In his first nine months as president of the United States, Donald Trump unofficially played 60 rounds of golf. Clearly, Trump, who sports a 2.8 Handicap, is not an average golfer. Trump may be controversial politically, but when it comes to golf, many experts agree — the 45th president really can play.
Barack Obama is another President not shy about professing his love for the game. During his eight years in the Oval Office, Obama averaged 38.25 rounds per year. That’s also a lot of golf, although Obama’s overall average is less than half of what Trump has played in his first year as president.
President Dwight W Eisenhower was in office from 1953-61 and managed to spend more than 1,000 days of his presidency playing golf or involved in some other golf-related activity. He had a handicap ranging from 14 to 18.
Trump has most recently in the news in relation to his golfing career when he had a golf round with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe. During the round, Abe hit a shot out of a fairway bunker, but the unconfirmed story goes that the 63-year-old walked up the steep face of the bunker and found himself tumbling back in; head over heels.
The US President and Japanese Prime Minister started their week of formal talks with a quick trip to the links About Trump the Golfer One impression of Trump the golfer is that he genuinely likes playing the game. On the course, playing quickly, he projects the contentment of a man in his element.
“I think of golf as a very natural game,” he says. “I never really wanted to know a lot about my technique. I really trust instinct a lot, in golf and a lot of things.” For me it’s all about the hips, just get them out of the way as fast and as hard as I can and let the arms really swing through. It might look a little crazy, but the more I clear, the straighter I hit it. Trump is said to sometimes respond to a shot he duffed by simply playing a second ball and carrying on as if the first shot never happened. In the parlance of the game, Trump takes floating mulligans, usually more than one during a round.
One of his playing partners confirmed that Trump plays “good,” but that he takes the liberties common among everyday golfers: mulligans, gimmes, improved lies, etc. Gary Player once told CNBC that Trump is by far the best golfer of all the presidents. “He really can play”. And he should know having golfed with around eight past Presidents. “He’s a much better golfer than you think he’d be because he hits the ball a long way,” says Phil Mickelson.
“He has clubhead speed, and there’s no substitute for that.” “He’s not really good around the greens. I could help him if he asked me,” said Tom Watson. Player agrees. He says Trump’s short game could use some work. “The same thing applies to all the presidents I have played with. When they have a 4-foot putt, they just say pick it up – and you aren’t going to argue with them.”