Which President Played the Most Golf? Top 10 You Surprised

Golf is a popular pastime for many presidents. It provides them with the chance to escape from their political pressures and relax. In this article, we’ll explore which President has played the most golf and uncover some of the top 10 presidents playing golf.

When it comes to golf, people talk about Tiger Woods, pro golfers, championships, tournaments…However, the question of how many presidents played golf and which President played the most is actually interesting and surprising.

 

Which President Played the Most Golf?

So, which President played the most golf? The answer may surprise you!

According to research by the United States Golf Association (USGA), Woodrow Wilson holds the record for the most rounds of golf played, with an estimated 1200 rounds on the course of his presidency. President Dwight Deisenhofer came in second at over 800 rounds.

 

The Top 10 Presidents Playing Golf

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson - U.S President Played Golf The Most
Woodrow Wilson – U.S President Played Golf The Most

US President Woodrow Wilson had a notable passion for golf, which he wholeheartedly indulged in during his time in office.

Despite adverse weather conditions, he fearlessly played on snow-covered courses, using red golf balls for better visibility. 

Wilson preferred golf as an escape from political pressure and often played with his trusted companion, White House physician Cary T. Grayson, at local courses. 

It was during one of these golf outings that Wilson’s love story with his wife, Edith Bolling Galt, began to unfold. Seeking shelter from the rain after a round of golf, their encounter led to a blossoming romance. 

Also, on occasions when the weight of the war caused him sleepless nights, Wilson sought solace on the golf course. In one instance, his understanding wife accompanied him to the course before the break of dawn, providing a much-needed respite. Just a few days later, America entered World War 1. 

Though criticized by some for his extensive golfing, Wilson’s passion for the game served as a source of relaxation and rejuvenation during his presidency.

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Dwight D.Eisenhower Contributes To The Golf Population During His Presidency
President Dwight D.Eisenhower Contributes To The Golf Population During His Presidency

According to the USGA, during his presidency, he played over 800 rounds of golf during his time in office and often took long weekends on the golf course. 

He was so passionate about the game that there was a 3,000-square-foot putting green outside the Oval Office Building, where he played golf in case he couldn’t visit the course.

Eisenhower also routinely invited dignitaries and heads of state or other celebrities such as Bob Hope, Sam Snead, and Ben Hogan to join him for a round of golf. The Kingdom Magazine wrote that he often shared his experience in wartime and golf stories with his best friend – Arnold Palmer – one of the best golfers of all time.

He believed that playing golf together with foreign dignitaries was an ideal way to build relationships and foster understanding between nations. 

His passion for golf contributes to the development of golf not only in the U.S. but also to expand to the rest of the world. 

The article by USGA said that “the number of golfers approximately doubled during Eisenhower’s two terms as president (1953-1960).” Golf Digest Magazine reported that just after 6 months, Eisenhower was elected to become the U.S. President, golf at that time hasn’t ever been popular like that. 

He was even inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Through his love of the game, he was able to foster diplomatic relations and bring people from all corners of the world together. That is a legacy that will last forever. 

 

John F. Kennedy

35th President John F.Kennedy Was Famous For His Talent Swing
35th President John F.Kennedy Was Famous For His Talent Swing

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was an avid golfer and also had a talent for golf.

During his presidency, he refrained from playing golf. However, there are notable instances that showcase his talent. 

At Cypress Point, he nearly aced the 16th hole with a remarkable 5-iron shot that hit the flagstick and ended up just inches from the hole. 

He had been famous for his good swing before, especially when he played at Burning Tree Club. And despite struggling with a bad back, his swing remained excellent. 

That’s why it wasn’t uncommon when he used to play for Harvard University’s golf team. 

The PGA news article “What we know about John F. Kennedy, the golfer” published on Friday, November 22, 2013, extensively covered his passion for golf. 

Bobby Benson, the PGA head professional at Palm Beach Country Club, believed that JFK would have easily carried a single-digit handicap if he had devoted more time to practice. 

Kennedy frequented Burning Tree Club and Chevy Chase Clubs in Maryland, and before his election, he often visited Hyannis Port Golf Club and Palm Beach Golf Club with his father and brother.

