Donald Trump paid a March 8 visit to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., representing the 262nd 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 264 visits to any golf course as President.
Trump has arrived to his Palm Beach, Fla., golf club for a Sunday as Trump spends the weekend at his Florida resort club before coming back to D.C. as the nation contends with the coronavirus and a plummeting, reactionary stock market. 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 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 claims to have a USGA handicap index under 5, but he is thought to have a vanity handicap that makes him seem better at the sport than he is.
The Secret Service has spent over $500,000 to stay overnight at Trump-owned properties, including his New Jersey country club.
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. In his third year, he played golf 91 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.