How many times did President Barack Obama play golf while in office?
Golf Culture

How many times did President Barack Obama play golf while in office?


Former President Barack Obama was frequently maligned by Republican and conservative critics for how often how chose to play golf while in office. Obama, who chose golf as his outlet from the glass cage that is the presidency, had plenty of weekends and vacations to play golf in the eight years he was Commander-in-Chief.

In total, according to CBS News reporter and presidential historian Mark Knoller, President Barack Obama played a total of 333 rounds of golf while President. That means Obama played golf for 1,665 hours of his presidency, which was, officially, 55,008 hours. In other words, Obama played golf for 3 percent of the time Obama was President.

Of course, that means he was doing other things 97 percent of the time, including doing the job of president; spending time with his family, including his two children; and being as normal of a human being as possible while in the most difficult job on the planet.

Obama averaged about 41 rounds a year. He was flanked by Secret Service, which secured any facility where Obama played golf, just as they do for any American president when they play golf. Obama was seen playing a variety of places, including Columbia Country Club.

Since the 20th century, the overwhelming number of American presidents played golf in some capacity -- some more casually and some more obsessed than others. President Obama wasn't anywhere near how many rounds Woodrow Wilson played while in office, a figure estimated to be around 1,200, which is bonkers. President Dwight Eisenhower played an estimated 800 rounds while president.

Former President Donald Trump played golf almost as many times in a four-year, pandemic-impacted term as Barack Obama did in eight years. It was his favorite activity outside of the White House, though Trump would have fallen well short of Wilson's incredible tally of golf rounds while the Commander-in-Chief.

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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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