The P.G.A. of America, which conducts the P.G.A. Championship — one of golf’s four prestigious global major men’s championships — announced Sunday night that it would no longer take its featured event to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. It had been scheduled for May 2022.
“It has become clear that conducting the P.G.A. Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the P.G.A. of America brand, and would put at risk the P.G.A.’s ability to deliver our many programs, and sustain the longevity of our mission,” Jim Richerson, the P.G.A. of America president, said in a video statement.
Sunday’s decision by the P.G.A. of America came days after a mob of Trump supporters, incited by President Trump, converged on the Capitol, swept past law enforcement and rampaged through the halls of Congress. The insurrection resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.
For years, Trump had lobbied each of golf’s primary governing bodies to take one of golf’s biggest events to one of his golf courses. In 2014, well before he announced his candidacy for president, the P.G.A. of America chose Trump National for its 2022 championship.
In the statement, Richerson said the organization’s board of directors voted “to exercise the right to terminate the agreement” to take the tournament to the Trump property. A new site for the event, first contested in 1916, will be chosen at a future date. The Bedminster club hosted the 2017 United States Women’s Open, and the president’s club in Virginia was the site of the 2017 Senior P.G.A. Championship. The P.G.A. of America, which was founded 105 years ago, represents more than 25,000 teaching club professionals.
Since entering the White House, Trump has been associated with golf like no president before him, even by the standards of an office that is frequently occupied by a golfer. While he has been booed by fans at a World Series game and sparked protests by athletes in basketball and football, among other sports, Trump has tried to maintain his longstanding ties to pro golfers and some of the most decorated players in the history of the game.
He has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to four golfers: Tiger Woods, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam. The latter three, Didrikson Zaharias posthumously, were awarded the honor at the White House on Thursday, the day after the attack on the Capitol by the pro-Trump mob.
Since his election, Trump has golfed with Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, among many other past and present golf pros. The world’s No. 4-ranked golfer, McIlroy, subsequently declined another invitation to play with Trump and in May criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “The fact that he’s trying to politicize it and make it a campaign rally and say we administer the most tests in the world like it is a contest, there’s some stuff that just is terrible,” McIlroy said. “It’s not the way a leader should act.”
He has visited his golf clubs over 300 times since taking office and inspired a best-selling book about how golf is the best way to understand him.