In an unusually swift decision, the PGA of America announced Sunday that the 2022 PGA Championship will not be played at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as had been scheduled.
The decision was made after a hastily assembled board meeting, and was made public with a dismissive, one-sentence statement from president Jim Richerson:
“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.”
It came just days after supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the United States Capitol to protest his loss in the November election.
Trump has long been a controversial figure in the game, and opinions about him have only further polarized since he ran for and assumed the presidency.
On Jan. 6, thousands of the president’s supporters gathered in Washington D.C. for a protest event that evolved into an attack on the Capitol building. Government officials – including Vice President Mike Pence, senators and congressional representatives – were threatened and then shuttled to safety as they were in the process of certifying Joseph R. Biden as the incoming president. The meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives were breached. Offices were ransacked and historic artifacts were damaged. Five deaths have resulted.
Trump’s early removal from office is being discussed by lawmakers.
The board did not announce a new site for what will be the 104th playing of the major championship. Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, could be a leading contender to assume host duties, having staged the event three times. Other potential landing spots could be Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma; Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey and Shoal Creek Club in Alabama.
PGA of America-owned Valhalla already is slated to host the 2024 PGA Championship, so a move to Louisville two years earlier would open a new round of bidding for 2024. Overall, host sites have been announced through 2034, with New York’s Oak Hill (2023), Pennsylvania’s Aronimink (2026) and Texas’ still-under-construction PGA Frisco (2027 and 2034) on the roster. This year, the PGA is scheduled for May 20-23 at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.
Trump National-Bedminster was awarded the championship in 2014, before Trump launched his presidential campaign for the 2016 election. The private club, located 45 miles west of New York City, previously hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.
The Trump Organization purchased the Bedminster property in 2002. A golf course/country club project there called Lamington Farm had stalled, and the Tom Fazio-designed course was completed in 2004 after Trump took ownership.
The Trump Organization once again finds itself on the outside looking in when it comes to hosting professional golf tournaments. The PGA Tour moved a World Golf Championship event from Doral Resort in 2017, ending a 53-year run at the famed Miami facility bought by Trump.
Also, the Trump-owned Turnberry resort in Scotland is no longer on the Open Championship rota, after having hosted the event four times. The last of those was in 2009, before Trump bought the property. Turnberry is not currently slated to host a future Open.
Later Sunday, a statement from the Trump Organization said, “We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision. This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement.”
Staff and Wire Reports