Trump International Golf Links

Donald Trump, the larger than life US tycoon, struck the first ball on his new Scottish golf course today.

• Donald Trump opened the golf course with Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie

• Menie development sparked a long-running row with environmentalists

• Future of proposed offshore wind farm to be decided by Scottish ministers

The tycoon was piped to the first hole of the Aberdeenshire course and teed off with former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, who said it was an “honour” to play the first round on the “marvel” of a course.

Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA, and George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, said they would work to bring major golf events to the course.

Regardless of what your thoughts on the tycoon – the pictures (taken by legendary golf photographer Brian Morgan) portray the course to certainly look like one of the world leading links golf courses. What do you think?

You’ve Been Trumped

American tycoon Donald Trump has hit the first ball on his new Scottish golf course on Tuesday.

The building of Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire has been controversial, with environmental campaigners opposing the construction of the course on protected sand dunes and Mr Trump himself complaining about a potential offshore wind farm being built near the site.

The course will open to the public on Sunday July 15 with a series of private events being held this week.

The businessman cut a ribbon on the first tee on Tuesday to mark the opening and hit the first balls with former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.

More than £100m has been spent on the course and the clubhouse, but further plans for a hotel and homes in the area have been put on hold until a final decision is made on the offshore wind farm proposal.

Trump International said 160 jobs have been created so far with positions in management, catering and course maintenance.

Work on the course began in July 2010 after the tycoon won planning permission to start work on the construction four years after plan were first put forward.

By way of a topical look at the development, take a look at the trailer for the movie “You’ve Been Trumped” released in 2011 (links to the full film are available…).

Golf Consulting: 8 questions to ask…

Created for G3k Consulting.

It’s the dream isn’t it? That one day you will own a golf club, set up exactly how you want it. A space where you and your buddies can get on the course a play a round on any day, at any time. A clubhouse that stocks your favourite tipple and where you can all catch up after a day on your fairways and greens. However, we all know there is more to owning a golf club and I suggest you ask yourself the following eight questions before taking the plunge.

1.  Is this a lifestyle business or a profit making exercise? Or both?

Either way, you have to start putting some numbers down regarding how it will function. Get your head around all the basic functions required for a golf club – design and construction, environment, operations, management, marketing etc. Decide how each will work and project what you expect in return.

2.  Is the site the best land and location you can find?

There is more to a golf development that just quality holes and stunning scenery. You need a market in the area and you need to provide something different to what that market can already access. Spending most of your budget on digging up every inch of the land to create a course may not be fruitful. Think of the bigger picture.

3.  Is the site reliant on real estate?

If it is overly so, then DON`T do it! Seek advice on what is “overly so”.

4.  Have you got your costs and concept right?

Everything should be double checked with business advisers. Create three scenarios – blue sky, doomsday and the realistic/middle of the road scenario.  If the business can survive the doomsday then you are a step closer to owning a golf club.

5.  Is the designer the right one for the product you need to create?

Whether you go down the route of getting a big name on board or specific consultants, it has to fit your target market. A feasibility study should tell you whether your design is going to work or not. You might get a course with great holes designed by the likes of Monty but if it does not fit the surroundings then it will be money wasted.

6. Is the construction team the right one for the project?

There are many specialist golf construction companies out there so select the one that fits the product you want to create. If you are refurbishing an existing course then make sure disruption is minimal. Construction is not an area that you want to overlook then spend more money (and disruption) further down the line fixing.

7.  What do customers want?

Get together some focus groups, tell them your concept and ask them if they think it will work. Even if you think it’s obvious that it will work, ask the punters. Make sure you ask a group of people who will tell you the truth! This feedback is vital and should be consulted in the planning stages.

8.  Is there a realistic plan in place with contingencies?

All sorts of weird and wonderful situations can occur during the development. What if you discover an archaeological find during the dig? Or an exceptional weather system causes delay? Check your contingency plan with advisers and make sure it is viable.

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