Donald Trump’s first official visit to the UK gets underway today, taking in a meeting with the Queen, a black tie do at Blenheim Palace hosted by Theresa May… and of course, some golf.
After a whistlestop tour that will largely keep him away from an inflatable orange blimp depicting the President in a nappy that will ascend over Parliament, Trump will head off to Scotland where he owns two golf courses, for a relaxing weekend.
Trump has described Scotland as “the great nation of my ancestors” and it is indeed possible he will play either Trump Turnberry or the Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen.
He may also visit the Isle of Lewis where his mother, the late Mary MacLeod Trump, was born before emigrating to the US in the 1930s. President Trump and the First Lady are expected to depart for Europe on Sunday.
In January it emerged that during his first year as President, Trump had visited a golf club on about a quarter of the days he was in the role. White House schedules and pooled press reports found the US leader had spent time at a resort on 91 out of 364 days, with the most visits to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
But who might Trump swing a club with in Scotland?
Former World number one Rory McIIroy played a round with the President at his Florida retreat last year but might need some persuading before he commits to another...
Branded a “fascist” and a “bigot” for playing 18 holes with the commander-in-chief, McIIroy responded in a Twitter post stating his choice “wasn’t an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind.”
“Whether you respect the person who holds that position or not, you respect the office that he holds,” McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, wrote.
He added: “Golf was our common ground, nothing else. I’ve travelled all over the world and have been fortunate enough to befriend people from many different countries, beliefs and cultures.”
According to sources at The Telegraph, Trump could be planning to play a round with Prince Andrew at the Turnberry course.
The Duke of York is a professional-level golfer with a single-figure handicap and is the patron of a number of royal golf clubs.
But he was accused of political meddling back in 2016 when he claimed Brexit and the potential election of Trump as President risked “tearing everything apart.”
He made the remarks at a private dinner at Windsor Castle before an audience of technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, The Times reported.
He said: “There was a vote here recently where we agreed to leave one organisation, and there’s a man in the US who it seems wants to leave every organisation. Combined, they could tear things apart.”
Known as the gentleman of golf, Rose won gold in the Rio Olympics and collected an MBE at Buckingham Palace in October 2017.
Rose, who won the US Open in 2013, has played at the President’s golf courses, including Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, which he has described as “amazing.”
Trump may decide to try to win over world No 10 Englishman Tommy Fleetwood after being told to “mind his own business” in a bust-up over the NHS.
Trump had opined the NHS “isn’t working”, prompting Fleetwood to retweet a message denouncing the President.
In an interview in April with The Times, Fleetwood said: “I wouldn’t be the first to disagree with something he said, but there are certain things you are proud of as a British citizen and the NHS is by far and away the No 1 thing. I’m a big believer.”