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It hasn’t been a good week for Donald Trump.
The president of the United States is once again facing impeachment, has been banished from his beloved social media, has seen former supporters scramble to distance themselves from him, and faces multiple legal probes when he leaves office next week.
But there’s one denouncement that has reportedly hit Donald Trump hard.
The PGA of America announced Monday it was severing links with the outgoing president and that it would no longer hold a 2022 Championship event at Trump’s golf course in New Jersey.
“The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,” Jim Richerson, PGA of America President said in a statement.
President reportedly ‘gutted’ over decision
Compared to his other troubles, this might seem trivial. But the rebuke from the golf governing body is no small thing. The PGA lists the courses set to hold such events well in advance, with current events publicly announced as far as 2034.
It also strikes at Trump’s identity – both at a personal and business level.
The president spent an inordinate amount of time on the golf course during his presidency, spending one in every five days on the links in 2019, according to CNN.
Not only is the golf course a personal sanctuary for Trump, but his courses in Scotland and the US are a crucial part of his business empire (and tax avoidance strategies while still bringing in money).
According to The New York Times' Maggie Haberman, the president was “gutted” by the move.
“He’s angry about impeachment, people who have spoken to him say. But the reaction to the PGA decision was a different order of magnitude,” she reported on Twitter.
He’s angry about impeachment, people who have spoken to him say. But the reaction to the PGA decision was different order of magnitude.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 11, 2021
Speaking to Mother Jones, sports columnist Rick Reilly speculated about the president’s devastation.
“He’s got to be devastated,” he said. “This is going to be as bad as losing the election.”
As the author of the book Commander In Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, Reilly has a special insight into the president’s relationship with the sport.
Trump organisation ‘incredibly disappointed’ by golf snub
The PGA of America, which has some 29,000 golf professionals who mostly teach the game, signed the deal with Trump National in 2014.
It cancelled the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2015 at Trump National Los Angeles Golf Club after Trump’s disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants when he announced he was seeking the Republican nomination for president. The event was cancelled for good the following spring.
It has since held events at Trump courses in 2017.
The Trump Organisation said in a statement it has “a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision.”
“This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” the statement said.
“As an organisation we have invested many, 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.”
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