The next person who runs for president of the United States should brush up on foreign policy, public speaking, the law, and his or her golf swing, writes Grant Miller.
According to the New York Post, 16 of the 18 elections since World War II had a golfer beat a non-golfer in the polls. Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter are the exceptions.
Barack Obama was scolded in the media for playing too often, but if one POTUS is an avid golfer it has to be Donald Trump, who just beat Hillary Clinton and became the 45th president-elect.
While it’s doubtful anyone voted for Trump solely because of his handicap, it’s a hard factor to ignore, especially considering how many professional golfers embraced him. Jimin Kang, John Daly, Dottie Pepper and Jack Nicklaus all congratulated him. Victoria Elizabeth said, ‘Someone pinch me’ before hashtagging Trump’s slogan, ‘Make America Great Again.’
Not every golfer welcomed him though. LPGA player Carolina Westrup said on Twitter, ‘Had a nightmare last night that Trump was elected president, oh wait it was not [a] dream?’
Regardless of political views, Trump’s presence in the golf world is undeniable. He owns 17 golf courses in four countries: the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Scotland and Ireland.
Trump’s political influence has spilled into his golf, and during an event at his Turnberry course the comedian Lee Nelson interrupted proceedings to hand out red golf balls bearing a swastika. The Englishman was summarily removed by security.
Sorry for the delay giving out the balls you ordered Mr Trump… pic.twitter.com/7FIem5Npsl
— Lee Nelson (@RealLeeNelson) June 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton has played a few rounds in her life, but cannot be classified as a regular golfer.
Obama, on the other hand, has played over 300 rounds of golf as president and got his handicap to ‘an honest 13.’ That seems quite high until it’s compared with other US presidents. According to Good Morning America, the most prolific presidential golfer was Woodrow Wilson, who ‘played about 1,200 rounds during his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower is the runner-up at 800, according to his memorial commission’.
Still, Obama had interesting golf moments, like receiving a personal invitation to the 2012 Ryder Cup from Davis Love III and a visit from Rory McIlroy.
Trump, ironically, criticised Obama, saying: ‘He plays more golf than professionals that play for a living in the PGA Tour’, all while challenging him to a match in jest. Since ‘The Donald’ plays off a handicap of three, he’d be likely to win (Obama’s first love is basketball anyway). Now that Trump is president-elect, it would be interesting to see how much time he spends on the golf course during his administration and who he plays with. Perhaps he’ll invite Vladimir Putin over for a few rounds.