Donald Trump visited the golf course for the 163rd time as President, with Jack Nicklaus
Golf and Politics

Donald Trump visited the golf course for the 163rd time as President, with Jack Nicklaus

Donald Trump paid a Nov. 21 visit to Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., representing the 162nd time the 45th President has visited one of his 17 golf clubs (and, for most of them, presumably played some golf) since becoming President on Jan. 20, 2017. He has now paid 163 visits to any golf course as President.

Trump is spending the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-Lago private club and resort in Palm Beach, Fla., and trips to what he deems the Southern White House or Winter White House almost always include trips to his golf clubs. Trump International Golf Club is a 15-minute drive from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump reportedly played golf with Jack Nicklaus, who is a Republican and has actively campaigned for both Trump and Florida Senator-elect and current Florida governor Rick Scott. Nicklaus has played with Trump several times since Trump has entered the presidency. Trump and Nicklaus were joined by one of Nicklaus' sons and one of his grandsons for the round. The pair played golf on Thanksgiving week in 2017 as well, in what is perhaps becoming a tradition of sorts.

Trump will likely play golf several more times on his short trip to Florida. From the beginning of October through to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump didn't play much golf, spending time on the campaign trail stumping for Republican candidates across the country.

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The White House doesn't typically acknowledge Trump was even playing golf. That is commonplace policy, particularly when Trump isn't playing with celebrities or pro golfers or doesn't have something to flaunt. Typically, the White House press pool indicates when Trump arrives at his golf clubs, then they are held in a holding location until Trump is done and moves to his next location.

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All but one round of golf has been at his clubs, playing once in Japan in Nov. 2017 with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese star pro Hideki Matsuyama.

Trump ended 2017 with 91 golf course visits and was just shy of 100 visits in Year 1 as President.

The Trump Administration, per typical policy, does not acknowledge that Trump is playing even a hole of golf, much less an 18-hole round. However, if he's going to the golf club for about 4-5 hours, you can be pretty sure he's playing golf. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has asked the White House to provide the names of Trump's golf partners, as well for his clubs to provide visitor logs to get a sense of when Trump has played golf and with whom.

The President is certainly entitled to some leisure time, and golf has been an outlet for most Commanders-in-Chief dating back to the early 20th century. However, the reluctance to even acknowledge that this President plays golf conflicts with his almost relentless criticism of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who played an estimated 333 rounds of golf as President.

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