Professional golf has dealt Donald Trump another bitter blow, with the PGA of America and the R&A both announcing they will shun two of the US President’s courses after last week’s deadly Washington riots.
Five people died in the resulting rampage after Mr Trump exhorted thousands of supporters to march on the US Capitol last Wednesday as Congress met to certify his defeat to Joe Biden.
There was chaos and wild scenes as the violent mob breached the building, with many politicians and their staff forced into hiding until they could be safely evacuated.
In the fallout from the Capitol riot, Mr Trump has been banned from most social media platforms, including his favourite, Twitter. He has remained publicly silent on the violence and the bans.
But being shunned by the world of golf is likely to hurt the outgoing President. He is a famously keen golfer – having played nearly 300 times in the years since his own inauguration in 2017, according to the website trumpgolfcount.com.
On Monday (US time), golf’s governing body the R&A said it would not stage any championships at the Trump-owned Turnberry golf course for the foreseeable future.
“We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances,” R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said.
Turnberry, in South Ayrshire, Scotland, has hosted the Open Championship on four previous occasions, most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a playoff.
Mr Trump bought the property in 2014.
Hours earlier, the PGA of America said it was stripping the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster of the 2022 PGA Championship, after a vote by its board of directors.
“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand,” PGA of America President Jim Richerson said in a video announcing the decision.
PGA President Jim Richerson said the board voted to exercise its right to “terminate the agreement” with Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” Seth Waugh, the chief executive of the PGA of America, said in a telephone interview.
“We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that?
“Our feeling was, given the tragic events of Wednesday, that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster.
“The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
A representative for the Trump Organisation said it was “incredibly disappointed” with the PGA of America’s decision.
“We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America … This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” the representative said.
“As an organisation we have invested many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster.
“We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.”