News & Opinion

PGA of America pulls 2022 PGA from Donald Trump course

PGA of America flag
PGA of America flag

In wake of deadly riot at U.S. Capitol, 2022 PGA will not be played at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, association announces

The PGA of America will move its 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey, the association announced late Sunday.

The decision came in the wake of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump and his role in inspiring the mob, which resulted in five deaths.

“The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,” Jim Richerson, the PGA’s president, said in a statement. “It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA's ability to deliver on many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission.”

The PGA did not announce a replacement site.

The 2022 PGA would have been the first men’s major championship at a Trump-owned facility.

Morning Read publisher Alex Miceli called for the move in commentary posted Thursday afternoon to MorningRead.com and published in Friday’s Morning Read newsletter.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Seth Waugh, the PGA’s chief executive officer, said: “We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We're fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”

The Trump Organization, in an interview with ABC, hinted at a legal response.

“This is a breach of a binding contract, and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” a Trump spokesperson said. “As an organization, we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.”

This isn’t the first time that a Trump golf property has been caught in the middle of a political storm.

When the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open was played at Trump Bedminster, USGA officials found themselves on the defensive for their choice of venue in the wake of Trump’s comments in 2015 on the campaign trail about illegal immigrants from Mexico being “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists.”

Another Trump property, the Doral resort near Miami, had been host to an annual PGA Tour event from 1962 to 2016. However, the Tour announced its relocation of the World Golf Championships event to Mexico during the 2016 presidential campaign that eventually led to Trump’s election.

The PGA of America represents 29,000 club professionals and instructors. The organization runs the annual PGA Championship, one of golf’s four major events, plus the Women’s PGA, Senior PGA and the biennial Ryder Cup when it is played in the U.S., plus other events across its 41 sections.

“Our decision wasn't about speed and timing,” Waugh said. “What matters most to our board and leadership is protecting our brand and reputation, and the ability for our members to lead the growth of the game, which they do through so many powerful programs in their communities.”

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