Last month, President Trump’s financial disclosure report revealed that a number of his businesses, including his Mar-a-Lago resort, had seen significant spikes in profits since he took office. However, not all of his businesses are experiencing the same amount of success as the Winter White House, including the president’s Southern California golf club.
A new report from The Washington Post has revealed that the Trump National Golf Club in Palos Verdes, California has seen a sharp decline in visitors since the president first launched his campaign in June 2015. When WaPo reporters visited the club to get a firsthand look at how it’s doing, they found the course empty except for one golfer, a 59-year-old doctor who frequents the club and said that it is “just dead all the time.”
Upon reviewing figures from the city government, WaPo also found that revenues from green fees have dropped by 13 percent in the last two years.
One of the greatest contributors to the club’s decline has the been the fact that a number of charity golf-tournaments have been moved to other locations. ESPN relocated its celebrity tournament, as did the L.A. Galaxy soccer team. The L.A. Unified School District even moved its tournament and gave up the $7,500 deposit that had already been paid.
City permit records also show that a number of production companies have stopped filming TV shows and movies at the club. Since Trump took office, only two companies obtained permits to shoot at the course. One project was an ad for a Japanese golf-club company, and the other was an ad for Munsingwear, a company that sells golf apparel and men’s underwear.
Meanwhile, nobody has held a wedding reception at the club since November of last year. The club used to average 17 weddings per year. The number decreased to 11 in 2016, and the figure has since fallen to zero.
It’s not particularly surprising that Trump’s Los Angeles club is struggling. The area where it is located — about 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles — is heavily Democratic and is represented by Congressman Ted Lieu, who has not been shy about criticizing President Trump.
The course, which Trump has described as being “the most expensive golf course ever built,” does have disadvantages that predate Trump’s political career. In addition to being a highly difficult course, it also costs up to $300 per player, compared to nearby county courses that charge about $45 per round. However, these factors aren’t enough to fully explain the hit the club has taken in the last two years.
While the Trump National Golf Club is currently seeing a decline in revenue, other courses in the area have experienced an upswing in business. Craig Kessler of the Southern California Golf Association said about the performance of Trump’s club:
‘It’s under-performed the market since 2015. Just at the time when the rest of the industry was starting to see some upticks…it seems to have gone into a decline.’
WaPo asked four officials from the Trump Organization for a comment on the struggling California golf course, but only one responded: the president’s son, Eric Trump. However, Trump’s response was merely a request for WaPo‘s David Fahrenthold to “stop reaching out” to him.
Featured Image via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.