With the announcement that The Open will return to Royal Liverpool in 2022, the wait for Trump Turnberry continues.
The Ailsa Course along the southwest coast of Scotland has hosted The Open four times previously, the last coming when Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a playoff in 2009. The course was purchased by Donald Trump in 2014, two years before he was elected President of the United States, and Trump’s group subsequently oversaw a significant renovation following the 2015 Women’s British Open.
With St. Andrews hosting in 2021 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Open, R&A chief Martin Slumbers explained that it would not have been “sensible commercially” to hold the tournament in Scotland two years in a row. But he remained diplomatic on a media conference call when discussing Turnberry’s future prospects.
“We have 10 courses that we look to stage the Open Championship on, of which Turnberry is one of them,” Slumbers said.
Turnberry went 15 years in between its two most recent Opens (1994 and 2009), and now looks to be facing a similar wait to get the tournament again. But the other Open venues have not faced similar gaps: including this year’s return to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, each of the other nine host courses will have held at least one Open between 2011 and 2019. Royal St. George’s, which has gone the longest since its last Open (2011) outside of Turnberry, will host again in 2020.
But with the R&A expected to choose a Scottish host course for 2023, Slumbers reiterated that Turnberry is still a possibility moving forward.
“Turnberry will be in consideration for 2023, but it’s not a rota,” Slumbers said. “We look at all the issues in the round, but Turnberry remains as one of the 10 courses where we could stage the Open Championship.”