GolfStyles 25 Years of Upscale Golf : Page 6

FIRST OFF | MICHAEL KEATING WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN et’s say, hypothetically speaking, of course, that an establishment hack, a greedy, graft-driven, corrupt-to-the-core, pathological liar who helped run an ongoing criminal enterprise and who cares about the little people about as much as Marie Antoinette, wins the presidency in a couple of months. That would make the loser the ugliest political pariah since 1884 when Republican James G. Blaine lost to Democrat Grover Cleveland in a presidential campaign that featured invective similar to this year’s junior high name calling, or about like any other election. This has nothing to do with golf, you say? Oh, yes it does. Just ask the fine folks who have memberships at Trump National Washington. Or Trump National Bedminster, Trump National Philadelphia or Trump National anywhere. It was assumed that Donald J. Trump would grow up after his party’s convention but, alas, being a purported billionaire doesn’t mean he can’t help acting like he has the smallest hands in the room. I’ll leave it to the political pundits, who are right about as often as you break par, to sort it out, but you really do have to be a megalomaniacal narcissist to not know that just keeping a pulse would be enough to beat the most flawed, unlikable and beatable opponent since Barry Goldwater. After America chooses a liar for a leader, the triumph of political correctness leaves everyone in the Trump camp incorrect. Then, how do you defend having a membership at Trump National? How does the CEO explain to his counterpart considering a deal that he belongs to, uh, Trump National? If you think that, all things being equal, the CEO won’t lose the deal on that little fact, then you haven’t been paying attention to the persecutory political conversation these days. The fact that a few members of Trump National Washington have mentioned they’d be a little reticent about inviting clients and prospects to their club after this fall’s electoral disaster means there’s a problem. Do you risk offending the paper-thin sensibilities of the Hillary supporter? Worse, what if you don’t know and the invite alone is a deal killer? Won’t a membership at Trump National be an endorsement of Trump the candidate? Aren’t you a misogynist? A racist? Payback is going to be hell, and some of it will be felt on the mostly excellent collection of Trump National and International courses. Many of his courses are embroiled in lawsuits. Count on judges of Mexican descent to adjudicate them. Membership sales will lag, maybe because a zoning decision allowed a mosque to be built next door, with its minaret towering over Trump’s ubiquitous waterfall. Belonging to a Trump course will lose its caché because who wants to contribute to a course owned by politics’ emptiest suit? Who wants to pay the inevitable assessments because the brand of his club’s namesake grew so toxic? Then there’s Trump the golfer. When his act was just an act, we could overlook the 7-handicapper masquerading as “club champion.” (Who wanted to defeat The Donald anyway?) Now it’s kind of pathetic since we know that the 15 best senior golfers at any of his clubs are not named Trump. Whatever Trump did or said in the past has been diminished, and that includes his golfing accomplishments, even if they were enhanced by seven-foot gimmes and caddies’ foot wedges. It would’ve been nice to have a first golfer who actually knew the game, the bombast and braggadocio notwithstanding. Trump owns some great courses and we played them often. Now, not so much. If because of an October E-mail Surprise, or if the wave of political discontent is actually a tsunami and we’re on the brink of President Trump, well, then never mind. That would be really, really great. I’ll tell you who won the match between the publisher and the prez. n L Trump National 4 GOLFSTYLES | FALL 2016

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