'Golfer-in-chief' hits 100th round as president
President Barack Obama plays golf with Republican House Speaker John Boehner in Maryland on June 18, 2011.
June 17th, 2012
04:20 PM ET
3 years ago

'Golfer-in-chief' hits 100th round as president

(CNN) - President Barack Obama celebrated Father's Day on Sunday with a round a golf – his 100th as president, according to a calculation by the television travel pool.

Obama marked the milestone with a game at the century-old Beverly Country Club in Chicago, and hit the links with regular partners Eric Whitaker, Marty Nesbitt and Marvin Nicholson. The president was in Chicago to celebrate the wedding of senior adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter, which took place Saturday, and will fly to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, later Sunday for a meeting of the G-20.

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Obama frequently makes trips to the Washington suburbs to play golf on the weekends – in the past several months he has played the course at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and Fort Belvoir in Virginia. His partners during the three years he's been in office have included former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Obama's propensity to spend his weekends on the links hasn't gone unnoticed by his Republican rivals. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, portrayed the golfing as insensitive to the plight of unemployed Americans.

"I must say I scratch my head at the capacity of the president to take four hours off on such a regular basis to go golfing," Romney said in April during a radio interview. "I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years, particularly when the American people are out of work."

Romney said in May that he wouldn't challenge Obama to a round of golf, but instead would compete in his preferred form of recreation – waterskiing.

Despite Romney's criticism, Obama has joined a long line of presidents who enjoy relaxing on the golf course. According to Martin Davis, editor and publisher of The American Golfer, 15 of the past 17 presidents have been golfers.

During Dwight D. Eisenhower's time in office, the five-star general played 210 rounds at Augusta National, home of the Masters. Woodrow Wilson logged 1,000 rounds during his two terms in office, according to Davis.

John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford were all avid golfers, all playing during their time in the White House.

The two Bush presidents – George H.W. and George W. – are both linked to golfing royalty. George Herbert Walker, the elder President Bush's grandfather, donated the Walker Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of a biannual amateur team contest.

Both Presidents Bush golfed while in office, though George W. Bush cut back on playing during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan out of a show of respect for U.S. troops.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Tired of republican lies

    It's friggin Father's Day for crying out loud...He's entitled to his down time too...He still works while playing.

    June 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. TIZ

    Thanks for caring, Mr. President......

    signed, Middle Class

    June 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Tom

    In THE REAL ROMNEY bio, Mitt once took an acqaitance to water-skate. The man begged Mitt to stop the motor and Mitt sped even faster until the man dropped the reins out of sheer exhaustion.

    June 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. nuser

    Arch enemy Boehner? Play games won't you gentlemen!

    June 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Larry L

    This will get the right-wing, bigoted, brainwashed-by-Fox News radicals excited. "Why that's almost a round a week! The nerve of this uppity man to act like a Republican!"

    June 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Willard "King Kolob" Romoney

    His most significant achievement to date.

    June 17, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Chipster

    Vacation Days During 1st year:
    Vacation Days During 1st Year:

    69 days – President George W. Bush
    42 days – President Ronald Reagan
    40 days – President George H. W. Bush
    26 days – President Obama
    21 days – President Clinton

    President Bush took 977 days off during his 8 years (487 & 490) in office. But seriously, does anyone believe that a President ever gets away from the office. Especially in this era of Internet, networking, smart phones..... Can we just dispense with the cattiness and concern ourselves with the serious issues that these men must attempt to manage despite the media, the obscene amount of money influencing elections, and political division in a nation of people who don't even understand how their own government works!?

    June 17, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. skokie

    Happy father's day Mr President and to you too Mr Speaker.

    June 17, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Moderate Independent

    What's your point CNN. This is the 11th. President in my lifetime I don't remember this much coverage with modern Presidents.I know news is 24/7 but do we need to know this. Today is father's day a day for father's to relax.
    Happy father's Day to all dads and to those that are dads to anyone's children.

    June 17, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Romney is a joke, and his cheap shot is shallow and laughable, as well as predictable. Guess you have to tell the base (the 35-40 percent who wouldn't vote for Obama if he cured cancer) what they want to hear. Wow, 100 rounds of golf in 3.5 years while holding down the most brutal job on the planet. It amounts to a few hours of the links every couple of weeks. You can disagree with Obama's policies, but calling him lazy is just silly. He works 10 times harder than his predecessor. Then again, that's not really saying much, considering the clown act he had to follow.

    June 17, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. lovethe usaorleave

    That is what he does best, I mean other than flying around doing fund raisers, oh and lets not forget all the vacations his wife and kids take. It is terrible he cares nothing about "trying" to lead this country!

