PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA of America is moving its Grand Slam of Golf from Donald Trump’s course in Los Angeles, the first significant fallout for golf from the Republican presidential candidate’s comments on Mexican immigrants.
Trump and the PGA of America met Monday. Both groups said they mutually agreed not to hold the Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles on Oct. 19-21.
Trump said because of the backlash over his comments he does not want the PGA of America to deal with any consequences.
“I have great respect for the PGA of America and everything they stand for,” Trump said in a statement.
The PGA Grand Slam is a 36-hole exhibition for the four major champions of the year. Jordan Spieth already has qualified by winning the Masters and U.S. Open. Martin Kaymer will be the alternate as the defending champion.
The PGA said it was exploring options on where to move the Grand Slam, along with its annual PGA Junior League Golf Championship that also was to be held at Trump National Los Angeles. The Grand Slam was in Bermuda from 2007 until last year.
NBC, Univision and Macy’s are among several businesses that already have cut ties to Trump over his comments. The real estate mogul stood by his remarks, issuing a new statement Monday in which he said the Mexican government is “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States” and claimed that in many cases, those people are “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
On Monday, ESPN announced it was moving its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump’s course in Los Angeles to nearby Pelican Hill.
“Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment,” ESPN said.
Trump said in a statement Tuesday afternoon the loss of ESPN’s celebrity event, and NASCAR last week announcing it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at Trump National Doral near Miami, would be a financial benefit to him.
He said he would keep the deposit from both groups and charge for someone else to use the ballroom and to play the golf course.
“Two fees instead of one,” he said.
Trump’s relationship with golf goes beyond the PGA of America, which also has its PGA Championship scheduled for Trump National in New Jersey in 2022 and the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National outside Washington in 2017. The U.S. Women’s Open is to be played at his New Jersey course in 2017.
The PGA Tour stages a World Golf Championship at Trump National Doral outside Miami each year.
The PGA Tour and USGA have declined comment on the future of their tournaments going to Trump courses, except for distancing themselves from Trump’s remark in a Golf Channel interview that he has received support from the golf industry because “they know I’m right.”
The Ricoh Women’s British Open is to be played this year at Turnberry, the links and resort on the west coast of Scotland that Trump recently purchased and now calls Trump Turnberry. LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan has said there are no plans to change the venue.
Trump said losing the Grand Slam of Golf this year will give him time to rebuild the Los Angeles course that fronts the Pacific Ocean.