CONSTRUCTION work has been completed on Donald Trump’s championship golf course on the Menie estate, Aberdeenshire.
More than 1,000 players have signed up to play the 18-hole course, at the cost of £200 a round, when it opens to the public next July.
Yesterday, the Trump Organisation issued new images of some of the key holes on the links course. In a statement from Trump Tower in New York, the tycoon said he had been “blown away” by the fruits of his £60 million investment in Scotland.
“We knew that we were going to create the best course in the world, but it has turned out even better than we thought,” he said. “That can only be a good thing for Scotland and for Aberdeen – and I am delighted for the North-east because the people have been so good to me.”
Mr Trump added: “The 13th hole, which is a long par three hitting towards the North Sea, looks fantastic – and the third hole, which has a natural lake coming in from the sea, is incredible.”
The completed course was also endorsed by two of Scotland’s rising stars in the world of golf. Aberdeen golfer Richie Ramsay, winner of the US Amateur Championship in 2006 who is now the leading Scot in the Race to Dubai on the European tour, said: “The course the Scottish Open will go to in the future is the new Trump course as it’s just unbelievable. It has to be one of the best new courses in the world.”
James Byrne, the Banchory-based golfer who turned professional this year after being a member of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland side in the Walker Cup at nearby Royal Aberdeen, said: “I have seen Mr Trump’s course and it has some unbelievable and unique views from some of the tee boxes.
“It looks like being one of the best courses, certainly in the UK but potentially the world.”
First Minister Alex Salmond and film star Sir Sean Connery are expected to join the tycoon when the trio are the first to play the course when it officially opens next summer.
Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International Scotland, said: “We are opening a good 12 months ahead of schedule. We will have built and opened the golf course within two years of receiving planning consent which is an exceptional achievement.”
Ms Malone confirmed that more than 1,000 golfers had already booked to play the course. Golfers planning to play Menie will pay up to £200 for the privilege – £50 more than the green fees announced for next year at the Old Course at St Andrews, the home of golf.
Fees have been set at £150 for a midweek round and £200 for a weekend. But golfers who can prove they live in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire will receive a discount – playing midweek for £120 and £160 at the weekend.
The 7,400-yard course occupies 500 acres of the Menie estate.