2017-02-01 / News

Waynesboro entrepreneur makes putter for Trump

By Elizabeth Billips

Bud North displays the special putter he built for President Donald Trump. Bud North displays the special putter he built for President Donald Trump. The President of the United States will soon be swinging a putter built in Waynesboro.

Professional caddy Bud North spent several months planning and building the special putter for President Donald Trump and is having it delivered with the help of hotel investor and mutual friend, Leland Pillsbury of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

North, who has sold more than 12,000 putters under his ShurDrop brand, forged a friendship with Pillsbury several years ago after helping him with his putt.

“(Bud) has coached me at Augusta National as well as Nantucket Golf Club,” Pillsbury said. “He built a putter for me that has knocked four to five putts a round off my score.”

Pillsbury is chairman of the Thayer Lodging Group and has rubbed elbows with President Trump in the business world on several occasions, including a notable encounter while they were “jointly attempt(ing) to acquire the Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach.”

North decided to fashion the putter for Trump after running into his son Donald Trump Jr. at a Georgia-Florida tailgating event just before the election.

He ran the idea past Pillsbury who not only thought it a great one, but volunteered to help.

North had already met Trump Sr. back in 1994 on a putting green in Westchester, N.Y. and remembers how their talk turned to Burke County.

“ I told him I was from Waynesboro and how much our community appreciated what he did for the Hill family years ago,” North said Monday morning as he drove home from the Pillsburys’ waterfront mansion in Fort Lauderdale where he left the putter.

Next week, Pillsbury will deliver it to President Trump.

“I hope you will have the good fortune to meet Bud, and perhaps even have him caddy for you,” Pillsbury wrote in a personal letter to Trump that will accompany the gift. “It would be hard to find a better person to spend four hours on the golf course with.”

While North doesn’t know if he’ll hear from the President, he feels certain he will appreciate the putter.

“I don’t know if he will ever play golf with it, but I know he’s gonna like it, “North said. “It’s my way of saying thank you.”

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