So, Orange Shithead has finally made a big mistake. I’m not talking about January 6th, because being a guy who understands how the Mafia behaves, OS has surrounded himself with flunkies like Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows who will take the big hits.
In this case I’m talking about last weekend’s LIV golf tournament that Trump sponsored at his New Jersey golf course, which turned out to be a big bust.
The crowds were ‘sparse,’ and that was an overstatement. Tickets to the event were being given away. The winner, a Swede named Henrik Stenson, was supposed to be Captain of the European Ryder Cup team but he’s now toast for that event because he joined the LIV tour.
The big news about the tournament was about the guy who didn’t show up to play. And that guy’s name is Tiger Woods, who was evidently offered more than $700 million to quit the PGA but had the decency to tell the Saudis who are bankrolling the LIV thing to do what Grandpa would say, which is ‘gai macht’ (read: stick it up your you know what).
Trump was surrounded at the tournament by the usual gaggle of MAGA-me-nots like Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose experience as a tantric sex worker doesn’t qualify her to even work as a caddy on a municipal golf course. And like everything else he does, Trump blabbed on and on about how the Saudis are his ‘great friends,’ how the LIV tour will soon overtake the PGA, how this and how that.
Remember something called the United States Football League? Trump bought into this upstart league a year after it was formed in 1983. The New York team already had Herschel Walker with what was then the most expensive contract of all time and Trump went after other marquee names, including Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants.
The league lasted exactly one more season and when it collapsed Trump did what he always does when one of his business deals goes south – he sued the other side. The jury agreed with Trump that the NFL did whatever it had to do to prevent the United States Football League from getting a needed TV contract but awarded the USFL total damages of – ready? – one buck. That was the end of that.
Trump has already said that he expect the PGA will eventually agree to a merger with the LIV tour, but don’t bet the house on that prediction, okay? The PGA has spurned Trump’s request to get one of his courses on the annual tour and made a public point of rejecting him again after January 6th.
Now we come to why Trump’s sponsorship of the LIV is a big mistake.
What Trump has done over the years is build a brand by making middle-class consumers believe the money they put down for a Trump golf course, or a Trump wine, or a Trump shirt, will get them the same thing that the rich and famous get when they go out and spend some real bucks.
So, for example, when you play a Trump golf course (I have played two of them) the course is all gussied up, the sand in the traps is bleached bright white, the greens are perfectly cut, the fairways are manicured and there’s always some very polite person coming up to you and quietly asking if you would like another drink.
Then you go into the clubhouse where you sit down to a lovely, overpriced meal, afterwards take a shower and change into street clothes in a lushly carpeted locker room where someone buffed your shoes while you were out on the course.
Except the only problem is that the courses are what we call ‘resort courses,’ which means they are just easy enough to keep you close to par which will be an incentive to come back and play them again.
So, a Trump course will get some play from guys who occasionally go out to play a round on the weekend, but golfers who play because they want to test themselves against a really tough course will maybe play once and then go away.
And these are the golfers who make the difference between a golf course that stays open year after year versus a golf course which, like the United States Football League, eventually fades away.
And for all of Trump’s bullshit and bluster, without those golf courses that carry his name, Trump will also fade away.