February 10, 2017

"President Donald Trump is said to be a gracious host at his golf courses. He high-fives his playing partners after a good shot..."

"... and keeps his cool when his own game goes awry, according to friends, never cursing or throwing his clubs. But he is also known to run afoul of the game’s play-it-as-it-lies rules. And his trash-talking habit is well-documented by his long-time golfing partners, sportswriters and even links legends like Tiger Woods."

So begins a Politico article, "Trump gets ready for some golf course diplomacy with Japan's Abe." I was surprised at how respectful to Trump Politico was willing to be, but it does get its digs in:
“He’s absolutely unscrupulous, absolutely completely bankrupt of any morality, when it comes to golf,” said Rick Reilly, a longtime sportswriter who joined Trump on the course for a 2004 book about caddying for celebrities. “I don’t know how the Japanese are going to like that.”...

“It’s like he bullies the ball,” added John Paul Newport, a former Wall Street Journal golf reporter who wrote a column about losing a one-on-one match to Trump in 2010....

In 2012, rock star Alice Cooper told Q Magazine: “The worst celebrity golf cheat? I wish I could tell you that. It would be a shocker. I played with Donald Trump once. That’s all I’m going to say.”
And here's what Tiger Woods wrote last December:
I recently played with President-elect Donald Trump. What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old. He takes a pretty good lash.

Our discussion topics were wide-ranging; it was fun. We both enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling. I also shared my vision for golf and what I'm trying to do.

We didn't have a match and played for fun. I was testing drivers and fairway woods, and changed some settings. I think he enjoyed seeing the difference in shots when you experiment.

41 comments:

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump plays winter rules all year long, no surprise there.

traditionalguy said...

The Japanese PM is bringing DJT a new $2400 Driver. Sounds like his daughter sells stuff too.

To tear down Trump for winning at golf and winning at Foreign policy simultaneously is quite a propaganda skill.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I was surprised at how respectful to Trump Politico was willing to be, but it does get its digs in:

I'm starting to worry about my getting stuck inside a bubble. In the old days I read magazines that crossed the spectrum from Mother Jones to National Review.

Now adays I can't stand venturing into to many blogs. The left has gone insane. The right is schizophrenic and everyone is at everyone's throat.

The MSM is unreadable. Every article is slanted and includes gratuitous digs and snark. Even the local news sites are polluted.

I'm down to a few blogs and English tabloids for my news.

Upside I have more time to do other things. The wife is happy I'm caught up on chores and cooking more!

David Begley said...

" I was surprised at how respectful to Trump Politico was willing to be, but it does get its digs in:"

Don't be. The press is in full adversary mode.

damikesc said...

I've read that Obama was a fucking terrible golfer. We've seen he's a terrible basketball player and an abhorrent pitcher for baseball.

Yet the press pretends he has athletic ability.

vicari valdez said...

i never realized trump was 70 until i read it here. looks like he's the oldest person to have ever been elected president.

Hagar said...

Tiger would make a passable diplomat too.

roesch/voltaire said...

I like that the man who criticized Obama for playing too much gold was on the links with friends after only two weeks into the office and plans to be there on most weekends. What was down when Obama was is office is now up for the Republican party; bring on those Eos.

Freeman Hunt said...

A lot of people trash talk as part of the fun of games. Done correctly, it makes the other person laugh.

My name goes here. said...

"I like that the man who criticized Obama for playing too much gold was on the links with friends after only two weeks into the office and plans to be there on most weekends. "

If on most of those weekends he is entertaining foreign heads of state or leaders of industry is that bad?

mockturtle said...

I remember Bill Clinton's Mulligans.

Freder Frederson said...

If on most of those weekends he is entertaining foreign heads of state or leaders of industry is that bad?

Since he will personally profit from the exposure his club will receive (and he has already doubled club fees), yes it is bad.

Before you reply, remember you phrased it as "bad", not illegal.

Freder Frederson said...

And I wouldn't be surprised if he charges at least part of his entourage for lodging.

He is apparently going to pick up the tab for Abe, although I doubt he is paying out of his own pocket, rather just not charging the delegation for the room and round of golf.

