The R&A will not host the British Open Championship, the game’s oldest championship and longest-running major, or any other of its championships at President Donald Trump’s Turnberry Resort in Scotland for what the organization describes as the “foreseeable future.”
In a statement on Monday, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said, “We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in 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.”
In previous comments dating back to 2016, Slumbers had publicly played neutral regarding the Trump-owned Turnberry against hosting the Open for the first time since 2009, back before Trump purchased the property from Emirati interests in 2014.
“I’ve been very clear on this,” Slumbers said in July 2016. “Turnberry was and is part of the pool of courses for the Open Championship. There are at the moment nine courses for the Open Championship, and Turnberry is one of those.”
Slumbers reiterated the sentiment in 2019, saying “Turnberry will be in consideration for 2023, but it’s not a rota (of Open host courses). We look at all the issues in the round, but Turnberry remains as one of the 10 courses where we could stage the Open Championship.”
However, Slumbers had noted the R&A calendar for the Open had already been selected into the current decade at that point. A 2015 report from The Independent, though, claimed the R&A had already privately decided that Trump Turnberry would not host the Open again so long as Trump’s name was on the property and he owned the resort.
In 2018, President Trump reportedly asked New York Jets owner and UK ambassador Woody Johnson to pressure the United Kingdom government to bring the Open back to Turnberry, in which he has invested millions.
Now the R&A has made clear they will not be staging any of their championships at his properties at least well into the 2020s.
The announcement follows that of the PGA of America, whose board voted Jan. 10 to terminate its agreement with the Trump Organization to host the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.