How come no great Donald Trump stories have come out of Winged Foot? The prestigious golf club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., which has hosted oodles of U.S. Opens since Bobby Jones’ 1929 win, has had Trump as a member since 1975, when the persona of The Donald was in its nascent stages. So of course there have to be tales that remain untold.
I’ve heard rumblings for a while from folks with ties to the club that Trump was not the most reliable about paying up lost (and meager) Nassau bets, and also about fights—verbal and otherwise—he’d allegedly had with patrons.
But everything I’ve heard is second-hand. When I traced these rumblings back to their original sources, I learned that any sort of confirmation or denial of Trump’s alleged misbehavior would be in violation of the club’s revered honor code.
“[Trump]’s a member at Winged Foot, and I refuse to talk about another member,” said one.
That policy seems to have been handed down through the generations by the New York Athletic Club, whose members founded Winged Foot in 1921 and whose policy of secrecy apparently remains sturdy: “The first rule of New York Athletic Club is don’t talk about New York Athletic Club,” was the lede of the New York Post’s July story about ongoing litigation involving the NYAC. An NYAC patron named Andrew Haesler got a “cracked eye socket” during a brawl there in 2012, but four years later was still asking the courts to compel the club to give up secret membership and management lists to help with his lawsuit.
Still; exposing vintage Trump boorishness has become a national pastime. Tony Schwarz, the ghostwriter of a Trump memoir, now has a second career calling Trump an asshole. Earlier this year, writer Jeff Pearlman uncovered a 1984 letter from Trump’s USFL days in which former Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett tells Trump that’s he’s so sick of his act that, “I’ll have no regrets whatsoever punching you right in the mouth.”
A 2011 story in The Atlantic held that chief executives “show their true personalities on the links,” so it’s a given that Trump was a dick several times over at his old golf club. Yet nothing great’s come out.
Let’s change that, America. Give up your stories of The Donald behaving badly at Winged Foot while there’s still time.
Saw something? Say something!