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Trump increases time spent playing golf during presidency

The US president was seen playing on the famous Ailsa course with his son Eric during their two-day private stay at Turnberry in South Ayrshire.

Donald Trump has increased the amount of time he has spent playing golf during his presidency with a round at his Turnberry course in Scotland.

The US president was seen playing on the famous Ailsa course with his son Eric during their two-day private stay at the golf resort in South Ayrshire.

Before his UK visit, Mr Trump had spent 125 days at his golf properties during his presidency, according to NBC News, but the precise number of times he has actually played golf is difficult to track as trips have mainly been weekend private visits.

He last visited Turnberry in 2016 to reopen it after a £200 million refurbishment. At the time, he was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and staff at the course wore caps with the message “made Turnberry great again” in a nod to his campaign slogan.

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Donald Trump is on a private two-day visit to his Turnberry golf resort (Jane Barlow/PA)

On Saturday, he waved at a group of protesters who branded him a “racist” as he teed off on his golf round.

Turnberry became his second golf course in Scotland after Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, the construction of which was marred in controversy as he clashed with local residents, environmental campaigners and politicians.

The Balmedie course eventually opened in 2012 and was praised in golf circles, but its chances of hosting some of the major competitions Mr Trump wanted it to be associated with seemed remote.

That led to his surprise purchase of Turnberry in 2014, a historic course on the Open Championship rota which staged the famous 1977 “duel in the sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

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There was a heavy police presence as the president played his round (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The deal had little of the controversy around his Aberdeenshire development, with questions only raised over the decision to change the name of the resort to Trump Turnberry.

The former businessman said the name change aimed to make the course “more successful”, and was not intended to massage his ego.

Turnberry staged the women’s Open in 2015 with Mr Trump in attendance, but as he stepped up the rhetoric in his US presidential campaign, the R&A – the governing body of golf – said the course will not be considered for holding the Open before 2022 at the earliest.

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