As it turns out, Donald Trump's golf handicap account was hacked
Golf and Politics

As it turns out, Donald Trump’s golf handicap account was hacked


A bunch of golf scores -- a 68 and five bad scores, including four in the 100s -- were posted to Donald Trump's GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) account this week.

When the initial two scores were noticed, a 68 and a 96, it seemed to some that Trump would finally start entering scores from his nearly 190 golf rounds as President, perhaps comfortable with his status in office heading into the 2020 election campaign. However, we here at Golf News Net were reluctant to think of these scores as valid. After all, Trump hadn't posted a score since June 2016, and he seemed committed to keeping his rounds a private matter, in part to maintain his artificially low handicap index.

Then the four extra scores appeared, making it clear at least one person had accessed Trump's GHIN account -- which anyone with the number can do, including golf club professionals -- and put in phony scores to make the President look bad.

The USGA confirmed to Golfweek on Saturday that someone had access to Trump's account and posted these manufactured scores.

“We have become aware of reports in the media questioning recent scores posted on President Trump’s GHIN account. As we dug into the data it appears someone has erroneously posted a number of scores on behalf of the GHIN user,” said USGA spokesperson Craig Annis to Golfweek.

The USGA has worked with their partner organizations to remove the scores and investigate how the scores were posted.

It's not particularly difficult to enter scores on behalf of a player in the GHIN system. That's kind of the point. GHIN was never intended to be a lock-down service.

The initial 68 may have seemed legitimate, as the date assigned to it coincided with an Easter weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he played golf several times, including with professional golfers. However, the associated course rating and slope assigned to the score doesn't line up with any set of tees at either Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., or Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., where he plays golf when he is in Florida.

With the removal of the six fake scores, Trump's handicap returned to 2.8.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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