MOORESVILLE – “Well, do you like it?” Donald Trump asked Australian professional golfer Greg Norman with a wide grin as Norman stepped into the sunny banquet room Aug. 23 at Trump National Golf Club Charlotte.
He returned Trump's smile and replied that it looked great. Norman, who designed the club’s original golf course in 1999, was on hand to play his first round on the recently renovated course.
Buying The Point Lake and Golf Club in April 2012 for $3 million and rebranding it was just the beginning for Trump.
The course has been under renovation since late last November, according to General Manager Gavin Arsenault, and only shut down during June and July to limit the level of inconvenience to members.
Changes included stretching the course from 6,900 to 7,500 yards, expanding the driving range, constructing TifEagle Bermuda greens that are more resistant to heat and renovating all the bunkers.
“In this area, I can never top what I have,” Trump said. “I think we’ve built the greatest course in the state of North Carolina. We have more water frontage than anybody has, and you know, we basically blew it up and built a whole new course.”
Built to host championships, according to Trump, the Lake Norman course is part of a luxury assortment of 15 golf courses owned by The Trump Organization that includes sites in Scotland, California and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump expressed interest in expanding that collection internationally and spoke highly of the lake region.
“I’ve always liked North Carolina. I’ve always liked Charlotte,” he said. “And when I first saw this property, it was love at first sight. It had so much potential. I also really like the members; you have great members here. Many are my friends now.”
Eric Trump, the youngest child of Donald and Ivana Trump, celebrated the day, as well. He visited the club in June for the official opening of Trump International Realty Charlotte, an on-site luxury real estate brokerage firm.
“I think this area is going to be good (in terms of real estate),” Donald said. “Some markets are going to be terrible, and some are going to be good. But this happens to be a very good area, a very vital area, a vibrant area. I think your Republican government is doing a very good job.”
And on the subject of politics, Donald mentioned that he’d like to wait and see how elections in 2014 turn out before considering entering the 2016 political arena.
In the afternoon, Donald experienced a round of golf with Norman, Jaime Diaz, editor-in-chief of Golf World, and Ron Green Jr., a former staff writer at The Charlotte Observer. U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger, meanwhile, tested his golf skills against Eric, Arsenault said.
“Donald Trump and his son, Eric, are exceptional people with great vision. Their investment in Trump National (Golf Club) Charlotte has been a major benefit to Mooresville, to the region and certainly to the property owners surrounding the club,” Pittenger said. “Mooresville continues to be recognized as one of the best places to work, live and raise a family.”
With copies of his books such as “How to Get Rich” and “Midas Touch” tucked on wooden bookshelves in the club’s bakery shop, Donald had a few words of advice for the entrepreneurs of Lake Norman.
“Make sure you know what you’re doing and never give up, never quit," he said. "Come up with a good concept, and just never quit."
Want to learn more?
Trump National Golf Club Charlotte is located at 120 Trump Square, Mooresville. Details: 704-799-7300 or www.trumpnationalcharlotte.com.