The news of Donald Trump building a links course in Scotland nearly shattered my cognitive dissonance meter. Talk about clashing styles.
This is Ted Nugent conducting the New York Philharmonic.
Ronald McDonald in the kitchen at the French Laundry.
Thomas Kinkade (R.I.P.) re-painting the Sistine Chapel.
But after years of wrangling with the locals and preemptively proclaiming his course the world’s greatest, the Donald opened Trump International Golf Links near the town of Aberdeen a few days ago.[pullquote align=”right”]“The embodiment of the guy who was born on third base and goes around preening like he tripled off the wall.”[/pullquote]
I’ll stop short of declaring the apocalypse nigh, but this just ain’t right.
You may have guessed that I don’t much care for Mr. Trump. In fact, I think he’s a fool. A charlatan. A sleazebag. A grotesque, cartoonish stereotype of the uber-wealthy. The embodiment of the guy who was born on third base and goes around preening like he tripled off the wall.
Donald Trump doesn’t just have a big ego. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder. The definition should be accompanied by his smug, rug-topped mug: “A condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.”
Trump’s not an ugly American, he’s the ugliest American. With a single redeeming quality: He loves golf.
Which brings me to the windswept links of Scotland. Natural. Honest. Pure, unpretentious golf. I love everything about it, from the rumpled fairways to the bottomless pot bunkers to the indecipherable accents of the weathered old caddies. The Caddies of Scotland – Movie
In a nutshell, Scottish links golf is everything Donald Trump is not.
And now the two are joined in unholy matrimony.
Predictably, Trump declared that the finished course is indeed the world’s finest during a July 10 dog-and-pony show featuring Scotland’s own Colin Montgomerie. There’s no disputing the quality of the site, a stunning dunescape near Aberdeen, nor the bona fides of architect Martin Hawtree, whose family has been in the business for 100 years.
It’s no surprise, then, that the course is absolutely breathtaking. But the question remains: Is it more than just another ostentatious Trump trinket?
Darius Oliver isn’t sure. The highly respected writer got an early glimpse at the links and, while conceding its beauty, withheld judgment on its overall quality. Hawtree “clearly had a brief to create a spectacular golf course,” Oliver wrote, “and on a superficial level, at least, he succeeded.”[note color=”#f9ed77″]Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America by Darius Oliver
Golf World, on the other hand, lauded Trump International GL as “spectacular without being overly showy,” and promptly inserted it among the game’s top 100 tracks.
While most reviews figure to glow like the gold fixtures in Trump’s private plane, some will no doubt find fault as Oliver did. Whatever criticism comes his course’s way, Trump will likely dismiss it as the jealous sniping of know-nothing losers. He’s charming like that.
To wit: His incessant railing against the planned construction of a nearby wind farm – intended to, you know, produce clean, sustainable energy. According to Trump, such projects “will be the destruction of Scotland, ultimately.” Uh huh. And you’ve got the goods on President Obama’s fake birth certificate too, right Donald?
The whole episode reminds me of Bob Dylan’s epic spleen-venting on the song “Idiot Wind,” whose lyrics could’ve been written about a certain toupéed blowhard. “Idiot wind,” Dylan howls, “blowing every time you move your mouth.”
I’ll try to be charitable and give Trump International Golf Links – if not the man himself – the benefit of the doubt. It’s certain to be a huge hit among traveling golfers, and if there’s one thing the world needs, besides less Donald, it’s more great links.
With any luck, Trump will be spending most of his time over there. Nah, I take it back. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, least of all the Scots.
Daniel Mitchell is a golf writer and Golf-Newz.com contributor who lives in Jupiter, Fla., a few miles from Tiger Woods as the crow flies but worlds away in every other respect. An avid golfer since age 12, Mitchell carries a (shaky) single-digit handicap, investing far more time in his dogs than his swing.
You can read his regular musings at a-gamegolfblog.blogspot.com