Donald Trump said it will take 30 years to make back the money he has spent turning his Scottish coastal estate into ‘the world’s greatest golf course’.
But last night the tycoon said his £60 million personal investment was worth it – after seeing the completed championship links at Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire for the first time.
It has take seven years in planning and construction to shape the dramatic coastal site into a venue fit for future Ryder Cups and Open Championships.
Yesterday he said he was blown away by the “stunning” 18 holes, which have been woven through the great dunes of Scotland.
“It is incredible – it is going to be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. We are really happy,” he said.
“People are already saying it’s the best and it is not even open yet. But it’s no wonder, because nobody else in the world has land like this.
“It will take 30 years to justify the money I have spent – but I am happy, because it is a great piece of art.”
Mr Trump will round off his visit with a high-profile appearance at the Scottish Parliament tomorrow – where he will launch a fresh attack on windfarms.
Last night First Minister Alex Salmond looked to strike the first blow by re-stating the case for investment in green energy.
The SNP leader said renewables contributed more than a third of Scotland’s electricity needs in 2011 and the sector supports more than 11,000 jobs – and tens of thousands of more jobs will be created with projects currently planned.
But Mr Trump fears turbines could “completely end” tourism in Scotland and the country is “in effect committing financial suicide”.
Trump is known the world over for being both ruthless and shrewd in equal measure, so his revelation yesterday that it could be three decades before he sees a return on his £60 million investment in the championship links at Menie comes as a surprise.
The 65-year-old, who toured the completed course for the first time yesterday with golf designer Martin Hawtree, also wants to create a lasting legacy to his mother, Stornoway-born Mary Mcleod.
About 500 acres has been used to create the 7,400-yard course, which weaves its way through the dramatic sand dunes next to the North Sea.
The resort will eventually include 950 holiday homes, 500 houses, and a 450-bedroom hotel. But Mr Trump has suspended plans for the £250 million hotel over a windfarm proposal a few miles off the coast.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre would feature 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay.