The 45th US president plays it hard and fast. Golf that is. Well, that’s the way it was when I joined Donald Trump for a game following the official opening of his spectacular Trump International Golf Links just outside Aberdeen.
Trump loves golf with a burning passion – virtually everything about it - and just as much as he does making mountains of money. He particularly enjoys and revels in the winning aspect. He hates losing with a passion.
I joined him for a knock on the brilliant back nine at Balmedie. It was a surreal experience with The Donald’s every step being carefully monitored by a group of bodyguards Tiger Woods, or indeed a President, would have been proud of.
It soon became apparent that Trump doesn’t take any nonsense on-course. He is a steady single digit player who hits a solid deceptively long ball….and he plays quickly, very quickly. So fast in fact I spent most of the time chasing him down the fairways to get his thoughts about his exciting new projects and the game in general.
The Donald doesn’t hang about on the course. He’s the fastest player I’ve ever played with. Hit-move, hit-move, hit-move….he’s relentless. I must admit I was puffing and panting to keep up with him and wasn’t in the least surprised when Trump revealed one of his pet golfing hates.... is slow play. No way. I would never have believed it….
I concede I’m not the quickest player around, a fact pointed out by Trump (well, kind of) as early as the 2nd hole when another member of our group came over to me to point out: “Kevin, Mr Trump has asked me to ask you if you can speed things up a bit?”
A tactical ploy to knock me out of my stride or just the fact that he had another meeting lined up straight after our game? Who knows but I should point out that on the odd occasion I managed to hit a nice shot or sink a putt, Trump was the first to acknowledge and congratulate. So fair enough.
He’s not against taking the odd mulligan or two either. On the par-3 13th he managed to top his tee shot which settled into the rough just ahead of the ladies tees. Relief all round then. Another ball was swiftly thrown to him and within a split second Trump despatched it into the heart of the green.More relief.
Victory went to Trump. Again. But he was on home turf wasn't he?
Since his move to the White House, the President’s golfing activities may be curtailed in the immediate future. But it probably won’t be too long before Trump is tearing round a course, shooting a mulligan and playing mind games on a course somewhere. And probably sooner rather than later…