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BEDMINSTER, NJ-Developer Donald Trump, better known for his casinos and other mega projects, has taken another step toward being the king of the golf course with the groundbreaking for Trump National Golf Club here. The project is being carved out of the 525-acre former estate of John DeLorean, the auto industry wunderkind who developed a gull-winged sports car, named it after himself, but ultimately fell afoul of the law.

Trump recently acquired the property for an undisclosed price from the Connecticut-based National Fairways, which tried to redevelop it as a golf course but ran into financial problems. National Fairways had earlier acquired the property from Merrill Lynch, which itself had gotten the tract through foreclosure proceedings against DeLorean.

The course-to-be, which is situated in the rolling hills of Somerset County’s horse country, is being designed by Tom Fazio, considered to be the top golf course architect, and is expected to be ready for play by the summer of 2004. The 70-year-old Georgian-style home on the site will be converted into a clubhouse, and the site will house a number of other recreational amenities, including an equestrian center, tennis courts and swimming pool. Total cost of the project has not been disclosed.

The project is Trump’s fourth golf course – the others are in Los Angeles; Palm Beach, FL; and Briarcliff Manor, NY. “Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster is going to rival any of the great established golf courses in the country,” Trump said at the groundbreaking.

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