Golfers urged to boycott controversial holes as Donald Trump opens course

Donald Trump arrives at Aberdeen Airport
Donald Trump arrives at Aberdeen Airport
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DONALD Trump was yesterday branded a “bullyboy billionaire” who has turned one of Scotland’s most environmentally important stretches of coastline into an “alien landscape” as he flew into Aberdeen for the grand opening of the “world’s greatest golf course”.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is calling on Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and other top golfers taking part in today’s opening ceremony to boycott those holes built on the former site of special scientific interest at the tycoon’s Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

And Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Green Party, launched an astonishing tirade against Trump, backing the charity’s call and claiming that the billionaire businessman has been at the centre of a saga which had been a “monumental embarrassment for Scotland and its governments”.

Mr Harvie, who has submitted a motion to the Holyrood Parliament condemning the Menie development, declared: “The way successive First Ministers, council leaders and industry sucked up to this bullyboy billionaire was utterly shameful.

“Perhaps because the development took place away from the Central Belt, little attention was paid to the impact on the community. The intimidation of people living there has been scandalous and the lack of interest from the ministers who sanctioned the project speaks volumes.”

He claimed: “We’ve sent the message that no matter how dodgy you are, flash some cash and Scotland will roll over. As we look forward to a historic decision on the future of Scotland, perhaps a real sign of how progressive we can be would be for the government to tell this guy precisely where he can stick his nine iron.”

Mr Trump, who is being accompanied on his visit by his two sons, Donald Junior and Eric, and daughter Ivanka, brushed aside the criticisms after flying into Scotland on board his private Boeing 747 jet.

He said: “We have tremendous popularity. The government did a great favour to Scotland when they approved it.

“We’ve built what many people are considering the greatest golf course anywhere in the world – I’m very proud of that.”

Mr Trump is expected to be joined by Montgomerie and two other leading Scottish golfers, former Open champion Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird, at today’s opening ceremony.

Protest group Tripping Up Trump is also likely to stage a demonstration. Spokeswoman Sue Edwards said: “No doubt the new golf course and its surroundings will all shine like a new pin for the opening. Trump will have his perfect golf course, and everything that doesn’t suit his style is conveniently hidden.”