A favourite adage of mine is that golf journalists are among the most underpaid yet overprivileged people on the planet. We get to visit some extraordinary places and meet some extraordinary people – Experiences the average working man or woman wouldn’t perhaps have access to.
I’ve had some surreal (underpaid) experiences in my time – Finding myself chairing a round-table discussion in Tokyo featuring a rather confused looking group of Asian journalists and the then Augusta Chairman Billy Payne springs to mind. And one this Sunday at Trump International in Aberdeen might squeeze into my top five – 20 minutes with a prominent member of one of the most recognisable families in the world. I met with Eric Trump, third child of Donald and Ivana and executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
Eric was at Trump International Scotland to the north of Aberdeen as the superb Martin Hawtree-designed course there was playing host to the Legends Tour and the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship – A great event, won handsomely by the on-form Peter Baker. On the final day, I was invited to interview Eric in the surprisingly understated clubhouse.
It was all fairly late notice, and I wasn’t too sure of the timings. Sometime between 12 and two was all I knew. I arrived pretty much spot on 12 with a bit of paper on which I’d scribbled a hurried list of questions, looking slightly bedraggled having been caught out in a north east squall between car park and clubhouse. I was hoping I’d have some time to pull myself together, but the moment I walked through the door I was told – “It’s on now – come this way.”
‘OK’ I thought. ‘Be cool. It doesn’t matter that you’re a little damp. Nobody will see.’ – I’d been led to believe it would be a nice, quiet, one-to-one sit down after all.
Imagine my surprise then when I was led into a side room in the clubhouse where there were two opposing armchairs, a film crew and at least six other people from the Legends Tour and the Trump Organization.
“Erm, is this being filmed?” I asked tentatively….