President Donald Trump’s Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., hosts the U.S. Women’s Open this week, and flight documents indicate that the president himself could be in attendance for the tournament’s conclusion.
Per a notice filed Monday with the Federal Aviation Administration, Trump could potentially travel to Bedminster on Friday and return on Sunday. That would give him the opportunity to view the final rounds of the tournament and, potentially, present the trophy to the winner. The president’s schedule could change at a moment’s notice, of course, but security preparations indicate that Trump’s appearance is at least a possibility.
Trump has drawn significant criticism for his frequent travels to Trump-owned properties and golf courses; he’s been in office for 171 days and has spent 51 days at Trump-owned properties and 37 days at Trump golf courses. Of that total, 11 days were spent at Bedminster.
While the USGA awarded the U.S. Women’s Open to the Trump National Golf Club long before Trump began his initial run for president, the course’s designation as a host site has also drawn heat irrespective of politics. Critics of the USGA have noted that placing a marquee women’s tournament at a site owned by someone well known for sexist comments and behavior does little to advance the game among women.
“When [Trump] wins the election, our focus becomes, ‘What’s in the best interest of the Women’s Open and women’s golf?’ Would it be best if we delayed this event, and moved somewhere else, maybe came back when he wasn’t president?” USGA executive director Mike Davis said in May. “But it became such a complicated thing that we decided we’re going to move forward. No matter what we did, people would be upset. This is just one of those times where we have to say, ‘We’re just going to have to deal with the repercussions and put on the best championship we can.’ ”
Should he make the trip, Trump’s presence will no doubt alter the entire tenor of the tournament, even more than his name already has.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.