President Donald Trump, through his Trump Organization, owns or operates 17 different golf courses around the world, including 12 in the United States, two in Dubai, one in Ireland and two in Scotland. One of those U.S. golf courses in close to his Mar-a-Lago private club in West Palm Beach, Fla., and that's where Trump plays the bulk of his golf as President.
How many times has Trump played golf as President of the United States? Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2017, Mr. Trump has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses 19 times since becoming President, and that's as of April 16. That puts him on pace to visit his golf clubs more than 650 times in an eight-year presidency.
Trump has played with friends, famous people (including golfers Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els) and for political and diplomatic purposes. He played with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has been an opponent of Trump's health-care reform plans. Prior to that, he played with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in February.
We don't know if Trump has played golf every time he shows up to one of his clubs. That's because the Trump Administration has gone out of its way to bar the White House press pool from shadowing President Trump when he goes to his golf clubs. That means Trump could be playing golf, or he could be hitting golf balls on the range, or he could be twiddling his thumbs. We don't know, and the Trump Administration won't say.
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A prime example came when Trump played golf with Rory McIlroy ahead of his comeback to the PGA Tour. Trump officials asked McIlroy if he would play at the last minute on Saturday night for a Sunday tee time. McIlroy chose to take up the President on the offer, but the White House not only did not disclose Trump was playing golf with McIlroy, they didn't acknowledge that Trump played more than a previously stated intention of a few holes. The group played a full 18. It wasn't until McIlroy spoke about the round to No Laying Up that the Trump Administration had to correct the record.
The frequency with which Trump plays golf isn't really an issue -- just as it wasn't for former President Barack Obama. The presidency is an overwhelmingly difficult job, and the office-holder is certainly entitled to a handful of hours every week to take a load off. However, Trump was particularly critical of how many rounds President Barack Obama played in office, and so now he looks somewhat hypocritical in retrospect.