Up Close and Personal with Donald Trump

Up Close and Personal with Donald Trump

Vacation News » United States Edition | By Mark Pazdur | August 21, 2015 10:00 AM ET

America's most outspoken businessman and presidential candidate discusses the opening of his latest two golf courses
Donald Trump, 68, was born in Queens, New York City, as the fourth of five children. His dad, Frederick, was a builder and real estate developer in Brooklyn and Queens.
As you might have guessed, Trump was energetic, bright, and an authoritative child. He was enrolled in the New York Military Academy at age 13 to redirect his personality into more discipline. He did exceptionally well and became a student leader.
Trump worked for his father at construction sites, went to the Wharton School of Finance and graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. In 1971, he moved to Manhattan and joined the family business.
Answers from Donald Trump to 3 questions you may be afraid to ask:
Q:  When was your first kiss?
A:  I was a teenager in high school. It didn't happen as early as you might have guessed. I remember it like yesterday. You never should forget your first kiss.
Q:  What is more important in America: the Bible or the Constitution?
A:  That is a tough, loaded question. I love both. But, I have to go with the Bible. It's bigger than all of us. If we didn't have the Bible, the Constitution might never have been written.
Q:  Who was your favorite contestant on The Apprentice?
A:  Without a doubt, Omarosa on season one. She is tough, nasty, and smart. She added a spice that launched the show and helped turn The Apprentice into the No.1 show on television.

Trump's personal wealth ebbed and flowed through multiple economic booms and recessions. He, nevertheless, solidified his name as one of the most successful developers in real estate.
Today, Trump's empire, larger than ever, includes ownership of many trophy properties and a net worth estimated at $10 billion. His impact on golf is growing with a portfolio of 17 golf clubs and resorts, including Trump National Doral in Miami, the newly opened Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York City, and the great Turnberry Resort in Scotland.
The Blue Monster Makeover
"I have fond memories of my dad taking me to Doral Resort to play golf when I was a young man. Although he didn't play much golf, he had an incredible swing. It was a good feeling to spend an afternoon with him and, as a bonus, play a great golf course," recalled Trump.
Unfortunately, the resort faded from its former glory and shuffled between Wall Street owners like trading cards.
"I bought the resort for $150 million and had a decision to make. I could pledge to an A, B, C, or D grade renovation. Remembering my childhood days with Dad, I chose to shoot for an A+, and delivered," said Trump.
"We did much more than paint the walls during the past two years. We sold the White Course and literally 'blew up' the other four to create a dramatic golf experience. Our 72 holes now offer the best golf resort selection in the country," continued Trump. "My $250 million upgrade included rebuilt lodges, a new grand clubhouse, and refurbishment of 700 guest rooms.
"My timing was incredible by purchasing Doral, now renamed Trump National Doral, three and one-half years ago. The city of Miami is as hot as a pistol. It may be the most active city in the world right now, and I have a new, 800-acre resort, located only minutes from the Miami International Airport that hosts a PGA Tour event. It doesn't get better than that."
The Go-To Guy
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, is the first new public golf course to open in New York City in 52 years. The course has been a political football for decades. Until Trump entered the fray, there were questions as to whether Ferry Point would ever be completed.
"I've been approached by many people over the years because Ferry Point was a disaster," groused Trump. "Everybody was taking advantage of the city."
"Donald has been very successful at getting things done with the city," praised Jack Nicklaus. "He pushed it over the edge and did a good job to reach the finish line."
The course has a Scottish feel, is treeless, and the landscape is full of folds of fescue. Midtown Manhattan is only eight miles away.
"It was a big job!" exclaimed Trump. "There's never been anything like this ever built in the history of golf. The course fronts the East River with magnificent views of the city. The skyline of New York is the backdrop for many of the holes."

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