Eric Trump brags that all the funding for Trump golf courses comes from Russia and not from American banks.
An avid fan of golf, Dodson has written books on the game to include co-authoring golfing legend Arnold Palmer’s memoir.
Writing of his meeting with Trump, Bill Littlefield of WBUR writes that: “That’s no doubt why Dodson was sought after as a playing partner and luncheon guest by the man who said until quite recently that one of his primary jobs was making golf great again.”
As Littlefield writes, Dodson had never met Trump, but was keenly aware of his interest and impact on the game of golf.
“I knew Trump was very interested in golf,” Dodson says. “I knew he was buying up golf courses. His M.O. was to find a financially distressed property, buy it, keep it in bankruptcy, do a half-a-million-dollar renovation, fire the entire staff and hire a third back.”
Dodson recounts how his meeting with Trump came about: “This PR guy kept calling me and inviting me,” Dodson told WBUR, “And he kept saying things like, ‘Oh, Donald Trump loves your books.’ And I kept saying, ‘Donald Trump doesn’t read books, I’m told. And he hadn’t a clue who I am.’ Anyway, he called three or four times. Finally, I said yes.”
“Greg Norman was gonna show up, and he and Trump were gonna play the first nine of the course,” Dodson explained to WBUR, adding: “I was gonna play with Eric, his son, a local congressman and the guy I assumed was his bodyguard. And then we would swap at the nine holes. I would play with Trump and Greg, and then we would have a big lunch and hear all about the club.”
Continuing, Dodson explains that when he arrived “Trump was strutting up and down, talking to his new members about how they were part of the greatest club in North Carolina and when I first met him, I asked him how he was — you know, this is the journalist in me — I said, ‘What are you using to pay for these courses?’ And he just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.”
“So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”
Trump’s golf empire has come under renewed scrutiny amid his bigoted presidential campaign and controversy regarding his so-called Southern White House – his Mar-A-Lago resort.
First there was the 2015 announcement that Trump’s Turnberry Golf Resort had been pulled for consideration for the 2020 British Open Tournament. It seems the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews had been expected to endorse Trump’s golf resort to host the 2020 British Open, but after Trump’s slew of racist remarks on the campaign trail about the Chinese, Mexicans, Muslims, and women – increasing concerns regarding the risk of boycotts by tournament sponsors and players were too much for the prestigious governing body.
The loss of the British Open Tournament was not only an ego blow for the bigoted billionaire, but a significant loss to his financial empire as well. Trump purchased the Turnberry resort in 2015 for “just over $63 million,” renaming it Trump Turnberry. Promising an upgrade of slightly more than $300 million, “the purchase appeared to give the billionaire the near-guarantee that when The Open came to his place, he would be center-stage at the winner’s presentation party on the 18th green,”along with other dignitaries in a ceremony shown to millions around the world, according to a 2016 report by The Independent.
Trump also received a blow last year when he lost a bitter 2-year court battle and hundreds of millions of dollars involving one of his golf properties in Scotland.
That blow occurred in June 2016 when Britain’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Trump’s efforts to block the construction of a wind farm in Scotland.
As Think Progress reported at the time, Trump had been “fighting to prevent the construction of a wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, since 2013.” Trump “maintained that the wind farm, if constructed, would ruin the view of a luxury golf course he owns near the planned site of the farm. The Scottish government approved plans for the wind farm in 2013, and since then, Trump’s challenge had lost twice in Scottish courts,” and the Supreme Court’s ruling likely put an end to Trump’s efforts to halt construction of the project.