Donald Trump paid a March 9 visit on to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., representing the 172nd 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 173 visits to any golf course as President.
Trump is spending the weekend 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. He arrived around 9 a.m. on Saturday to play golf in the first of a likely weekend of golf rounds.
Trump is playing golf as myriad controversies continue to swirl around his administration, including developments with his children and son-in-law, North Korea and defections from his administration.
Trump ended 2017 with 91 golf course visits and was just shy of 100 visits in Year 1 as President. In his second year as President, Trump played golf 76 times. 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.
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.
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.