'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
2 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. max

    Way to stir the pot CNN...not surprised...you sold the American public on the Iraq war...not surprised.

    June 18, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Really?

    The country is going to pot (literally) and he's putting around on a golf course.
    Yep, that's leadership at it's finest.
    LORD, please spare us 4 more years of this!

    June 18, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. uncle bob

    You can really tell that the people criticizing the president are low (maybe no) class. CEOs and executives make billion deals on the golf course. Plus, psychologists have proven that some of the best problem solving is done away from the immediate stress of the problem.

    But if whining is your career, you probably wouldn't understand that.

    June 18, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. rob

    The Dems and their toadies and lackies in the media pounded on GW for his golf, so he cut it down. Here we have a puff piece from CNN about the 100th game he played while in office. Anticipating the rightful criticism he is getting from Republicans, CNN and the other media propaganda machines are going out of their way to deflect it.

    The hypocracy on display continues to be stunning but it will not work. If ever there was a Presidency not worthy of a second term its this one.

    Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    June 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Liberals complained about Pres. GWB because he was a bit excessive. During his first 3 years in office Bush took off over 180 days, most of which were spent in Crawford, Texas. During the same time span, the first 3 years, Pres. Obama has taken off only 60 days.

    June 18, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. GodBlessAmerica23414

    At least Obama isn't vacationing like Bush did or Romney would!!! :D Obama 2012!!!

    June 18, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    rob wrote:

    The Dems and their toadies and lackies in the media pounded on GW for his golf, so he cut it down.
    ------------
    Bush was pounded on from all sides, and he deserved it. The man took off 60 days per year, which is 2 months. His own party leaders told him he needed to do something to correct his bad image he was painting for himself. So George announced he was giving up golf. But, he continued to take off 60 days per year.

    June 18, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Stop spending

    Darn this man and his stupid game ... I spend the weekend looking for a new job ... one that pays since the current one has downsized my salary to the point of part time ...

    June 18, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. You Heard it worst on CNN

    Americans seem to only care about sports anyway. If America spent half the time educating their children about government, politics and the history of our nation as they do mulling over football, basketball, baseball and golf we would not have this chain of incompetent leadership in the white house. Look at our choices for this election. Two fast talking used car salesmen, both serving the interest of Goldman Sachs rather than the American people. Both on board with global conquest and the new world order. Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves. The more time Barrack and Mitt spend golfing and water skiing the less time they spend destroying our country. I say they both need to stay on vacation permanently. We need to end super pacs. We need to end the two party system and we need to seriously get our act together as a nation before its to late. Political extremism from the two recognized parties on top of the wide spread ignorance of our voters due mostly to the distraction of professional sports is going to cause us to fail.

    June 18, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. nightsun2k7

    So your president can't play a couple games of golf each month while he tries to fix what the last government did to your country but the right wingers have no problems with bank execs drinking 3 fingers of scotch every 30 minutes while they come up with new plans to steal all your money.....very good.

    June 18, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Stop spending wrote:

    Darn this man and his stupid game ... I spend the weekend looking for a new job ... one that pays since the current one has downsized my salary to the point of part time ...
    ---------------–
    The problem in Washington is as much a spending problem as much as it is a revenue problem. A revenue problem that Republicans will deny the existence of all the way to their graves.

    George W. Bush began with a surplus of $300 billion, and finished with a deficit of $1.5 trillion. GWB grew spending by 8% during his first term, and 9% during his second.

    Pres. Obama has the lowest spending growth on record, 1.3%, which is less than inflation. Government at local, state, and federal levels is contracting. All of this noise about spending is just that, noise and a distraction from the real issues that are causing the economic problems in this country.

    June 18, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Seem as though you're envy and jealous of the most intelligent and successful President in US history! Well, too bad!

    June 18, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. Alex

    If you think business isn't being conducted during these golf games, you're kidding yourself. The president golfed with John Boehner. You think that's his best buddy?

    June 18, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Really?

    @Kathleen Farrell- "working games" hmmm...tough job.
    To answer your question, probably not the ones who actually work for a living but the ones who are on the dole, no doubt.

    June 18, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Really?

    @Rudy NYC – When are you going to face reality: Bush was working not vacationing.

    June 18, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. rob

    Hey Rudy, if unemployment was at 6% and the debt wasn't approaching 16 trillion and we didn't face a fiscal disaster after Jan because of the President's poor leadership, I wouldn't care if he played golf every day. My point was about the media running interference for him again and again.

    June 18, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. catmomtx

    rob

    The Dems and their toadies and lackies in the media pounded on GW for his golf, so he cut it down.
    /????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    That is absolutely NOT TRUE. George Bush stopped playing golf after he was caught on tape being extremely insensitive, speaking about the war while on the golf course and then saying "now, watch this drive". After the "Libruls" got a hold of that and Michael Moore put it in his movie 9/11, his handlers thought it would be a good ploy for him to give up golf. Check it out for yourself.

    June 18, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Rudy said:

    "Bush was pounded on from all sides, and he deserved it. The man took off 60 days per year, which is 2 months. His own party leaders told him he needed to do something to correct his bad image he was painting for himself. So George announced he was giving up golf. But, he continued to take off 60 days per year."
    ----------
    Out of the other side of your mouth, you say that a president's job is 24x7x365, so he was never really on vacation, right? Or does that only apply to democrat presidents?

    June 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Really? wrote:

    @Rudy NYC – When are you going to face reality: Bush was working not vacationing
    ---------–
    Vacations, Romney explained, would likely take place at the family's own homes.

    Bush, who is also a former CEO, did exactly the same thing.
    Bush vacationed at his ranch 2 months out of the year.

    June 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Ozzie

    I heard that Obama eats 21 times a week. Between eating and golging, how did he get the gas prices to drop so much? Maybe the Republican gods of Rove, Hannity, Lumbaugh, and Trump know.

    June 18, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. cathstar

    Obama's predecessor was always "clearing brush" at his ranch in Crawford. He spent 32% of his term either at his ranch or at Camp David. The only president to take more vacation time was Reagan.

    June 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. catmomtx

    Stop spending

    Darn this man and his stupid game ... I spend the weekend looking for a new job ... one that pays since the current one has downsized my salary to the point of part time ...

    And you don't think the business owners who downsized your salary weren't on the golf course? Seems to me you should be angry at them and not the President. It wasn't the President who downsized your salary it was the business owners because they wanted to make a bigger profit so they could play golf at venues you would never be allowed to enter because you are an average American.

    June 18, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Levi

    I can't wait to get a President who actually cares about running the country and fixing the problems here more than he cares about sports and going golfing.

    And as far as CEO's golfing, they run businesses. This man is taking our tax dollars and is running our country! Huge difference. Let Obama go be a CEO and he can golf all he wants.

    If he isn't golfing or doing something else sport related he is vacationing with his family on our money (ie his million dollar Hawaii vacation).

    I can't wait to get a President who cares about the country and economy.

    June 18, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. NickAnast

    @Really? - When are YOU going to face reality? W spent the entire month of August 2001 on vacation - during which time he refused to look at memos detailing Osama bin Laden's determination to attack the United States. During another vacation, he didn't want to be bothered about the damage to New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. And it was W who famously concluded a press conference about al Qaeda and the War on Terror by saying, "Now watch me hit this drive" and turning around to address the ball.

    June 18, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Out of the other side of your mouth, you say that a president's job is 24x7x365, so he was never really on vacation, right? Or does that only apply to democrat presidents?
    -------------
    I never said that. That's what Republicans said about George W. Bush in defense of his 2 months of annual vacation time down in Crawford, Texas.

    June 18, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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