Trump’s Tee Time with the Saudis: The Controversial Union of Golf and Politics

Well, folks, the plot thickens in the sphere of professional golf. Notorious for his audacious exclamations, Donald Trump has found another moment to pat himself on the back. His latest celebratory proclamation on his Truth Social platform revolves around LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed golf league, which is now set to merge with the prestigious PGA Tour. Trump declared it a “HUGE, EXTRAVAGANT, and GLAMOROUS VICTORY FOR THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOLF. KUDOS TO ALL!”

Indeed, this merger has a very personal flavor to it for Trump, who is an avid golfer. The professional golf community, historically, has been wary of controversies, and controversy’s favorite child, Trump, has been increasingly ostracized post his presidential run announcement in 2015 and more so following the January 6th Capitol attack.

Yet, Trump found an eager ally in LIV Golf. Launched last year and funded by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, the golf league was seen as a maverick by the mainstream professional golf community. It seized the opportunity to collaborate with Trump, hosting several LIV events at his properties and garnering support through Trump’s social media promotions.

As LIV Golf and the PGA Tour set out to engage in an intense legal and financial battle, a surprising twist of events sees them now merging. This merger has catapulted Trump back into the golfing limelight, a move that raises eyebrows considering his polarizing image.

The merger’s intricacies are still under wraps, but early indicators suggest that the Saudi entity, the Public Investment Fund, will infuse additional capital into this new joint venture, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of LIV Golf. More turbulence might be on the horizon, considering the previous refusals of many prominent golfers to abandon the PGA Tour for LIV’s flashy paychecks. It’ll be interesting to see how those who chose loyalty over money react to this sudden change of course.

While the saga unfolds, it’s important to highlight Trump’s financial stake in all of this. Beyond LIV Golf’s innovative and controversial approach to the game, the professional golf world raised concerns over Saudi Arabia’s questionable human rights record. Unfazed by this, Trump, known for his transactional associations, continues to bask in Saudi patronage.

Trump’s resorts have been lucrative venues for LIV tournaments despite protests from 9/11 victims’ families against associating with Saudi-backed entities. Trump’s flippant response to these concerns reflects his fixation on economic gain over moral imperatives. Undisclosed figures, presumably in the multi-million dollar range, are exchanged for hosting LIV tournaments on Trump properties.

This marks a stark contrast from the PGA Tour, which severed ties with Trump following his derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign. A blow to his pride and pocket, Trump saw his Doral course, which had been a PGA Tour event host for over 50 years, abandoned.

It appears that Trump’s incessant longing for acceptance in the professional golf community is inching closer to fulfillment, thanks to this unexpected merger. While he might be basking in what he perceives as a victory, it leaves us pondering the unsettling blend of politics, human rights, and the supposedly gentlemanly sport of golf. The stakes have never been higher, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on this peculiar intersection of power and pastime.