President Donald Trump has been visiting his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on a nearly every-weekend basis, and people familiar with the matter say that he has been also golfing during those visits. The president’s aides, on the other hand, try to sweep his golfing habits under the rug. Why’s that? Well, Trump was a vocal critic of Obama’s interest in golfing.
In 2016, he told a crowd a supporters in Virginia that, if elected, he wouldn’t have the time to play golf with so many pressing issues.
I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf,
the then-GOP presidential nominee said at the time.
Trump has a couple of golf courses close to his Florida private estate: the Trump National Golf Course and the Trump International Golf Course. Sources said he has visited those courses six times since inauguration.
His aides, however, refused to confirm those visits to the media. Yet by looking at some social media posts of the golfers that saw him golfing firsthand, it is clear the president had time to go play golf during his first month in office. In contrast, Obama first played golf as commander-in-chief on April 26, 2009.
Obama administration, though, wasn’t as secretive as Trump administration when it comes to presidential golf habits. Obama’s aides confirmed the dates when the President played golf even though they had restricted media access to the president when he was on the golf course.
According to a photo snapped by Clear Sports, Trump golfed with one of the world’s top-ranked golfers Rory McIlroy at Trump International Golf Club over the weekend. McIlroy said in an interview that he played 18 holes of golf with the Clear Sports boss and the president.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) February 20, 2017
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, had a different version of the story. She originally said the president played “a couple of holes” on Sunday and declined to disclose the names of those who joined him. Sanders also said that the U.S. commander-in-chief played a “couple of holes” a day earlier.
When reporters cited McIlroy’s version, Sanders backpedaled, saying that the president’s initial thought was to play a few holes but ended up playing longer. She added that he did not spend the entire day golfing. He had “a full day” of calls and meetings as he interviewed the potential picks for national security adviser.
Trump’s other high-profile golf partners include professional golfer, Ernie Els, who joined the president for a full round after Trump’s meeting with the Japanese prime minister at Mat-a-Lago a few weeks ago. Abe admitted in a press conference that his golf scores do not match the U.S. president’s.
Presidents have often used golfing to relax after a stressful week in the office. Obama played 306 rounds during his two terms, while Woodrow Wilson played 1,200 over two terms.
Trump, on the other hand, often grilled Obama over his golfing habits pre- and post-election.
I love golf, I think it’s one of the greats, but I don’t have time,
Trump told a crowd of supporters in Michigan after he was elected.
He added that Obama played more golf than Tiger Woods, and said that presidents don’t have time to golf since they have to work.
Before the election, he tweeted:
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
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