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Trump Debuts Scotland Course


Donald Trump has finally unveiled his new course in Scotland. Seven years in the making and at a cost of $150 million, the grand opening of Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen was held Tuesday on a windy, rainy day. On hand were guests from the European Tour, the Ryder Cup organizing committee, Scottish pros Colin Montgomerie and Martin Laird, along with other dignitaries.

"It's been worth it," he told CNN. In typical bombastic fashion, "The Donald" added, "This is truly the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. Everybody knows it. Most people are saying it and most of the golf people are saying it, most importantly."

The course lies eight miles north of Aberdeen and occupies a portion of the Menie Estate, which Trump bought in 2006. The project has been plagued by fierce opposition from nearby residents, environmentalists and politicians.

England-based golf architect Martin Hawtree oversaw the design. "This is one of the most extraordinary golf links sites you have seen or will ever see," he said during the opening ceremony. "There is no doubt in my mind it will be in the top three in the world. I just don't know who'll be No. 2 or 3!"

European Tour CEO George O'Grady was in attendance and noted that a major tournament might be on the way for the new links. "Great courses need great tournaments," said O'Grady, "We will work with Mr. Trump to bring the right event here."

Montgomerie, the captain of the victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup team, called the "dramatic and spectacular," and anticipates it will be a must-play for golfers from around the world. "It's a fantastic opportunity for people locally, nationally and internationally to come to this area."

Like other Trump courses, Trump International Golf Links won't be cheap to play, with weekend green fees costing $310 and $233 on weekdays, the same rates as those for the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Because of the Scottish government's plan to build an offshore wind farm within eyeshot of the course, Trump has tabled plans to build a second golf course, a 450-bed hotel, 500 homes and 950 apartments. Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, who is pushing for the wind farm, was not at the unveiling.

The opening of the course coincides with the debut of a documentary - "You've Been Trumped" - in U.K. movie theaters. The film criticizes the way Trump pushed the golf project through despite opposition from the various groups.