Through Ties to Saudis, Golf Deal Promises Benefits to Trump

The surprising deal on Tuesday ending a civil war in the world of professional golf stands to produce benefits for former President Donald J. Trump’s family business by increasing the prospect of major tournaments continuing to be played at Trump-owned courses in the United States and perhaps abroad.

The outcome is the latest example of how the close relationship between Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and Saudi Arabia, whose sovereign wealth fund is the force behind the upheaval in the golf world, has proved beneficial to both sides even as it has prompted intense ethical scrutiny and political criticism.

Even as it has injected new money and competition into professional golf, Saudi Arabia has been accused of using its wealth to buff its global reputation and obscure its human rights record through sports. That campaign now seems to have yielded business opportunities and a higher profile in the golf world for Mr. Trump as he seeks another term in the White House.

Since the establishment of LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded breakaway professional golf circuit, Mr. Trump and his family have aligned themselves with LIV against the PGA Tour at a time when the golf establishment in the United States and Britain had moved to shut Trump courses out of major professional competitions, a trophy that the Trump family had long sought.

The turn away from Mr. Trump and his courses only accelerated after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Just days after the assault, P.G.A. of America announced it was canceling a planned 2022 tournament at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., which had been planned for years.

LIV soon became the Trump family’s ticket back into the rarefied world of global tournaments, with events last year at Bedminster and Trump National Doral, the family’s golf resort near Miami. This year LIV brought tournaments to three Trump courses, adding the Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia to the schedule.

The decision by professional golf in the United States to shun Mr. Trump had infuriated members of his family. Mr. Trump’s business had spent more than a decade buying up or developing golf courses around the world with the goal of hosting major tournaments, which help drive memberships by putting the courses in the spotlight and could confer a degree of sports-world legitimacy on Mr. Trump, an avid golfer.

Dating back to when Mr. Trump was in the White House, he and his family have had unusually close ties with Saudi Arabia and the royal family there. His first foreign trip as president was to Riyadh, where he received a lavish welcome.

Mr. Trump later downplayed the Saudi government’s role in the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident journalist, and he defended while in office Saudi Arabia’s long-running military campaign in neighboring Yemen.

After Mr. Trump left office, that relationship continued in the form of a $2 billion commitment by the Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler — to an investment fund set up by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law. The Saudi fund

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Through Ties to Saudis, Golf Deal Promises Benefits to Trump

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