William said...

I read the Chernow biography of John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller went to church every Sunday, ate crackers and milk for lunch, and never once cheated on his wife. It's a sure bet that there will be no rap musicals written about John D......His one indulgence was golf. He played it every chance he got. On one of his estates, he had his own full golf course. On other estates, he just had a few holes laid out......I like the concept of having your own private golf course. That shows you've really arrived. Something for Donald to aspire to.

Curious George said...

Tiger also said "I was also impressed by how much quality strange he can pull at 70 years old. Again, a pretty good lash."

Jeff Brokaw said...

Lots of people cheat at golf. Who gives a shit? Nobody cares about such trivia if he can revive the economy and deal effectively with immigration and refugees.

The media, still not getting it.

rehajm said...

As usual Freeman has it correct. Golf easily lends itself to often brutal levels of trash talk and one upsmanship o so many different levels. You think that might be an environment where Trump excells?

As per the rules there are environments where certain amounts of 'cheating' is expected. Vegas money games take this attitude to another level..

It's funny and true Obama began his presidency as a terrible golfer. He did improve by the time he left- obvious he received instruction. Not because of the quantity of golf he played- in golf practice makes permanent, not perfect...

Trumps a good golfer. His swing is unconventional for his results. I know he's showed up at the back of the range at Doral by himself to hit balls...

mockturtle said...

William aversre JD Rockefeller: His one indulgence was golf. He played it every chance he got.

Golf can be addictive. My father didn't take it up until his 30's but became very good at it. It became the driving [heh] force in his life. He retired at 50 so he could play every day.

Birches said...

Making Golf Great Again, I guess.

And guys if Trump is out there as much as Obama was, don't be afraid to admit the bias in your reactions. I'll agree that this golf outing is legitimate.

Wilbur said...

If you play for money, or are playing a round to include in your USGA handicap calculation, it is absolutely de rigueur that you play by the rules. All of the rules. Scrupulously so.

It's why I always said I'd love to play a round with Slick Willie, but I would NEVER play him for money, even a $2 Nassau.

damikesc said...

I like that the man who criticized Obama for playing too much gold was on the links with friends after only two weeks into the office and plans to be there on most weekends. What was down when Obama was is office is now up for the Republican party; bring on those Eos.

Bush also got trashed for it. It wasn't like Obama's critique was a shot out of the blue.

Tim said...

Mar-a-lago is not a golf club. No golf course there.

n.n said...

Walk softly and carry a nine iron.

Balfegor said...

Abe honestly seems like a weird fit for Trump. The Vice PM, Asou, seems a lot more like Trump, in that he's blunt, clearly doesn't care what other people think, and is perfectly happy to flaunt his enormous wealth (he's Japanese but he spent part of his youth in the US). Abe comes from great wealth and privilege too -- he's the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, who was Minister of Commerce and Industry in the Tojo cabinet during WW2, and was later Prime Minister -- and he's been an unusually assertive leader his second time around as PM, but if you watch him in the Diet, he has a kind of hesitant, passive manner. But maybe that's the best fit for Trump?

Comanche Voter said...

I've seen a few sneaky toe wedges in my time. it depends upon what you are playing golf for. Some relaxation in the open air, some good times with good friends. You do try to be polite with strangers who you meet. But with friends, all bets (both social and monetary) are off. You've there to have a good time.

Rob McLean said...

Lots of people cheat at golf.

As the old saying goes, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'."

bridgecross said...

I'm in the odd spot of personally knowing someone (my boss) who golfs with Trump at his course in Westchester. Bottom line; a cheater without peer. His words, not mine.

mockturtle said...

Among serious golfers, cheating is neither acceptable nor accepted. Most golfers aren't serious.

aritai said...

Tell me again what is it about those chromosomally challenged that like to put things into... Not that some of the ladies aren’t spectacular marks.n, and the like, but perhaps maybe they find good friendships easier to come by given common experience. And don’t need to prove themselves by competing with themselves over a number best improved in small teams. Where in the past, only war could create a “band of brothers. So far apart yet with one heart).

mockturtle said...

aritai: Huh?

rehajm said...

