DONALD Trump is planning to name the second championship course at his Aberdeenshire golf resort in honour of his mother who was born and raised on the island of Lewis.
And yesterday, speaking from Trump Tower in New York, the American billionaire told The Scotsman: “I know that if I called it The Donald Course I would be ridiculed out of Scotland. Who better to name it after than my mother.
“She was a proud Scot. She loved this country so much and I think she would be very proud to have the course named after her.”
Mr Trump has already named the mansion he has made his home on the Menie Estate McLeod House as a tribute to his late mother, Mary Anne, the seventh child of fisherman and crofter Malcolm MacLeod and his wife Mary Smith
And he is now planning to submit a planning application for the second 18 holes at the Menie golf resort - The MacLeod Course - to Aberdeenshire Council within the next few weeks.
The new course, designed by acclaimed golf architect Martin Hawtree, the designer of the main championship course at Menie, will be a par 72 course of over 7.500 yards and will be laid out on 350 acres of land to the south of the main championship course at Menie. The site is outside the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which was at the centre of the controversy over the development of the first 18 holes.
Mr Trump said his decision to name it The MacLeod Course, as a lasting legacy to his mother, had been a “very easy decision to make.”
He continued: “I always felt the MacLeod Course would be great name for the second - there is such a great history with the MacLeods and Scotland and my mother was a Macleod. She would go to back to Scotland religiously and she loved everything about it.”
The tycoon explained that he had originally believed it would be between five to ten years before he began planning a second course at the Menie estate. But 10,000 rounds had already been played at the championship course since it opened last July.
Said Mr Trump: “This week we have over 11,000 bookings already - double what we had last year at this time. People are coming from all over the world. It has been incredible for Scotland and Aberdeen in particular and every hotel owner in Aberdeen loves me. They are packed.
“We have had such tremendous demand to get on the course and such an amazing second site that a second course is now being planned.”
And he continued: “The course is fully designed and it is magnificent. We are going to do our best to make this course as good as the championship course - I don’t know if that’s possible but we are going to do our best. It is very, very hard to compete with what we did.
“The beautiful thing is that it is not in the SSSI so we don’t have to go through that long process again.”
But he again warned that he will not go ahead with plans to build a luxury hotel and homes on the Menie estate if plans for a controversial offshore windfarm in Aberdeen Bay are given the go-ahead.
Scottish Government Ministers have still to announce their decision on the proposals for the £230 million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off the Aberdeenshire coast.
Mrs Trump was born in Stornoway on 10 May, 1912, and met the tycoon’s father, Fred Trump, during a visit to New York. They married in 1936 before Fred Trump became one of the city’s biggest real estate developers.
The couple had five children - MaryAnne, a federal judge, Fred Jun, who died in 1981, Elizabeth, who became an executive with Chase Manhattan Bank, Donald who was born in 1946, and Robert, who now runs his late father’s property management company.
Mr and Mrs Trump were active in supporting a huge range of charities, including the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America and the Lighthouse for the Blind.
Fred Trump died of pneumonia in June 1999, a year before Mary Trump died at the age of 88.