‘Cancel culture’ cost Trump course PGA Championship


The PGA Championship was supposed to take place at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster this week, and the fact that it is not remains a point of bitterness for supporters of the 45th president.

Jack Nicklaus, the 82-year-old legendary former golfer who won a record 18 majors, is among those who do not believe the tournament should have been moved to Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.

“I like Seth Waugh,” Nicklaus told Fire Pit Collective of the CEO of the PGA Tour. “Seth didn’t need this job. He took the job because he thought he could give the PGA of America some good guidance. And I think he’s doing that. But this move is cancel culture. Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf and he loves this country. He’s a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do.”


Waugh, who became CEO of PGA of America in 2018, was also interviewed for the story and explained the organization had been comfortable with being associated with the polarizing Trump for the major — until the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

“On Jan. 5, we were going to Bedminster,” Waugh said. “Then, obviously, a lot changed.”

President Donald Trump at Bedminster in 2017.
President Donald Trump at Bedminster in 2017.
AFP via Getty Images

Waugh has known Trump for 30 years, and also is aware that there are golfers and golf fans among the former president’s supporters. However, he believed that keeping the major at the Trump course was an “existential” risk.

“Everybody wants to make this a political move, but we got put into a political place that was not of our own making,” Waugh said. “My feeling was we could do existential damage to our brand by staying at Bedminster. If we stayed, the 2022 PGA would be about its ownership. People would think we were making a statement by staying there. I felt like we could do permanent damage to the brand if we stayed. As did the board.”

In late December, the Trump Organization and PGA of America reached an undisclosed settlement over the decision to pull the tournament, with both sides giving positive statements about the other.


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