If you play for money, or are playing a round to include in your USGA handicap calculation, it is absolutely de rigueur that you play by the rules. All of the rules. Scrupulously so.

Actually accomplishing that feat is another matter, even if you intend to follow the rules. They are unbelievably difficult for most players to understand, even amongst top amateurs and professionals. The USGA offers rules of golf workshops spanning several days with a 100 question test at the end that is difficult for even the best rules officials to ace.

At the workshops an entire morning is spent reviewing the legalities of raking footprints in bunkers.

Chuck said...

Wilbur said...
If you play for money, or are playing a round to include in your USGA handicap calculation, it is absolutely de rigueur that you play by the rules. All of the rules. Scrupulously so.

It's why I always said I'd love to play a round with Slick Willie, but I would NEVER play him for money, even a $2 Nassau.


This is all mostly true. I'll note a few additional things:

1. I actually WOULD like to play with Donald Trump, for a lot of money. Full handicaps. I've seen Trump play a little on television and video, and I think I'd beat him handily. But he carries a handicap of 3. And mine is 9. He has to give me strokes. Trump's handicap of 3 is one of the great vanity-handicaps in all of golf. Trump never plays by the rules anymore, and rarely posts real scores, because they'd all give away his real skill.

2. While it is of course routine for recreational golfers who are just out for some relaxation and exercise to wink at the Rules of Golf, the rules really are followed, when playing for money. Trump's singular reputation for being one of the worst cheaters in golf was earned in money matches with similarly-skilled rich guys and other celebrity golfers. And it is legend. Ask the guys at the first great golf club Donald Trump ever got into, Winged Foot.

3. Tiger Woods' comment about playing with Trump is partly technical. Tiger was just a few days away from consummating a new multi-million dollar equipment deal with Taylormade golf when he played with Trump, and indeed Tiger was experimenting with a new driver and 3-wood, both of which had adjustable hosels. (His old Nike driver and 3-wood didn't have those adjustments.) And it is against the Rules of Golf to make adjustments during a stipulated round. So Tiger treated it as a practice round, making those adjustments as he tuned up his swing and his equipment for what would unfortunately be a bad start to his tournament year a week or so later. Tiger's excuse actually made it easier for both he and Trump to not have a match and keep score.

4. Lastly, during the campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed to have won several club championships. Those matches are absolutely played BY THE RULES and are treated seriously by the participants. But Trump's claims are virtually all bullshit. Trump has never won a club championship at a club he didn't own, and the championships that he has claimed are really dubious. One anonymous teaching professional has told about working at a Trump club, and Donald turned in a scorecard (it wasn't an actual match) and told the pro to include it in the Senior Club championship tournament; it was the lowest score, and so Trump claimed the senior club championship. His other "club championships" involve similar circumstances.

Roy Lofquist said...

"[Rockefeller] On one of his estates, he had his own full golf course."

I played that course three times. It's called Pocantico Hills in Tarrytown, New York. I've still got the score cards from 25 years ago.

Gahrie said...

Jesus Christ Chuckles...give it a rest! We get it already...you hate Trump with a deranged passion and believe that everything bad or evil in the world originates with Trump.

You're getting as bad as n.n.

mccullough said...

Handicaps are for social golf. No handicaps in competitive golf.

Wilbur said...

I've seen Trump's swing.

Unless he's got a Lee Trevino short game, let's just say I'm yugely dubious that he's a TRUE three handicap.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

mccullough states: Handicaps are for social golf. No handicaps in competitive golf.

Not so. All Club championships and other tournaments have both low net and low gross winners. If you're talking the US Open or something, that's different.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think Trump would be great fun to play any kind of game with. If he didn't talk trash, it would be very disappointing.

dwick said...

Rick Reilly jumped the shark sometime around the turn of the century - hasn't written anything involving a new original idea in over 10 years. He's more known for being an arrogant jerk than anything else these days.

mockturtle said...

Freeman, I agree. He comes across as a genuinely warm and very sociable guy.