There, I said it. Part of me feels dirty, part of me feels I have got something off my chest.
Love him or loathe him (it seems dependent on where you live), Donald Trump has done the game of Golf some huge favours, not just in his time as President of the United States, but for many years before.
Now, you're probably thinking that I'm either hungover from the excesses of Christmas or had a migraine for the last 4 weeks that has sent me slightly over the edge. I am glad to confirm none of the above have occurred so please hear me out!
Here is a man that has plainly caused controversy over the course of his life. He has said some things that, quite simply, shouldn't have been said by anyone, let alone by anyone in the public eye as much as he is now.
But, as a Golf Professional and a lover of the game, I can say he has done me a favour.
He has done me a favour in a number of ways:
- He is owner of 17 courses worldwide (source: Golf Monthly Jan 2017) and has invested millions in maintaining and improving the standard of these courses. Why is this beneficial to us as golfers? He is investing millions into a game that many are 'doomsdaying' with decline. Yes, he may be investing in the higher end of the market, but even the smaller end will see some benefits of this. Why? Confidence. Many other investors in golf courses, large or small, will see Trump putting his money where his mouth is and have the confidence to invest themselves. If one of the richest men in the world (on paper at least) is investing in the game, why shouldn't other investors do the same, not just in their own countries but around the world. The more investment in the game, the more opportunity there will be from grass roots to the veteran players.
- Every public figure who plays the game of golf, grows the game of golf. If he is out on the golf course, we hear about it in the media. If we see someone high profile playing golf, it's a human nature thing to want to emulate what the high profile are doing, therefore play golf! Of course I am not naïve enough to say that everyone is going to want to play simply because they saw Trump playing golf on Twitter., but it will help market the game by putting it out in front of our very eyes with the most prominent people in the world participating. Remember, the only type of bad publicity is no publicity!
- He's a decent golfer. There is a perception that golf is a difficult game. Don't get me wrong, it isn't the easiest game. Being an individual sport, if you have a bad day, there is no hiding place. You play football and have a bad game your team can still win. Golf isn't like that! So why is Trump being decent at golf a good thing? It gives golfers hope. Hope that no matter what age you are you can still perform at a decent level and not feel like you're hacking around and making a fool of yourself. Granted Trump plays a lot of golf (every 5.6 days according to mic.com during his presidency.............. didn't he say when he got elected ''I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf''????). Yes, a slightly foolish thing to say (not the first foolish attempt at a speech) but he continues to play and there's not much stopping him barring a disaster.
Trump, keep on investing in the game, keep on playing the game, keep on marketing the game. It makes a golfers life that little bit better!