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  Debate

Debate

Is Donald Trump really as good at golf as he claims, or is it all just hype?

Donald Trump loves golf, but is he any good at it? If you watched the 2024 Presidential Debate between Trump and Joe Biden, you would have witnessed the former declare, “I am in very good health. I just won two club championships—not even senior, two regular club championships.”

“To do that, you have to be quite smart and you have to be able to hit the ball a long way,” he opined. Biden wasn’t going to back down and stated how he would like to have a driving contest against Trump. Now, keeping aside the Presidential debate, how good is Trump at golf? Here’s what pro golfers- John Daly, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Phil Michelson- had to say about him.

4. John Daly trusts Trump to finish a hole

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Unlike anyone else, Daly is a golfer who would call you out if you were not playing well. That’s what he did with Bill Clinton. So, one can trust him to be fair in his assessment. On the Rich Eisen Show in 2016, when Daly was asked about Trump’s golf, the host commented, “Thought people say the best stick in his bag is his [Donald Trump’s] pencil?” Instead of agreeing with him, Daly brought up Clinton as a far more suitable name for such a description. Unlike Clinton, who threw a ball as he pleased, Daly had a different opinion of Trump.

“With Donald, he will actually finish a hole,” claimed Daly with a straight face. He further pointed out how Trump would make one other golfer move that Clinton had never cared about. John Daly remarked, “And write his score down.” Daly has confessed to playing with Trump quite a few times, and he believed that he would have to look out for Bill Clinton more on the golf course than Trump, as the former would call a bad game merely ‘practice’, while the latter would show some diligence.

In 2023, the bad boy of golf, during an interview with Tucker Carlson, revisited the times when he played golf with Trump and shared a memory from the 90s. “We played Pro-Am. We went back. We talked a little bit. He says, ‘Mark my words, I’ll be President of the United States’.” John Daly provided further insights about Trump’s golf skills, stating, “He got to work with his chipping a little bit but he hits it good, he putts it good. We just got to work on his chipping.”

When Carlson further probed Trump’s chipping skills, Daly spoke about Trump’s chipping and also gave a little Golf 101 at the same time. “I keep telling him, we got to move the ball up. Everybody thinks, when you chip you got to move it back. But actually need to move it up a little bit. If I don’t see him for a while, he goes back to that bad habit again. “

Given Trump and Daly’s longstanding friendship, Carlson suggested to the veteran that he take on the full golf coach role for Donald Trump. However, Daly knew that Trump didn’t have that kind of time.

3. Rory McIlroy chose Trump for the Ryder Cup team

McIlroy was in a similar conundrum in 2018 when he was asked to choose between three former POTUSes of the past based on their golf skills. On the Dan Patrick show, he was given the options of Obama, Clinton, and Trump to choose from for his Ryder Cup team. McIlroy was hilariously stumped because he imagined all the former presidents crowded around him.

Then the 4-time Major Championship winner chose, “In fairness, I think Trump is probably the best golfer out of the three.”

McIlroy, who believed that until 2018, Trump was the most famous person he played golf with, was “alright” in his game. When he was asked what Trump could shoot in any regular match, he answered, “I think if he played well, he could be at 80.” He again corrected himself by saying, “Somewhere between 80 and 85.”

USA Today via Reuters

Rory McIlroy hit the links with Donald Trump back in February 2017, but in 2020, during an interview with the McKellar Journal, the Northern Irishman spoke about how he would never play with Trump again. Referring to his previous outing, McIlroy said, “I haven’t done it since … out of choice.”

2. Tiger Woods thinks Trump is indeed in good shape for his age

Around three years after sharing a game or two of golf with Barack Obama at the Floridian in Palm City, Tiger Woods teed off with Donald Trump during his presidency in 2016. According to CNN, the two played at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, during the holiday season.

The ex-president and the 82-time PGA Tour winner were accompanied by Trump’s son and granddaughter. Donald Trump even took to his social media and posted a picture of the outing and captioned it, “Great playing with Tiger and being with my son Donald Trump Jr. and granddaughter Kai!”

Although Tiger Woods remembers Trump having only 10 bodyguards back when he played with him, he assessed his skills on his own terms. Woods decided to establish how Trump, being in his 70s, projected his golf game well. Recalling the good weather when he played with the former president, Woods stated, “Well, I tell you what for a person who is 70 years old. He hits it hard. I mean, people don’t realize, I mean, he’s that old and can rip it as and hit as far as he does.”

Interesting Fact: If we go by one’s handicap, Donald Trump seems to be a better golfer than Joe Biden and Obama. The former has a 2.8 handicap, whereas Biden and Obama have a handicap of 6.7 and 13, respectively.

Woods further commented, “He keeps himself in pretty good shape and in pretty good health. And has an inordinate amount of energy.” The golfer who won the PGA Tour 82 times also remembered how he enjoyed playing with Trump. He remarked, “When we played, we walked all 18 and had a great time at the time.” 

1. Did Trump score better than Phil Mickelson?

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Apart from all these names, Donald Trump was in discussion with another pro golfer name: the 45-time PGA Tour winner, Phil Mickelson. Mickelson played at Trump’s course, Bedminster, in 2023.

The former President of the United States later claimed that he had scored better on his course than the six-time Major winner had done. Mickelson had scored 4-over-par 76 in his last round of the event. According to Mirror, “The former President did so in style too, shooting a five-under 67, bettering six-time major champion Mickelson’s final round score around the same track by nine shots.”

Trump later made it public by writing, “I am pleased to report, for those that care, that I just won the Senior Club Championship (must be over 50 years old!) at Bedminster (Trump National Golf Club), shooting a round of 67.” However, what followed next was the controversy over the legitimacy of his claims. Rick Reilly, in response, even wrote a book called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.

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But in 2024, one golfer has a solution to settle the debate about who is better at golf between the two presidential candidates- Trump and Biden. It’s none other than the 2024 U.S. Open Champion Bryson DeChambeau, who put forth an invitation to both for a game of golf on his channel and tweeted, “Let’s settle this whole handicap debate, I’ll host the golf match on my YouTube @realDonaldTrump @JoeBiden.”

Although there is no possible scale for measuring the former president’s accurate golf skills based on the verdicts, what do you think of his claims, keeping in mind these statements? Let us know your honest opinion and take on the present presidential debate on golf.