Donald Trump paid a Dec. 31 visit to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., representing the 250th 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 252 visits to any golf course as President.
Trump has arrived to his Palm Beach, Fla., golf club for an apparent one-hour visit on New Year's Eve, returning to Mar-a-Lago as his Defense Department is monitoring the situation at the American consulate in Baghdad, Iraq, as Shia protesters are angry at American military bombings of targets in Iran and Syria. It's a 15-minute drive from Mar-a-Lago, and he makes the ride over to Trump International for a day at his club.
Trump is on pace to surpass his Year 1 golf club visits, hitting the 85-day mark with a few weeks to go in his third year as President.
Trump prefers to play golf in the mornings, while the Secret Service follows around Trump in golf carts that, so far, have cost American taxpayers nearly $550,000 to use.
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 two rounds 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, then playing with Abe again in May 2019.
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.