Trump links up with Irish firm to build controversial golf course

DONALD Trump's dream of transforming a stretch of the Aberdeenshire coastline into the world's greatest golf course took a major step forward yesterday as an company based in Ireland was named as the main contractor for the development.

The American tycoon has appointed SOL Golf Course Construction, based in Ballydesmond, Co Cork, to lay out the main championship course at the Menie Links site near Balmedie.

A spokeswoman for Trump International Golf Links Scotland said that, following an extensive tendering process, Mr Trump had stepped in to negotiate the final multimillion-pound deal and select his preferred contractor.

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Mr Trump said: "SOL's experience of championship links courses is unequalled and their workmanship is second-to-none. They will do an outstanding job."

A spokeswoman for Mr Trump said: "Growing from an Irish-based operation to include projects across the British Isles, SOL has worked on many of the world's best golf courses and is currently working on various Open Championship courses on behalf of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews including Royal Liverpool, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale.

"Specialising in the construction of new courses and the modification of existing golf courses, SOL has built some of the finest courses in the world.

"From fairways and bunkers to tees and greens, SOL is now responsible for developing all aspects of the championship links course, and will work alongside Dr Martin Hawtree."

Dr Hawtree, a leading golf course architect, has worked on Royal Birkdale, Portmarnock, Lahinch and Carnoustie

Michael O'Leary, the managing director of SOL, said: "We have worked on more than 40 world-class links courses across Ireland and Britain, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a world-leading course on terrain such as this."