Golf and the U.S. presidency generally go hand in hand. There is a long tradition of U.S. presidents enjoying the sport and Dwight D. Eisenhower even went as far as bringing it to the White House lawn where he is thought to have played some 800 rounds, making him America's golfer-in-chief. Fast-forward to 2020 and President Trump has been criticized from some quarters for the amount of time he has spent golfing. It was almost inevitable that he was in the middle of a round at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia on Sunday when TV networks called the election for Joe Biden. So just how many times has Trump played golf since his inauguration and does he come anywhere close to Eisenhower?
The website TrumpGolfCount.com has been tracking Trump's golfing activities for years and it claims that he has accumulated 285 daytime visits to golf clubs since he became president with evidence of him playing on at least 142 occasions (as of November 08, 2020). That of course comes nowhere close to Eisenhower's golf count (though it was of course easier for him to rack up his tally given that he could just pop out to the White House lawn) but it is higher than that of his predecessor. During the same period of time, Barack Obama played 105 rounds of golf. The financial side of presidential golfing has also attracted scorn, given that trips on Air Force One, Secret Service protection and accommodation all tend to be expensive for American taxpayers.
TrumpGolfCount.com estimates that Trump's golfing trips have cost taxpayers $142 million so far, with trips to Mar-a-Lago onboard Air Force One accounting for $59 million of that total. There are also other items such as Secret Service accommodation or bills for Coast Guard protection at Trump's Florida property. The website's creators say they are tracking Trump's golfing activities due to a promise he made in 2016 when he said "I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf".