Report: Trump spent hundreds of millions on his golf courses and resorts in the decade before he took office

May 7, 2018

An article from the Washington Post reveals just how much money Donald Trump spent on his golf course and real estate holdings in the decade before taking office, and the number is staggering. 

It began in 2006 with the purchase of land in Aberdeen in Scotland. Trump spent $12.6 million in cash, and a further $50 million developing what later became Trump International Golf Links.

While the business philosophy that made Trump one of New York’s biggest real estate kingpins was all about borrowing in the beginning, he abruptly changed tack with the purchase of the Aberdeen land, investing his own cash. 

So what prompted the change? According to the Post, cash is the preferred means when the family has an emotional connection to something, as Trump does in Scotland, where his mother was born. Paying cash avoided waiting for banks and other partners’ involvement.

In the period between the development of Trump International in Aberdeen and taking office in 2016, the Post reports that Trump purchased two homes in Beverly Hills, five East Coast golf clubs and a Virginia winery.

In 2012, Trump bought Doral in Florida and decided to renovate the Old Post Office into a hotel in Washington, borrowing a total of $295 million from Deutsche Bank and injecting $65 million more of his own money.

In 2014, he topped all of his previous cash spending by paying nearly $80 million for Doonbeg in Ireland and Turnberry in Scotland, which ended up costing an additional $164 million in renovation and operating expenses.

According to British and Irish records cited in the Post story, the two courses have lost $240 million since Trump assumed ownership. 

The two courses overseas were his most recent acquisitions. The following year, Trump began his presidential campaign.