Donald Trump Says ‘Let Golf Be Elitist’

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In a recent interview with Fortune magazine, Donald Trump, the owner of an extensive golf-course empire, said that golf should be “elitist,” a game people “aspire to afford” and not a game for everyone.

It may seem somewhat self defeating for a sport to exclude fans and players alike simply because they lack great wealth. But Trump told the money magazine precisely that in an interview published on July 1.

The Donald started out with something that wasn’t too absurd.

“I think I’m in a minority, but I feel differently about golf,” Trump said. “I feel golf should be an aspirational game, something people aspire to [play]. People should come to golf, golf shouldn’t come to them.”

This is not a bad sentiment. After all, golf is far more of a skill than some sports might be. But he went on making his meaning more explicit to income levels instead of other ideals.

“It may be elitist, and perhaps that’s what golf needs,” Trump insisted with his usual bluster. “Let golf be elitist. When I say ‘aspire,’ that’s a positive word. Let people work hard and aspire to some day be able to play golf. To afford to play it. They’re trying to teach golf to people who will never be able to really play it. They’re trying too hard. Because of the expense of playing, and the land needed, golf is never going to be basketball, where all you need is a court.”

Trump went even further.

“Let it be aspirational instead of bringing it down by trying to get players to do it when they’re 15 years old and they’re also learning other sports,” he opined. “I think it’s very damaging to the game.”

One wonders how a sport can grow if only retired, rich people are “allowed” to get into it. Along those lines Sports Illustrated golf writer Kyle Porter wondered about past champions. Porter asked readers to “think about the exclusions you’re extending when you start picking and choosing who can play a given sport. Angel Cabrera, Lee Trevino, and Vijay Singh all grew up poor and now have 11 majors between them.”

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