Is Trump the best pres­i­den­tial golfer? Is Tiger Woods the best golfer ever?

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK -

Ahead of the in­au­gu­ra­tion, Golf Digest magazine ranked Don­ald Trump the best of the past 16 golfer pres­i­dents. And judg­ing from his first six months in of­fice, when he spent about 20 per­cent of his time at one of his golf clubs, he could set the record for to­tal rounds played by a pres­i­dent if he man­ages to serve two terms. Then again, there’s no of­fi­cial Trump tally, be­cause the White House press of­fice won’t say when he plays.

As for his skill level, his claim of hav­ing a 2.8 hand­i­cap in­dex — mean­ing he’d gen­er­ally shoot in the mid-70s on a par 72 course — surely qual­i­fies as se­ri­ous fake news. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent story in Sports Il­lus­trated, Trump’s hand­i­cap in­dex is ar­ti­fi­cially low, mostly be­cause (sur­prise, sur­prise) he doesn’t al­ways play by the rules. “Trump will some­times re­spond to a shot he duffed [hit poorly] by sim­ply play­ing a sec­ond ball and car­ry­ing on as if the first shot never hap­pened,” ac­cord­ing to SI writer Alan Ship­nuck. “In the par­lance of the game, Trump takes float­ing mul­li­gans, usu­ally more than one dur­ing a round. Be­cause of them it is im­pos­si­ble to say what he has ac­tu­ally shot on any given day, ac­cord­ing to 18 peo­ple who have teed it up with Trump over the last decade.” In the same ar­ti­cle, four-time ma­jor cham­pi­onship win­ner Ernie Els, who has known Trump for many years, es­ti­mated that he’s closer to an 8- or 9-hand­i­cap­per, usu­ally shoot­ing in the re­spectable low 80s.

By com­par­i­son, John F. Kennedy shot in the high 70s and low 80s, de­spite back prob­lems that lim­ited his swing and par­tic­i­pa­tion. He didn’t play much af­ter be­ing elected in 1960, be­cause his pre­de­ces­sor, Dwight Eisen­hower, came un­der crit­i­cism for too many days on the course.

Ike may have been the most pas­sion­ate pres­i­den­tial golfer. He scored in the high 80s, played an es­ti­mated 800 rounds, was a mem­ber of Augusta Na­tional Golf Club and fre­quently teed it up with his friend Palmer. Golf pro­moter Fred Cor­co­ran said that Eisen­hower was “the great­est thing that ever hap­pened to the game,” help­ing to dou­ble the num­ber of Amer­i­cans who played. Trump, a sig­nif­i­cantly less pop­u­lar pres­i­dent, is un­likely to have the same im­pact, how­ever much he pro­motes his cour­ses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.