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Donald Trump expected to increase time playing golf while in Scotland

Donald Trump is expected to increase the amount of time he has spent playing golf during his presidency when he spends the weekend at one of his Scottish courses.

The US president is due to touch down in Scotland on Friday night before travelling on to Turnberry, the famous South Ayrshire golf resort he bought in 2014.

There were reports earlier this year that diplomats had been tasked with finding a famous golfing partner for Mr Trump for a round at Turnberry, but no names have been confirmed.

So far, Mr Trump has spent 125 days at his golf properties during his presidency, according to NBC News, but the precise number of times he has actually played golf is difficult to track as trips have mainly been weekend private visits.

He last visited Turnberry in 2016 to reopen it after a £200 million refurbishment. At the time, he was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and staff at the course wore caps with the message “made Turnberry great again” in a nod to his campaign slogan.

Days before his latest visit to Turnberry, protesters voiced their anger outside the golf resort (David Cheskin/PA)

It was his second golf course in Scotland after Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, the construction of which was marred in controversy as he clashed with local residents, environmental campaigners and politicians.

The Balmedie course eventually opened in 2012 and was praised in golf circles, but its chances of hosting some of the major competitions Mr Trump wanted it to be associated with seemed remote.

That led to his surprise purchase of Turnberry in 2014, a historic course on the Open Championship rota which staged the famous 1977 “duel in the sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

The deal had little of the controversy around his Aberdeenshire development, with questions only raised over the decision to change the name of the resort to Trump Turnberry.

The former businessman said the name change aimed to make the course “more successful”, and was not intended to massage his ego.

Protests are planned across Britain during the US president’s visit (David Cheskin/PA)

Turnberry staged the women’s Open in 2015 with Mr Trump in attendance, but as he stepped up the rhetoric in his US presidential campaign, the R&A – the governing body of golf – said the course will not be considered for holding the Open before 2022 at the earliest.

The first of a series of protests over the president’s latest visit was held outside Trump Turnberry on Wednesday.

Around a dozen activists from Stand Up to Racism Scotland (SUTR) brandished banners with the slogans “Trump not welcome” and “No to racism, no to Trump”.

Charlotte Ahmed, 57, a teacher and SUTR Glasgow spokeswoman, said she hopes tens of thousands of people will turn out for protests organised up and down the country this weekend.

Donald Trump is likely to play golf at Turnberry, but protesters will gather outside the resort (David Cheskin/PA)

She said: “He’s a racist, he’s a misogynist, he’s a warmonger, he’s a liar and his actions are encouraging racists and fascists all over the world.

“This is a really frightening thing that such a person should be coming to Scotland, this beautiful country.

“We are hoping that hundreds of thousands of people don’t want Trump here and we want to make sure that the protests are seen and heard as widely as possible.”


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