Thomas Gallatin / May 18, 2022

PGA Snubs Trump

Jack Nicklaus rebukes the PGA for joining the Left’s cancel culture in moving its Championship tournament away from a Trump-owned course.

Two weeks before one of professional golf’s biggest tournaments, the Professional Golf Association of America (PGA) has officially moved its PGA Championship tournament from the Donald Trump-owned Trump Bedminster course in Bedminster, New Jersey, and relocated it to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The reason has everything to do with politics, even though PGA chief Seth Waugh would deny it.

Trump has long been a fan and lover of the game of golf. Furthermore, Trump engages in the sport well beyond merely being an avid fan and player. Over the years, Trump has acquired a total of 17 courses around the world, including the likes of the famous Turnberry Golf Club in Scotland that has hosted four Open championships. Trump owns 11 courses in the U.S. alone.

Furthermore, Trump can count several of golf’s most famous players as his friends, including the great Jack Nicklaus, who boasts a record 18 major wins, and Tiger Woods, whose total number of major wins is second only to Nicklaus.

For many years, Trump tried to host one of the major tournaments, and he had finally succeeded in reaching an agreement with the PGA for the 2022 PGA Championship at his Bedminster course. The agreement was made in 2014, well before Trump launched his presidential run.

However, Trump Derangement Syndrome seems to run strong within the entertainment community, and even before the events of January 6, 2021, leadership within the PGA had soured on Trump. Well, the events of J6 and the Democrats’ over-the-top narrative proved to be the excuse needed. Soon after the Capitol riot, Waugh decided that the PGA could not have a Trump course host one of its majors.

“Everybody wants to make this a political move, but we got into a political place that was not of our making,” Waugh contended. “My feeling was we could do existential damage to our brand by staying at Bedminster. If we stayed, the 2022 PGA would be about its ownership. People would think we were making a statement by staying there. I felt like we could do permanent damage to the brand if we stayed. As did the board.”

The decision not only looked political, it was political. It would have been one thing if the PGA did not already have a contract with Trump, but to back out after the fact smacks of politics. Trump was the larger-than-life individual that the PGA brass had never really warmed up to. The PGA of America Board of Directors voted just four days after January 6 to terminate their agreement with Trump. The speed at which the decision was made tells you everything about the feelings board members already harbored toward Trump.

However, it took until last week to find and secure a replacement venue. So, just weeks out from the PGA Championship, Trump’s Bedminster is out and Southern Hills is in. The decision clearly didn’t go over well with Nicholaus. “This move is cancel culture,” he argued. “Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf and he loves this country. He’s a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do.”

Unlike other sports leagues, the PGA has long sought to avoid any publicity circuses and controversies, but this decision to play to the tune of the Left on Trump and J6 only furthers cultural divisions where none should exist. The idea that Trump is such a pariah that a world-class golf course he owns cannot be used even after a contract has been signed is political and absurd.

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