One of the worst things about every recent president is that they all play golf, the worst sport for bad people. Clinton played a lot of golf, Bush played a lot of golf, and Obama also played a lot of golf. Trump has also made himself famous for playing a ton of golf in office. Unlike the other guys (probably), what sets Trump apart is that he is well known as a massive golf cheat.
Take this example, as the AP reported on Monday:
One infamous instance came in a 2017 round with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, who is the current No. 1 player in the world. The president’s playing partner, Fox Sports golf analyst Brad Faxon, reported that Trump’s transgressions included putting down a score that didn’t account for two balls he hit into the water on one hole.
“You’ve heard so much about it, it’s almost like you want to witness it so you can tell the stories,” Faxon is quoted as saying.
Reilly quotes players who accuse Trump, his caddie and Secret Service agents of regularly moving his golf balls out of difficult lies. At Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, the only non-Trump property where the president is a member, Reilly writes, “The caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back onto the fairway they came up with a nickname for him: ‘Pele.’” That’s the world soccer star from Brazil.
Sports announcer Mike Tirico says Trump once threw Tirico’s golf ball off the green into a nearby bunker when they played together.
Some of the allegations aren’t new. Boxer Oscar De La Hoya told The AP in 2016 that Trump cheated against him twice in the space of two holes. “Yes, I caught him,” De La Hoya said. “It was unbelievable. But I guess it was his course, so it was his rules.”
The big golf boy cheated at golf so much that former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly wrote a whole book about it!
The AP story I’m quoting from goes into even more detail about the new book, called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, but my big takeaway is that the president doesn’t even need to cheat at golf! People say he’s actually pretty good:
Trump, by all accounts, is a good golfer, especially for his age, Reilly writes. But the 2.8-stroke handicap he claims is the product of manipulation. A handicap is based on a golfer’s most recent 20 scores and allows players of different skill levels to compete fairly against each other. Someone with Trump’s handicap typically would shoot scores about three over par. Despite making more than 150 visits to his golf courses since taking office, Trump has logged only one round in the online USGA Handicap Index — and a 96 at that.
I have no idea what those numbers mean, and I absolutely refuse to learn because golf is an intensely dumb sport. If I could golf those numbers I’d probably be pleased about it. I played golf once, actually. I hit a tree with the ball on the last hole, which was actually pretty cool. Bounced right off it. I’ll be honest, it was pretty fun, but not fun enough that I’d ever do it for the rest of my life and compete with other people at it and cheat when I was already better than them. But that’s just me!