'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. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    And Bush went on vacation during how much of his presidency?

    Get this straight, GOPers, Bush was the one who ditched Washington time and again to spend with his horse. At least this president is conducting business on the golf course just like countless CEOs and board members of Fortune 500 companies and all the other politicians who need to network with other elected officials.

    June 18, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. John

    The President got the right to relax just like everyone else, President Bush spend more Time at his Ranch than the white house. Didn't hear any of you Complaining than.

    June 18, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. annie s

    Really? This is a story, CNN? . So big deal, the leader of our country plays golf to let off steam. Big whoop.

    June 18, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Name nghusker

    Gee Mitt,
    What costs more – a set of golf clubs or a power boat and waterskis?

    June 18, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. Jerry

    The Clueless/Divisive One has been relaxing (too much) ever since he took office...

    June 18, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    This is an important election year and CNN cannot find anything better to report? This is a joke! But for those rightwingers who have a problem with our President playing goldf on his spare time, just ask yourself if Mr. aristoric car elevator-equestrian-horse breading Mitty boy Romney really relate to you the average American and your familiy! And for those who say that GWB didn't take time off from the job for leisure, while in office GWB went to two NBA Finals, Two Super Bowls, Two world Series Championships and by the way, he also attended the Beijing Olympics, all this while our troops were being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and our economy was crashing! Yea, its always different strokes for different strokes when you're black in America! There's another word for that...what's it call again? O' yea, a double standard! Shame, shame, shame on you the rightwing establishment!

    June 18, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. joshua

    Think about how many jobs obama creates by playing golf, 10 -15 maybe. He's just doing the best he can.

    June 18, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. snowdogg

    What's the big deal that our President plays golf? He takes care of business/heavy lifting and deserves some "downtime".

    June 18, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. BROCK LANDERS

    yes, MR Presidents can go golfing i have no problem with that, my problem is he's a horrible president, and not a leader, but hey, what do you and i know? Debt is record high, still in 2 wars, allowing illegals to stay, lalalalalalala, and the list goes on and on....

    June 18, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  10. Don't play in the Sand traps

    So far, out of three and a half years of his presidency (roughly 1270ish days), the Big O has played golf on 100 of them. And they say he plays too much??? What happened to the good ol' days when the Presidend spent most of his time at a private ranch in Texas while the VP was attempting to assassinate people and make it look like a hunting accident?

    June 18, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @joshua

    Think about how many jobs President Obama was unable to create when he spent half his tenure ending an illegitimate Iraqi war and his entire tenure on winding down a prolonged and abandoned Afghan war the GOP are responsible for! And while you're at it, just think about how many jobs were squandered when the GOP refused to show bi-partisan support to move our country forward! Just think about it!

    June 18, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Brock

    What makes President Obama a horrible President? Can you please be a little specific? President Obama is the first President in US history to inherit an economic crisis and two ongoing wars simultaneously and yet, with a divided congress willing to see that he fails, he has been able to get a whole lot accomplished for the American people! And by the way, speaking about debt, the Afghan and Iraqi wars have already exceeded 5 trillion dollars and counting, while the 787 Billion Stimulus bill and other domestic bills were spent in America on Americans and they were passed out of NECESSITY to stabilize our economy and help Americans keep a roof over their families heads and food on the table while they look for work and to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs! So please keep your silly opinions to yourself!

    June 18, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. Two wrongs do make a right

    How dare he go to the bathroom.
    What nerve.

    June 18, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Two wrongs do make a right

    **** Jerry

    The Clueless/Divisive One has been relaxing (too much) ever since he took office...
    -------------------------------------

    Sorry, Bush is no longer in the White House.
    Can you say "nookaler" ?

    June 18, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. techchick64

    For God's sake, the man can't work 24/7. Romney is pathetic for criticizing Obama for golfing 100 times in 3 1/2 years. But then again, it wouldn't matter what Obama did, Romney and his GOP ilk will criticize him regardless of what he does.

    June 18, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. madmaninthemiddle

    Working 24/7 is not productive. when you are dealing with any kind of knotty problem and you spend days on end, meeting about it, reading about it, thinking about it, you need to get away. Ever have a great idea in the shower? first thing in the morning? Middle of the night? Getting away from a problem for a little while is the best way to clear your head and improve your thinking. Bush did it. Reagan did it. (they both liked strenous excercise, like brush clearing and rail splitting) To expect any President to chain himself to his desk is absurd.

    If you are someone who criticizes Obama for taking time off, but you had no problem with Bush spending weeks at his Ranch, you are hyper partison and bias. AND THE SAME IS TRUE, if you criticized Bush and now defend Obama. Stop the ridiculous sniping, name calling, blaming etc, and try to understand the issues, instead of collecting facttoids to "prove" that your side is always right and the other side is always wrong. If that's the way you operate, than YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

    June 18, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. Two wrongs do make a right

    *** Jay in NC

    "George W. Bush cut back on playing during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan out of a show of respect for U.S. troops."
    ----------------------------------------------------

    He did all hus putting in the oval office.

    June 18, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Does the President also get scrutinized for helping his kids do their homework and for watching Sponge Bob with them? Can he be allowed to at least do that with his kids please?

    June 18, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. Dean

    I wouldn't mind how often Obama played golf if he wasn't such a crappy president.

    June 18, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mr. etch-a-sketch safety net, 4% unemployment is unacceptable but as president I will reduce the unemployment rate to 6%, bainwreckage, tax evading, I'm running for a better AMERCIA, Cayman Island Swiss accounts, as president I'll cut certain government programs but I won't be specific and tell you which progrms I'd cut because I don't want to make another gaffle, I'll create jobs by laying off 10% of federal employees, car elevator, aristocratic equestrian horse breeding out of touch with mainstreet America flip flopping Mitt Romney and the rightwing media are so desperate that they have to stray from the main issues to unleash personal attacks on the President! Shame, shame, shame!!!

    June 18, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. David

    His milestone was not being impeached.

    June 18, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. ClarasBeau

    Why do I have a feeling that this so-called "story" was put out there simply to incite comments from us?

    June 18, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Sure, you rightwingers like to call our President crappy and label him a failure but your deliberate failure to be specific and explain where and how our President is a failure explains your bigotry, envy and jealousy! Unpatriotic un-Americans!

    June 18, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Petercha

    Given his extremely far left of center politics, I'd prefer that Obama spent ALL his time on the golf course and none of his time destroying our country!

    June 18, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Clipped

    Two things...

    My husband plays golf once a month. That is more than enough for anyone, be the president or the tech guy.

    People spouting here that he needs down-time...are you kidding. He has partied like it's 1999. Between the dates with Michelle, photo ops with the regular guy and gal, more fundraisers than Bush ever had and all the other down time...I'm not surprised he never had time to work across party lines. Perhaps if he rolled up his sleeves and got down to work things might get accomplished in this country. He has the biggest I'm right, they're wrong attitude I've ever seen on a president. All presidents learn to work across party lines...even Clinton. Obama is the biggest stand-your-ground president we've ever had.

    Golf is the least of our worries with him. America to Obama, come back to earth...

    June 18, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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