Trump National Golf Club (Los Angeles)
|Location||Palos Verdes, California, U.S.|
|Established||January 20, 2006|
|Owned by||The Trump Organization|
|Designed by||Pete Dye and Donald J. Trump|
|Length||7,242 yards (6,622 m)|
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles was formerly known as Ocean Trails Golf Club, an 18–hole course designed by Pete Dye, which was about to open when a landslide occurred and the 18th hole slid toward the Pacific Ocean. The Ocean Trails Golf Club subsequently went into bankruptcy, and on November 26, 2002 Trump bought the property for $27 million, intending to redesign the course. It includes a 45,000 sq ft (4,200 m2) clubhouse.
The club is known for its picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. It also features three artificial waterfalls. The Michael Douglas Pro-Celebrity and Friends Golf Tournament takes place there annually, in April.
Trump National's predecessor, the Ocean Trails Golf Club, was part of a 150-acre property owned by developer Edward Zuckerman and a partner. Prior to the Zuckerman purchase, the property was used as a farm. The golf course is on a peninsula known for its landslides. The height of the peninsula of 370 meters above sea level and the action of the waves are two main contributing factors for the landslides. The stratification of the sedimentary rock below the course is visible in the high cliffs of the area as it gradually slopes seaward. The sloping and stratification create favorable conditions for the generation of landslides. As a result, homes and roads have been lost to the ocean in that area. In the area occupied by the golf course and its vicinity, there are three ancient landslides which have been named by geologists as A, B and C respectively. The green of the Ocean Trails golf course 18th hole and half of its fairway were on top of ancient landslide C.
On June 2, 1999 the construction on the $126 million Ocean Trails golf course was almost complete and the course was close to its scheduled opening when a landslide unexpectedly occurred, caused by the sudden reactivation of ancient landslide C, and 300 meters of the 18th hole fairway disappeared under the ocean when a fissure parallel to the cliff appeared and subsequently collapsed. A 215 meter long island was created due to the landslide, temporarily trapping a local resident. The landslide caused most of the 496 yard par 4 18th hole to slide 50 ft. toward the ocean, including the fairway and green.
Also due to the slide, bike paths, walking paths, the edge of the bluffs and a segment of an LA County sewer line disappeared. It is believed that fluid discharge from the sewer line, probably leaking before the slide, acted as a lubricant on the thin underlying layer of bentonite, which became saturated with liquid sewage in turn, and this acted as a facilitator for the stratified geological accumulations to slide relative to each other. Bentonite, a form of clay, exhibits a low frictional coefficient when wet, i.e. it becomes slippery. The golf course opened with only 15 holes because of the landslide.
The landslide caused the Ocean Trails Golf Course construction project to go into bankruptcy. Covered by insurance funds, a massive geotechnical project was launched to reconstruct the 18th hole using 1,250,000 cubic yards of earth to fill it. The stabilization work and the slide caused cosmetic damage to the course. At the time, golf course historian Geoff Shackelford said that at the then projected cost of repair of more than $20 million, the 18th hole would have been "the most expensive single hole in history".
After three years, legal issues between the involved banks and developers caused the geological stabilization work to stop. In 2002 Donald Trump stepped in and bought the 300-acre (1.2 km2) property, including the golf course, with the intention of finalizing construction and repairs by the summer of 2003. On 20 January 2006 the 18–hole Trump National Golf Club opened in Los Angeles. The reinforcement fill designed to stabilize the area affected by the slide is located under holes 17 and 18. During the massive geological stabilization process the golf course was open for business.
The geological stabilization process was based on a geotechnical design involving the use of geosynthetic materials designed to enhance the cohesion and strength of the landslide fill. Asked about the safety of the work, Donald Trump said: "If I'm ever in California for an earthquake, this is where I want to be standing".
In 2008 Trump sued the city of Rancho Palos Verdes for $100 million, alleging that the city did not allow him to make the improvements needed to maintain the Trump image. This lawsuit was settled in 2012 for undisclosed terms.
In 2013, a judge approved a $475,000 class action settlement of employment claims by nearly 1,000 current and golf course employees at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. The settlement involves 913 golf course employees who worked for Trump National from December 2004 until February this year. According to the plaintiffs, 298 class members submitted claim forms. About a third of the total award, or nearly $160,000, will go to attorneys for their work, the same court papers stated. Employee complaints generally included non-payment for missed meal and rest breaks. Some employees said they were not reimbursed for business expenses and objected to managers and supervisors getting tips. Lucy Messerschmidt, a restaurant hostess at Trump National, also was taken off the schedule while Donald Trump was on the premises, because he “likes to see fresh faces” and “young girls,” according to her lawsuit, which was filed in December 2008.
The Trump National Los Angeles was the setting for the filming of Golf Channel's The Big Break VI: Trump National.
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