From sea to shining sea, President-elect Donald J. Trump has his name emblazoned on the clubhouses and scorecards of a dozen golf courses in the U.S. By reputation, they are impeccably conditioned and provide member services that justify six-figure joining fees and thousands of dollars in annual dues. Importantly, because the fairways and greens must be mown and the post-round libations and meals must be served, the clubs provide jobs that are nominally good for the local economy.
But a quick scan of the counties surrounding Trump National Golf Clubs shows that the candidate batted a mere .166, winning only one county, Iredell in North Carolina, by more than a percentage point; he squeaked by 48% to 47% in Dutchess County, NY, his only other victory in the vicinity of his clubs.
The Bronx, NY provided one of the biggest margins in Secretary Clinton’s favor in any county in the U.S. One of the five boroughs of New York City, The Bronx was never going to go Trump’s way. In fact the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, built on a former landfill site just short of the Whitestone Bridge, might have provided an extra irritant to local voters. Trump takes credit for building the golf course, yet some New York City officials have been emphatic that the city built it and Trump was brought in solely to operate it. (Since the project was well over budget, the battle to claim responsibility seems odd.) Also, recent news articles indicate that work around the golf course, which opened in 2015, has still not been completed. Green fees on the Jack Nicklaus designed layout are pegged at $144 for city residents on weekdays and $172 on weekends, not exactly working class friendly. The rest of us pay $194 and $219 on weekdays and weekends, respectively.
Five years ago, Trump purchased the financially distressed golf club in the community known as The Pointe on Lake Norman, north of Charlotte, NC, and installed his son Eric to manage it. Homes in The Pointe are valued from around $600,000 and up, which dovetails nicely with the Trump taste level and fee structure. Reports are that the Greg Norman golf course is in top-notch shape.
Trump isn’t about to get a vote of confidence either in one location overseas. When his lack of international experience came into question during the campaign, Trump referred to the Miss Universe pageant he once ran and, later, to his golf clubs in Dubai and Scotland. He now owns the fine links at the classic Turnberry on the Scottish coast, but it is the modern course he built on the ocean near Aberdeen that has courted controversy. When the owner of an adjacent farm refused to sell his land to Trump, the President-elect built dunes so high along one of his fairways that they blocked the view of the ocean that generations of the farm’s occupants had enjoyed. The promised couple of thousand jobs at the resort have never materialized and some of the Scottish parliamentarians perceived as having greased the skids for environmental and other approvals have paid a political price. Most recently, Trump has sued a local energy company for placing wind turbines in the waters just off the coast, despoiling the view from the clubhouse and golf course.
The vote results from the counties surrounding Trump clubs in the U.S. follow:
|Doral, Miami, FL||Dade County||34%||63%|
|Ferry Point, NY||The Bronx||10%||89%|
|L.A., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA||Los Angeles||23%||71%|
|Colts Neck, NJ||Monmouth||42%||55%|
|Hudson Valley, Hopewell Junction, NY||Dutchess||48%||47%|
|Jupiter, FL||Palm Beach||41%||57%|
|Palm Beach, FL||Palm Beach||41%||57%|
|Philadelphia, Pine Hill, NJ||Camden||32%||65%|
|Washington, D.C., Potomac Falls, VA||Loudon||39%||55%|