Lake Norman Magazine

Trump Redux

Lakeside hole at Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville, NC.
Lakeside hole at Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville, NC. Grant Baldwin Photography

When Donald Trump completed the purchase of the former Point Lake and Golf Club in Mooresville in April of 2012 he was enchanted with the property. The golf course in particular caught his fancy as it features views of Lake Norman on 14 of 18 holes.Donald’s son Eric led much of the negotiations during the purchase. When Lake Norman Magazine spoke to him for the May, 2012 issue he said the property was unique. “I see hundreds of golf course properties each year, this one is special,” said Eric, 30. “We’ll enhance it to be the best club in North Carolina and beyond.”Only two short years later, Trump National Charlotte is more than living up to the promise. “We’ve invested millions on renovations to the course, clubhouse, pool area, tennis courts, Village Square, and virtually every other amenity bringing them to our standards,” says Eric when we caught up with him this past August. “Our organization moves with precision and expertise when we commit to a project and Trump National Charlotte is no exception. We’re delighted with the transformation.”

No Detail Ignored Club general manager, Gavin Arsenault, 56, was brought in to oversee the upgrade in 2012. Arsenault is a hospitality veteran, most recently heading operations for Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Hickory.“There’s been no aspect ignored in making this club the gold standard in the industry,” says Arsenault. “Our membership lets me know daily how pleased they are with the changes.”One of the most charming aspects of Trump National Charlotte is the Village Square, a collection of Nantucket-style buildings ringed by cobblestone streets and surrounding a tidy green that serves as a crossroads of sorts in accessing amenities. Here members find both men’s and ladies’ lounges, the Tavern and main dining facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, family activity center, Trump International Realty offices, administrative offices, and perhaps the most popular enhancement of all—a bakery and Starbucks Coffee.“We took what was a small retail storefront and elevated it with a bakery that not only services our restaurants, but brings fresh treats to our members and guests,” says Arsenault. “Adding a Starbucks was a real coup and something the Trump organization was able to facilitate easily.”Each building received a facelift in the renovation which included the addition of copper flashing and down spouts, as well as a fresh coat of Trump National’s signature paint: “Augusta White,” an homage to the famous Georgia golf course.Even the club’s youngest members have experienced dramatic changes geared especially for them. The aquatics programming has more than doubled in size and the enhanced pool boasts sloping, easy entry sides, a giant water slide, and animated squirt stations featuring a friendly whale. An entirely new poolside dining area has just been completed.

Design and EnhanceGolf, a Trump National mainstay, takes a back seat to none in Charlotte as the Greg Norman-designed course was further enhanced in the renovation by none other than “the Donald.” “Mr. Trump has a very fine eye for course design and worked closely with me in making enhancements that make for a premium golf experience,” says course superintendent, James Sowers, 45. Replacing the greens with “Tif Eagle ultra-dwarf,” a hybrid Bermuda grass, has delivered on the holy trinity for golfers—greens that are firm, fast and putt true. All the bunkers on the course received new sand, the practice area was expanded by nearly 50 percent, and the course has been lengthened with 11 new tee boxes that extend it to 7,500 yards from the tips.But perhaps the most significant aspect of Trump National and one that sets it apart from most other clubs is the guest experience created by the staff. “We are completely dedicated to our members and guests,” Says Arsenault. “They’re why we get up every day.”