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Trump expresses an interest in the purchase of KGL - but course fails to meet his requirements
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Trump chips in with links plan

Mark Macaskill, Sunday Times, 30 October 2005

Donald Trump, the American property tycoon, is planning to create a luxury links golf development in Scotland.

His proposals for an exclusive international club have been given a boost following a private meeting with Jack McConnell, the first minister.

Trump, whose mother Mary MacLeod was born on the Isle of Lewis, wants to build a new course complete with clubhouse and a range of secluded, luxury homes. He has already expressed an interest in the purchase of courses at Kingsbarns, near St Andrews, and Machrihanish, in Kintyre, although neither met his requirements.

Trump already owns Briarcliff Manor golf club in New York, widely regarded as one of the world’s most sumptuous golfing resorts, as well as courses in Florida, New Jersey and California.

Last week Trump met with Jack McConnell, during a visit by the first minister to New York, and said he was prepared to invest in Scotland. McConnell said that Trump was committed to his Scottish roots and had accepted an invitation to visit Scotland next year.

Ashley Cooper, the head of Trump National Golf Club who was at the meeting with McConnell, said: “We are looking at an acquisition of a links course. Donald is a real estate guy, golf is his passion and he’s trying to get into something which involves real estate.

“Scotland is at the top of the radar and we will only buy and build something if it can be extraordinary - and I mean extraordinary.”

Attracting Trump to Scotland would be a massive boost to golfing tourism, which already brings in about £300m a year.

A spokesman for the first minister, said: “Donald Trump was very enthusiastic about Scotland, its golfing history, its business links and they were fascinated to hear how Scotland has improved since devolution.”

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