News Irish News

Monday 14 October 2019

'He was flawless' - how Trump left Doonbeg with a shiny new driver

Trump and wife Melania head for Air Force One to depart Shannon. Photo: PA (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
Trump and wife Melania head for Air Force One to depart Shannon. Photo: PA (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Donald Trump flew home with a shiny new driver after developing a fondness for one of his friend's golf clubs.

The US president played 18 holes at Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg when he realised the club was giving him an edge.

Mr Trump - who Rory McIlroy once described as a better golfer than both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton - went on to win the four-ball on the Martin Hawtree-designed course.

Brian Shaw, pro golfer at the resort, explained why he decided to part with his Taylormade M5: "I brought it out on the course for the president because he didn't bring his clubs. And he absolutely ripped it. In golf parlance, that means he was flawless. He looked at the driver and he said 'is this yours, pro?'

Eric Trump, son of US President Donald Trump, behind the bar in Madigan's pub in the village of Doonbeg, Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Eric Trump, son of US President Donald Trump, behind the bar in Madigan's pub in the village of Doonbeg, Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania ariive at Shannon airport for the start of their visit to Ireland. Picture; Gerry Mooney
SHANNON, IRELAND - JUNE 05: US President Donald Trump arrives at Shannon Airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania touch down in Shannon Airport Pictures by Gerry Mooney
SHANNON, IRELAND - JUNE 05: Air Force One arrives at Shannon Airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
SHANNON, IRELAND - JUNE 05: US President Donald Trump is greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he arrives at Shannon airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Anti Trump protesters Jackie Askew from Ennistymon and Sadbh Burke from Doolin at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
SHANNON, IRELAND - JUNE 05: US President Donald Trump signs the visitors book as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (L) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) watch on at Shannon Airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
IRELAND - JUNE 05: US First Lady, Melania Trump attends a welcome function on June 5, 2019 in Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
IRELAND - JUNE 05: US First Lady, Melania Trump attends a welcome function on June 5, 2019 in Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
SHANNON, IRELAND - JUNE 05: US President Donald Trump during a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Shannon airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump Jr. drinks a pint of Guinness in Morrisey's in the village of Doonbeg, Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
U.S. President Donald Trump's sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. take a selfie with people during a visit to a local pub in Doonbeg village, Ireland June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Donald Trump Jr. (centre), and Eric Trump (right), the sons of US President Donald Trump, with Fr. Joe Haugh (left) in Igoe's Pub in the village of Doonbeg, Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Kathleen Whelan with her Donald Trump figure in Doonbeg ahead of the visit of the US President. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Gardai and anti Trump protesters at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Gardai and anti Trump protesters at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Lisa Shanahan and Caitlin Hitchn from Chicago pictured in Doonbeg Co. Clare ahead of the arrival of US president Donald Trump. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Anti Trump protesters at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump is seen during a visit by Trump's sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. to a local pub in Doonbeg village, Ireland June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Anti Trump protesters at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Anti Trump protesters at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Anti Trump protesters Jackie Askew from Ennistymon and Sadbh Burke from Doolin at the entrance to Shannon airport. Picture; Gerry Mooney

"And I said 'I think it might be yours now, sir' so that was it... That was his parting gift. He was thrilled to bits."

Brian Shaw and hotel manager Joe Russell said the president's demeanour was relaxed while on the course.

As Brian Shaw explained;

"Even though there was all kinds of secret service and police around we were very relaxed as a foursome because we were very familiar with one another and had played at few times before.

"When we last played he wasn't president but this time he was still able to click into 'Donald Trump' and have the needle with us so we were teasing each other when anyone hit a bad shot."

Mr Russell, who was said to have 'ham and egged it' with the president on the course - golf speak for dove-tailing into holes alternatively - also sank a birdie on the 12th.

This championship golf links course overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and was named the Number One Resort in Europe by 'Conde Nast Traveler'.

There were rumours that Mr Trump would visit the village of Doonbeg and meet locals as his two sons had on Wednesday night.

But instead, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney hosted a dinner at Mr Trump's hotel, where Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly was among those in attendance.

Mr Daly was said to have raised issues with Mr Mulvaney including access to visas and the dangers of a return to a hard Border.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News