NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Donald Trump tees off to launch Menie Estate golf course

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Media captionDonald Trump opens the new golf course in Aberdeenshire

US tycoon Donald Trump has struck the first ball on his new multi-million pound golf course in Aberdeenshire.

He was piped to the first hole of the course, where he teed off with former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

Monty said it was an "honour" to play the first round on what he described it as a "marvel" of a course.

The development at Menie has been controversial, with environmental campaigners opposed to the construction of a course on protected sand dunes.

However, Mr Trump said he believed he had created the world's greatest course.

Tuesday's ceremony took place ahead of the course opening to the public on Sunday.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust, which opposed the course, has called on top golfers to boycott some of the holes.

Mr Trump flew into Aberdeen on Monday on his private jet for the events to launch the Trump International Golf Links.

Image caption Golfer Colin Montgomerie joned Mr Trump on the first round

The development has been accused of wrecking the local environment, while Mr Trump has attacked proposals for an offshore wind farm which he fears will blight the view for golfers.

The course was built on the Menie Estate, which includes sand dunes classed as a site of special scientific interest.

The site took six years to develop but plans for a hotel and hundreds of homes have been put on hold.

Mr Trump dedicated the course to the memory of his mother, who was born on the Isle of Lewis.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has written to professional golfers taking part in the opening event at the course asking them to avoid the most environmentally-sensitive areas.

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