Donald Trump made the 16th visit to one of his golf clubs over the weekend, playing at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. While the Trump Administration has consistently obfuscated about what Trump does and for how long he does it when he visits one of his golf clubs -- be it in Florida or northern Virginia, so far -- images of Trump playing golf continue to leak through social media channels. That's how we found out about this latest round.
President Trump playing another round at his course in West Palm Beach Sunday pic.twitter.com/Q7Jofhe1iq
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) April 9, 2017
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
By the count of Reuters, Trump has actually appeared at his golf clubs 17 times in just 10 weeks as President, including what appeared to be a 45-minute visit to just hang out at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., though the Administration described that time as working meetings. Pictures posted on Instagram suggested otherwise. However, the total time estimated that Trump has spent at his golf clubs through 10 weeks is 65 hours.
Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, didn't play golf until he reached the 100-day mark of his first term. Ultimately, according to CBS News White House reporter and unofficial presidential historian Mark Knoller, Obama played an estimated 333 rounds in eight years as president. Trump is on pace to beat that mark.
We've long said it's OK for a president to play golf. The job is tough, and the Commander-in-Chief deserves some leisure time. However, Trump was not only unrelentingly critical of Obama's golf hobby while he wasn't in the White House, but Trump also said as a candidate that he wouldn't play golf were he to become president, citing the need to get to and stay at work fixing the nation's problems.
Trump, who has used golf as a business tool when he was a private citizen, has tried to use the game as a tool of diplomacy and for domestic political coalition building. In Feburary, Trump played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, using a $3,500 gold driver Abe gave him. In the first weekend of April, Trump played golf with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul in an effort to rally support for a second push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare.
Paul said that Trump likes to talk about "how we come together to get everybody on the same page, and he likes to do it through golf."
However, like with Obama, his penchant to play golf has become a divisive issue early in his presidency.