 

George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, had an unwavering love for golf, making him not only an avid golfer but also a fervent champion of the game.

His dedication and passion were recognized when he was honored with the prestigious Bob Jones Award from the USGA in 2008, a remarkable achievement that stands as a testament to his contribution to the sport. 

As a distinguished member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, President Bush played an instrumental role in upholding the integrity and principles of the game.

Golf held a special place in President Bush’s heart, as he expressed, “Golf has meant a lot to me. It means friendship, integrity and character”.

Jim Nantz – his best friend often played golf with him expressed that “when it comes to competition, President Bush, he would make up all of these mind games to try to build ip up”

George H.W.Bush, Jim Nantz and Bill Clinton Played Golf In 28th And 29th June
George H.W.Bush, Jim Nantz and Bill Clinton Played Golf In 28th And 29th June

It is worth noting that President Bush’s connection to golf runs deep within his family. His grandfather, George Herbert Walker, served as the President of the USGA in 1920 and founded the esteemed Walker Cup. 

Furthermore, his love for the sport extended to his son, George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009, who enthusiastically followed in his father’s footsteps and embraced the game with equal devotion.

 

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Played Golf At 2022 LIV Golf 
Donald Trump Played Golf At 2022 LIV Golf

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, shares a unique connection with the world of golf that sets him apart from his predecessors. 

During his time in the White House, he not only devoted significant hours to golfing but also proudly owned a stunning collection of 17 golf courses across the globe.

Some of his courses were chosen to host the prestigious 2022 PGA Championship. This esteemed honor reflects the caliber and allure of Trump’s involvement in the sport.

Renowned golf publication Golf Digest reveals that Trump’s incredible handicap is as low as an impressive 2.8, a testament to his remarkable skill and unwavering dedication. 

In his compelling 2005 book, “The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received” Trump passionately conveys that golf “for me and millions of people—men, women, young and old around the world—golf is more than a game. It is a passion.”

Adding to his golfing legacy, there were even plans for Trump to tee off alongside the iconic Tiger Woods in 2016.

Throughout his presidency, he played more than 300 rounds—this indicated his place as one of the most golf-active presidents in American history. 

So, it’s no surprise that the former President’s association with golf remains an engaging topic that captures the imagination of golf enthusiasts everywhere.

 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama Played Golf At St Andrews On Scottish Visit 
Barack Obama Played Golf At St Andrews On Scottish Visit

During his time in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, one of the most famous golfers to have served as U.S. President, found himself subject to criticism from Americans who expressed concerns about the time he spent on the golf course rather than attending to presidential duties. Even Donald Trump criticized Obama for his golfing habits. 

However, it is worth noting that Obama’s regular golf partners have attested to his integrity and stated that he never cheats or takes mulligans. Even after retiring from office, Obama remains an avid golfer, having played more than 300 rounds.

He has taken up the sport while living in Chicago. He has been known to take some of his closest advisors on rounds at various courses around the United States while serving as President. 

He even made a golf outing to Martha’s Vineyard while vacationing with his family during the summer of 2010.

 

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, is an avid golfer known for his strategic approach on the golf course. 

He values taking his time before each swing, seeking input from his partners, caddies, and even Secret Service agents. 

His affinity for the sport extended beyond personal enjoyment, as he utilized golf as a means to establish relationships with celebrities and fellow politicians throughout his two terms in office. 

Additionally, his foundation had the privilege of hosting the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California, on multiple occasions. 

Notably, Clinton is a left-handed golfer, showcasing his unique style and talent. It’s worth mentioning that he even briefly associated with one of the golf courses owned by Donald Trump.

 

Richard Nixon

President Richard Nixon began to play golf since he was the vice president under Dwight Eisehower
President Richard Nixon Began To Play Golf Since He Was The Vice President Under Dwight Eisenhower

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, began his golf journey when he assumed the position of Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower. 

Surprisingly, he had never played golf before that time. However, once Nixon started playing the game, he quickly developed a passion for it.

In a twist of fate, golf became even more significant to Nixon after he resigned from the presidency due to the Watergate scandal. He considered golf as his “lifesaver” during those challenging times.

