The former president has been a member of Winged Foot, one of the best golf clubs in the country and host of the 2020 US Open, for more than 50 years.
Winged Foot Golf Club in the northern suburbs of New York City is one of the most prestigious country clubs in the U.S. Membership is by invitation only, the waiting list is up to a decade, and when the people enter, reportedly paying $ 200,000 for the initiation fee alone. It was the site of last year’s US Open tournament.
It has now become the last battlefront in the wars for former President Donald Trump, who has been a member of the club for more than 50 years.
Some Winged Foot members who want to honor Trump have made low-key plans for an elegant tribute banquet at the club on August 4. And that has sparked outrage from other members who think such an honor is inappropriate and are trying to cancel the banquet. . So far, they have not succeeded.
For some members of the club, it is a source of pride that one of their own was president. The dinner host is Ted Virtue, a longtime Trump ally, who is expected to play a round with Trump and investor Paul Queally beforehand.
But some members are furious that the club is moving forward with the plan to honor Trump, according to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Those members were angered and disgusted by Trump’s role in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and his treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, according to a club member who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation from his party of his classmates. Queally has been repeatedly criticized over the years for making misogynistic, homophobic and anti-minority comments.
Members of the anti-Trump club have not taken aggressive steps to stop the banquet, but have informally asked board members to intervene, to no avail. They believe they are speaking on behalf of club employees who fear that speaking out will cost them their job, the member said.
All of that makes the plan to celebrate Trump a flash point.
“The wealthy Republican members of Trumper think it’s great to celebrate the insurgents,” said the club member. “Pathetic!”
A spokeswoman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment about the banquet and the battle for him.
It is not the first time that Trump’s relationship with the world of golf has been a source of controversy, nor is it Winged Foot’s first experience with Trump’s problems.
Republican members of the club were outraged when he rejected pleas to hang a portrait of Trump in 2017. Then-President Barack Obama was unable to play on any of the club’s fields when his aides searched for tee times for him over the weekend of Labor Day in 2014 because of the inconvenience it would cause to other members.
Winged Foot, who is located in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, “did not comment” on the latest fight, said a person who answered the phone at the club and then hung up.
“The club administration AND the board praying that it comes and goes unnoticed,” said a club member in a text message. “All pretty secret, and no club announcements. But the Secret Service will have to close off part of the field.”
In January, the PGA of America retracted its agreement to play a championship event at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, next year, the second time it canceled a planned tournament for a Trump property.