'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
10 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. iab

    The president works almost 24/7. He needs a break to get his mind off the 50 balls he has in the air. There is no college degree that can prepare you to be president of the USA. He needs a second term, this is the fear of the 1%, the very wealthy in this country. I truly believe he has the best interest of the working class at heart. He also believes in business making a profit, however he does not believe the wealthy should exploit the middle class.

    President O. has the toughest job on this planet especially when the GOP has no interest in moving forward improving our education system with emphases on engineering, science, research, development. Obama has tried time after time to put ppl. back to work but the GOP has no interest in helping the working class. Their only interest is to undermine Pres.O. by constantly lying and keeping him from supporting the working class. The president needs a break from the evil that exist in DC. I pray for him a lot and worry about his health and safety b/c of the evil that is in the heart of so many of our government leaders.

    June 18, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Mariska Adler

    obama is gonna loose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at everything!

    June 18, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Hank

    It is the duty of the American people to give him more time to play golf this November.

    June 18, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Ron in California

    I'm an average guy without the responsibility of the US and the world on my shoulders and I have only managed to play golf 82 times in the last 3 years.

    I wonder if he keeps his score card like the economy? You know the numbers are made up.

    June 18, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Ron in California

    In reply to Vicki. Bush did not play a single round of golf after the start of the Iraq war. He said he could not do so while he had sent men in harms way.

    June 18, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Pete

    These republicans have another story to spin,all the president does is play golf,but look who he plays with,your republican hypocrites,he's got ya there doesn't he...He's better watch Boehner hes libel to cheat,you know those republicans,they've done it before during presidencial elections ,why not now,that's how stupid they are,it'll never change.Bush has 477 days off in his first two years,that's a record only you lazy republicans can only hope to break,Democrates are too busy fixing your screw ups to have much time off,but that doesn't stop ya,you hypocrites even while being guilty your selves of chastising all Democrates for the occasional break,just like the presidents one,how pathedic,but that's republicans,they never change their colors,just a big yellow streak that runs down your backs...

    June 18, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Larry L

    @!ST SGT

    "Obama never knew what golf was until elected President. Now he plays basketball, drinks beer, takes vacations and plays golf a lot while the rest of America burns."
    An actual Army 1st SGT would be able to see what a great job this President has done as Commander-In-Chief. He's killed terrorists like rats at the town dump. He listens to the Warriors and supports their initiatives. He maneuvers through the minefield of foreign policy with finesse and thoughtful deliberation. He's worked to help us recover from Bush's recession and the Republicans have obstructed every step of the way – as they planned from day-one.

    June 18, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    George W. Bush made more trips to Crawford, Texas than Pres. Obama has played rounds of golf.
    End of discussion.

    June 18, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Captain Obvious

    Bush took more vacations than Obama played games of golf.

    June 18, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. g

    bush cut brush, and partied with the saudi king and the bin ladens for 8 yrs

    June 18, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. GodBlessAmerica2341

    What can I say!?!?!?!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY

    Being mean to Obama is not nice. His vacation is adequate.


    June 18, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Kevin

    Bush's trips to Crawford, Texas were working trips. He took his staff with him. Get your facts straight Rudy!

    June 18, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. lolol

    if this was Bush, liberals would be complaining non-stop, hypocrits.
    his REAL milestone is being the BIGGEST spending president in history. there you go.

    June 18, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Joan

    Pres. Obama has been in office for 3 1/2 years so that makes 1,226 days. Playing golf one hundred times for a couple of hours during over 1,200 days doesn't seem like he's slacking to me. Actually even if you are Pres. of the US you still deserve a bit of downtime to de-stress. Bush spent months at his vacation ranch all together but people don't seem to think anything of that. There are tons more important things to discuss and the media should not waste time on such trivial topics.

    June 18, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Bill Rhodey

    Like him or not, was this REALLY a necessary headline for the "political" section of CNN? I mean, fantastic CNN I am now informed on the presidents golf game....now how about the economy...Syria....or how about Greece? I think we need an entertainment in politics section or something. Everything else on the "Political Ticker" seems appropriately related, how this became headline is beyond me.

    June 18, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Catzie53

    Oh, are the liberal/progressive children out in full force. Making excuses for king obama! The man stated he was a one term president if he couldn't fix the economy.....I'm keeping him to his word.

    June 18, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. CarolinaGirl

    Look even if you do not like the president no one should fault the president for having some relaxation such as playing golf.
    Absolutely ridiculous folks!

    June 18, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. kojakinfla

    to iab - well said. The Presidents job IS 24/7. Not many other people in the world have his responsibilities whether you like him or not. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE needs a break. Big deal, a few hours away from the firing line. More would be accomplished in this country if some of the far right would restore a single word to their dictionary and vocabulary -- compromise!

    June 18, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Can you imagine if Obama had spent all this time developing relationships with the Republican leadership and others in Congress? He might have actually accomplished something POSITIVE for this country in 4 years. Instead he played a LOT of golf with close friends to stay in his little leftist bubble. When he came out of it, it was only to attack and demonize anybody that didn't agree with him. Obama bloviates a good game but in practice he's an isolated loner. NOT a good thing for a President that needs to get things done.

    June 18, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Gloria

    Good for you Mr. Obama. You are one strong man! I continue to pray for you and your family. GOD knows exactly what he is going to do through you and for you. So when you hear all of those ugly hate filled comments, just know that prayers are going up for you and this nation. GOD is Blessing the USA.

    June 18, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. nightsun2k7

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

    So instead he hung out at the ranch cutting brush. The troops wouldn't have been over there if is wan't for his fake wars.

    Don't you think your president should be able to take 4 hours ever couple of weeks to do whatever he feels like? Afterall he's brought your country back from many many brinks of disaster in the past 3 years. The only thing mitt has alluded to for the future of your country is he will be waterskiing, or won't, or will, or won't, or will, maybe he'll start a new war, or won't, or will, or won't...etc.

    June 18, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    So he averages a golf game approximately every 13 days. Let's be conservative and say 1/3 of those are working games. Do the president's detractors not take a few hours to themselves every 2 weeks?

    June 18, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Obamajoe

    God bless America,,,,

    God bless President Obama,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    June 18, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. mikle

    Golf,vacations,- what a change Obama got for him after start to be president. America people got change to - debt, lost job, more on food stamp, more poverty. "thanks" obama for change.

    June 18, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Obamajoe

    a golf game,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,??????????

    no,,,,,, work of politics,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    June 18, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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