Despite his occasional struggles socially on the golf course, there are numerous anecdotes about Nixon’s interactions with golfing legend Arnold Palmer. 

Palmer, despite acknowledging Nixon’s quirks and perceived lack of warmth, had a certain liking towards him. Interestingly, Palmer believed that Nixon’s decision to abandon golf for political purposes revealed a deeper aspect of his character, perhaps stemming from social insecurities that Nixon never adequately addressed.

Overall, Nixon’s journey with golf serves as an intriguing glimpse into the complex and multifaceted personality of one of the United States’ most controversial presidents.

 

Gerald Ford

Not Only Golf, President Gerald Ford Also Played Basketball, Baseball And Football
Not Only Golf, President Gerald Ford Also Played Basketball, Baseball And Football

Gerald Ford, the esteemed former U.S. President, demonstrated his passion for golf throughout his life. 

Despite not dedicating as much time to the sport as some of his presidential counterparts, Ford’s love for golf was evident. 

He even gained notoriety for accidentally hitting spectators with his golf balls. Additionally, Ford’s association with the golfing community was notable, as he was recruited by Arnold Palmer to represent golfers worldwide. 

In fact, he had talent in sports. When he was in his youth, he played baseball, baseball, and football at the University of Michigan. 

Ford achieved the significant milestone of becoming the first USGA Member in 1975. 

 

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft - The First President Played Golf
William Howard Taft – The First President Played Golf

President William Howard Taft was a dedicated supporter and avid player of the game of golf. 

Despite initial feelings of embarrassment due to his large physique, Taft recognized the significance of the sport and made a determined effort to win people’s votes. 

Throughout his presidency and even during his tenure as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Taft continued to prioritize and enjoy the game of golf. 

As one of the game’s most ardent supporters in the United States at a time when it was not widely played, Taft’s passion for golf was unwavering.

 

Which President Didn’t Play Golf?

Jimmy Carter, Harry Truman, and Herbert Hoover are three 20th-century U.S. presidents who didn’t play golf during their presidency.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, was a peanut farmer by trade. While he was always interested in sports –- particularly swimming and tennis -– golf simply wasn’t his cup of tea.

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States. He enjoyed more low-key activities, such as playing cards with friends and reading books in his spare time, rather than getting involved with sports.

Herbert Hoover had a distaste for golf due to the fact that he found it too strenuous, and he disliked being outdoors. However, Hoover did enjoy fishing which was a favorite activity of his during retirement.

 

FAQs

How Many Times Has Joe Biden Golfed During His Presidency?

Joe Biden has enjoyed playing golf multiple times since taking office in 2020. As President, he has hit the green approximately 9 times, which contradicts the notion that Joe Biden doesn’t hold much interest in golf.

Why Do So Many Presidents Play Golf?

Golf is a favorite pastime among presidents because it provides them with the opportunity to escape from their political pressures and relax. Additionally, playing golf often allows presidents to form relationships with other political figures and celebrities. The game is also an excellent source of physical exercise for active presidents who are interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What President Was The Best Golfer?

Donald Trump is widely regarded as the best golfer of any U.S. president, having achieved some impressive scores during his presidency. Trump’s handicap index has been reported to be between 2 and 3 -– an impressive score for a recreational golfer.

Who Was The First Golfing President?

The first President to play golf was William Howard Taft, who took up the game in 1914. He is credited with popularizing the sport across the United States and making it a part of presidential culture.

 

Conclusion

Golf has been a popular pastime for many presidents throughout the years, providing them with an escape from political pressures and a chance to form relationships with celebrities and other political figures. 

While Woodrow Wilson holds the record for the most rounds of golf played, Donald Trump is widely considered the best golfer among all U.S. presidents; William Howard Taft was the first president to take up golf. It’s also worth noting that some presidents didn’t enjoy the sport, including Jimmy Carter, Harry Truman, and Herbert Hoover. 

Whether a president plays or not, golf remains an integral part of human entertainment activities that bring a bunch of enjoyment and relaxation. 

 

 

Author

  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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