The L.P.G.A. Tour and Donald Trump: It’s Complicated

The United States Golf Association awarded its flagship women’s event to Trump’s Bedminster course in 2012, when his reputation as an opportunistic outsider came from supporting golf when the economy was cratering and other benefactors were bailing.

“He was such a huge fan of the L.P.G.A. and of golf in general,” said Gulbis, who has known Trump since she qualified for her first ADT Championship in 2005.

Throughout the years, she said, he has counseled her to fight for the same pay as PGA Tour members for public appearances or sponsorships.

“These were constant conversations that I saw him have not just with me, but with lots of people in our organization,” Gulbis said.

The United States Women’s Open will not be the first golf major played at a Trump course. The Women’s British Open in 2015 was held at Turnberry, a Scottish resort that Trump bought in 2014, after the tournament had been awarded. In the past few years, some other top golf events have been given to Trump-owned courses. This year’s Senior P.G.A. Championship will be at Trump National Golf Club in Washington, and the 2022 P.G.A. Championship will be hosted by his Bedminster club.

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The golfer Natalie Gulbis spoke in support of Donald J. Trump’s candidacy for president at the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland.

Credit
Josh Haner/The New York Times

Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet, a national group assembled to fight sexism and expand women’s rights, said her organization failed to see the upside of any professional women’s sports league aligning itself with Trump.

“I’ve been playing golf all my life, I’m very familiar with how deeply ingrained sexism is in the game,” Thomas said in a telephone interview. “It’s upsetting. People who aren’t fans think it’s…

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