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Helicopter flights to 'Trump Triangle teed up

When is a straight line a triangle?

'Trump Triangle': Billionaire Donald Trump unveils his vision for a helicopter service which will connect his three courses - the Menie Estate, Turnberry and Doonbeg, Co Clare in Ireland.
'Trump Triangle': Billionaire Donald Trump unveils his vision for a helicopter service which will connect his three courses - the Menie Estate, Turnberry and Doonbeg, Co Clare in Ireland.

When Donald Trump draws up plans to link his golf resorts in Ireland and Scotland.

The property mogul yesterday unveiled his vision for "The Trump Triangle" as he visited one of his latest acquistions in Ireland and pledged to invest £36million in Doonbeg links in Co Clare.

The billionaire New Yorker said he had plans for a helicopter to ferry paying guests between the courses on what he called the golf circuit; from the Greg Norman-designed Irish course, to the Open Championship course at Turnberry and his controversial resort on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

He said Turnberry, where he is expected today, "will be part of the Trump Triangle as we call it. And the other is my course in Aberdeen -literally a straight line from here to Turnberry and on to Aberdeen".

He added: "We are already in contract for an incredible helicopter that will connect the three dots with guests and we think that is going to be a tremendous amount of business," he said.

VisitScotland says it will welcome the triangle with "open arms".

The American businessman flew in to Shannon Airport on his Boeing 757 jet and was accompanied by his sons Donald and Eric and daughter Ivanka. He was met at the airport by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Clare Mayor, Joe Arkins and other officials.

Mr Trump said he had been contacted by organisers of the Irish Open and European Tour bosses to discuss holding tournaments at Doonbeg.

After initially being served with a stop work order, the tycoon last week got the go-ahead for protective works on dunes on the course. Concern about the dune system at his Aberdeenshire development led to opposition from conservationists.

But in Ireland he is also preparing to apply for permission to put in boulders to act as breakwaters in a bid to prevent further erosion of dunes, swathes of which were devastated in winter storms.

Doonbeg, a renowned beauty spot on the Co Clare coast, is protected by strict environmental concerns for a microscopic snail which has been around since the Ice Age - the narrow-mouth whorl snail, or vertigo angustior, which measures about 0.9mm wide and 1.8mm in height.Trump has said he will work with environmental experts in any redevelopment.

"The snail issue is an issue that will roll on and one that we will be very protective of," he said.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: "We would, of course, welcome with open arms the creation of any golf circuit, such as the 'Trump Triangle' which brings golfers from all over the world to our shores.

"Donald Trump's investment in Scotland raises the country's profile as a world-class tourist destination, while also increasing the awareness of Scotland as the Home of Golf." With over 550 courses across the country, golf tourism is estimated to be worth £220million annually and supports around 4,400 jobs.

Kevin Brown, courses editor for Today's Golfer magazine, said he thought the idea of the Trump Triangle would appeal to the more affluent section of the golfing community. "I think it would appeal to some US, Japanese, Korean golfers who do travel the world and some in the UK as well."

He said there was no doubt that the Trump courses enjoyed a good reputation.

"You pay top dollar, but they are immaculate," he said.

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