Trump: I'm still making money off golf industry

Ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at the newly renovated Trump National Doral in Miami, Donald Trump spoke to CNBC about the state of golf—an industry that by many accounts is struggling. Despite the game's declining participation, golf course closures that exceed openings and sluggish equipment sales, it hasn't deterred the real estate mogul from investing heavily in the sport.

"I actually think golf at the high end is doing phenomenally well," he said.

Trump who appears on Forbes latest billionaires list with an estimated net worth of more than $4 billion, said that golf courses have been a strong investment for him.

Donald Trump stands in front of the Tiger Woods Villa prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida.
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Donald Trump stands in front of the Tiger Woods Villa prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida.

"If you look at Trump National Doral, it's about $450-$500 per round and literally, we have waiting lists to get on," he said.

The newly renovated club will take center stage this week as the nation's elite golfers tee off for the WGC-Cadillac Championship, a key tournament for the PGA Tour.

Trump purchased the Doral Resort out of bankruptcy in 2012 for $150 million. He's renovated the 800-acre property, invested an additional $250 million into it and is building more than 2,000 luxury condos across the street.

While Trump's high-end golf courses may be thriving, others aren't so lucky. Dick's Sporting Goods reported on Tuesday that its same-store-sales at Golf Galaxy locations declined 7.1 percent, as the sporting goods chain has decided to focus less on golf.

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"I don't get what Dick's is doing," Trump said. "It's a store that sells cheap stuff. Golf should be an aspirational game. I think if they look at golf as something other than that, then they are making a big mistake."

The Trump National Doral resort is just one of 18 luxury golf courses in Trump's portfolio. With courses around the world from Aberdeen, Scotland, to Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump isn't showing any signs of slowing down when it comes to expanding his golf empire. He's currently in the process of building an 18-hole championship course in Dubai with Tiger Woods, which he promises it will "exceed all expectations."

Disclosure: The WGC-Cadillac Championship will be broadcast by NBC, which is owned by CNBC's parent company NBCUniversal.