    June 17, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Squigman

    Just look at the good friends playing golf. In the news, they pretend to be at each others throats. In real life, they plot, manipulate, plan and try to figure ways to get into the people's pockets. If this picture doesn't open the eyes of the masses, nothing will. WAKE-UP.

    June 17, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Lay off

    Presidential golfing is a timeless tradition that transcends both political spectrums. Layoff Gov Romney and staff, sweet Jeebus don't you have other substantive things to challenge Pres Obama on?

    June 17, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    I'm sure the haters will scream about this, as if the presidency was a sentence instead of a job. i personally know how renewing and restorative a round of golf is and i'm happy President Obama gets to play as much as he does. i'm sure it helps him decompress and be more clear-headed for the tough decisions he needs to make all day, every day. at least he's not spending a third of his presidency on his ranch clearing brush like the idiot he's trying to clean up after.

    June 17, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Louden Swain

    The guy loves his perks of being potus

    June 17, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Ken from FL

    And aren't we all thrilled that Obama has become the duffer in chief, both on the golf course and in office. Note how the article says Bush "cut back" on his golf; he seldom played the game at all. Obama's quest for the links, the basketball court, etc should show all of those who drank the Obama kool aid just how out of touch this joker really is.

    June 17, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Dan J

    Remember all those liberal critics of George Bush and his golfing? Obama goes golfing four times as often. Where are they now?

    June 17, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    I wonder how many deals and agreements are made on the golf course. Lawyers, accountants, CEOs, GOPers, you name it - they're all at the golf course. It's a private place to discuss business comfortably and get in a little walk at the same time. :)

    June 17, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Romney also celebrated a milestone – closing his 100th company, firing all of its workers and exporting their jobs to Singapore. However, he celebrated that milestone YEARS ago. He's way past 100 now.

    June 17, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Ken

    Wow .. 100+ rounds of golf, over 170 Funding raising events for his campaign so far, over 100+ days of vacation taken ... not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of events he's carried out to go to locations to speak (not official fundraisers of course). Exactly when does this guy find the time to be the president instead of a campaigner / vacationer / golfer / speaker??? Perhaps if he spend some more time in the white house or secluded at camp david working on the countries problems as opposed to flying around on our tax dollars, we woudl be better off.

    June 17, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. philojazz

    So, why not list how many rounds EACH President played? Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama? Just to be honest and forthright. As it is, all we'll hear is the same old "arguments" on talk radio, with nobody actually aware of the facts. Just a thought, guys. Thanks.

    June 17, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. CB Robb

    Mitt Wrongknee. Is this the reason you will not speak the name George Bush although you want to implement most of his failed policies while employing many of his advisors? You need to think before you open your mouth. Presidents do take time off. Will you commit to not taking any time off if you become president?

    So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch.
    Among recent presidents, Bill Clinton took the least time off - 28 days.

    According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, today's trip marks Mr. Bush's 149th visit to the presidential retreat. The planned three-day stay, during which the president is being joined by family and former and current aides, will bring his total time spent at Camp David to all or part of 487 days.

    Yes, that's 487 days. And Camp David is not even where the president has spent the most time when not at the White House: Knoller reports that Mr. Bush has made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford during his presidency, and spent all or part of 490 days there.

    June 17, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Senior Citizen

    Happy Fathers Day President Obama. Hope you had a good round.

    June 17, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Leopold

    Mr. Obama is a good man who unfortunately has struggled with economic issues. The economy is not his forte, the day to day grind of promoting the economy is something he does not find inherently rewarding even though he does recognize that it is important. Anyone knows this except perhaps his most partisan supporters....moderates on either side admit his weakness in this regard. We all have strengths and many leaders in the developed world do not like dealing with the economy. Clinton and Reagan were two that were remarkably good at handling economic issues and that is why they were re-elected. Unfortunately Mr. Obama's re-election prospects are rapidly diminishing with the anemic economy. Despite various gambits like the war on women, the 1%, and immigration issues, soon Mr. Obama will have plenty of time for golf. No matter how you wriggle and turn you just can't fool people....and they care, boy do they care about making a living.

    June 17, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. GonzoinHouston

    Let's see, this article will produce the usual comments about Obama as a useless, lazy elitist golfing off while the country suffers, with responses about the vast amount of time W spent on vacations himself. Someone will point out that the President is never off-duty, because there's always an aide with a secure phone to Air Force One, and from there he can be connected to anyone short of God. Speaking of AF1, someone will gripe about the expense of him using the plane that he is entitled to take anywhere he wants whenever he wants. Add in a cheap shot about playing golf on Fathers' Day, generating a response that umpteen fathers, given their choice, would be doing exactly that. After a few completely worthless predictions of how heavily he will win or lose in November, we'll have a parting round of "democraps" and "republitards", and move on to more useful articles.

    June 17, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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