I usually smile when I read something about the golfing US-president. That’s because most of the reports are created either by republican haters or at least by golf magazines which point out how often the president goes golfing during office. And I have to admit that I’m quite jealous as well to see how often Barack Obama can manage to get out on a course in his job. But I guess when you are one of the most powerful people in the world, who would stop you..?
Obviously he’s not playing in regular country clubs down the road, the majority of his golfing time he spends on Air Force or Navy bases which usually offer extensive leisure facilities such as golf courses and are at the same time well secured.
For a list of president Barack Obama’s golf rounds since he took office, please check out this website (www.obamagolfcounter.com) but be reminded that the guy who takes down every round for that page is far from being a democratic golf enthusiast and Obama fan—apparently he’s exactly the opposite.
OK, Barack Obama golfs a lot and even when he’s not on the course, his thoughts seem to involve golf from time to time (as you can see in the picture above). Reportedly the president has around 200 rounds of golf under his belt since taking office. That sounds a lot and you have to assess on your own whether you believe this is too much for a person in his position or not.
Broken down to the 73 months since he took over the presidency from fellow golfer George W. Bush, that makes up to an average of 2.73 rounds per month. And to be honest, I personally try to golf more than that, but I have to pause during winter whereas the Unites States offer sunshine all-year round, just a quick flight from Washington with Air Force One or Marine One I reckon.
Leaving all political arguments aside why this behaviour could be sub-optimal in times of crises, I believe every person on the planet deserves a little bit of enjoyment, be it party, hobbies, etc. As the US-president barely leaves the house without reason or public speech to give, I think he absolutely deserves his rounds of golf (what he does not deserve though is the discussion around it). And just for the records: I would make myself available if he’d ask me to play with him. Especially because I heard he’s not very good at it (that’s at least what Michael Jordan believes) and I could win a dollar or two if we’d throw in some bucks. So Barack, call me, or leave me a message :)
To do some number crunching: 82% or 14 out of 17 presidents played golf during their time in the White House. Some of them were very keen golfers and even as addicted to the game as others who don’t have to run a complete country. Eisenhower played 800 rounds, Wilson even 1,200 rounds of golf during their presidency. And these guys were even allowed to play courses like Augusta National, Cypress Point and others. Eisenhower had even built a putting green in the garden of the White House which still exists and which gives Obama and vice-president Biden a chance to practice some putting and short-game skills.
When I look back and think about all US-presidents which ruled over the last 30 years, I don’t think there was one who didn’t golf at all.
And when US-republican politicians were honest to themselves or their peers, they would love to play golf as much as possible, too. In the end it’s their game… or as Mike Rothschild says: “Whether you agree or disagree with these criticisms is entirely up to you. But the math is clear: many presidents before Obama played golf, with some playing much more and some playing much less. As a hobby goes, this one is about as typical as you can get.”
I’m starting to think about Angela Merkel on a golf course… nah, doesn’t work!