views but a natural runoff running beside the green.
In the image below, the 13th hole's elevated tee showcases a large fairway that appears that, depending on the wind, could be a drivable par 4 or a long-playing hole into the teeth of the sea breeze (the image reminds me of southwest Ireland's Doonbeg a little). This vantage point also showcases the mighty dunes that Scotland's northeast coast offers, while the rainbow is a reminder that the region's wild weather helped to create them:
Lastly, it appears that bunkers will be of many shapes and sizes, but many greenside traps will be small, riveted pot bunkers in the style of the 19th century links:
The location of Trump International Golf Links on the northeast coast means it can be included in a variety of Scotland golf itineraries. The most convenient would be to include Cruden Bay to the north, then Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Golf Links just south. It would be wise to expand the radius a little and include the Highlands golf courses like Royal Dornoch, Nairn Golf Club and Scottish Open host Castle Stuart.
Golf package inquires to Trump International and the many links of Scotland can be made at Carr Golf Travel.