Barack Obama and Donald Trump golfing

Photo via Daniel Borman/Flickr (CC-BY) Photo via Steve Jurvetson/Flickr (CC-BY) (CC-BY)

Trump is golfing less, on average, than Obama—but there’s a $57 million catch

The statistics might not be what you'd expect.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Aug 11, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:51 pm CDT

Golf trips were a major point of contention for conservatives during President Barack Obama’s terms—so much so that then-candidate Donald Trump claimed he wouldn’t “have time to go play golf” if elected president.

While that promise has already been broken more than 20 times since Trump was inaugurated in January, it’s also worth noting that Trump has already surpassed the amount of taxpayer money spent during his golf outings. But that doesn’t tell the full story.

After 2,360 days in office, taxpayers were on the hook for $44 million for Obama’s golf outings. In just 203 days, Trump’s trips to his golf resorts have already cost $57 million, according to Of the 48 trips Trump has taken to his resorts, he has actually golfed on at least 22 occasions. (This number is likely inaccurate, however, since the White House does not announce every time Trump actually hits the greens. Alas, it’s the best we have to go on.)

Trump was a frequent critic of Obama’s golfing even before he ran for president.

“PresObama is not busy talking to Congress about Syria..he is playing golf… go figure,” Trump tweeted in September 2013.

A year later, Trump tweeted:

“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.”

As of Aug. 1, Trump has hit the links 21 times so far in his presidency compared to 11 times Obama had gone golfing during the same time period, according to PolitiFact. However, Obama upped the average frequency of his golf trips later in his presidency.

When all was said and done, Obama had golfed 333 rounds during his eight years in office. At his current rate—golfing an average of once every 9.2 days—Trump will have golfed roughly 40 times fewer than Obama, who golfed an average of once every 8.7 days but in more condensed chunks. That said, Trump is on track to visit his golf resorts at least 338 times in just four years—and each of those trips still cost federal dollars whether or not he golfs.

Earlier this week, a CNN reporter shared a photo of Trump golfing at the golf course he owns in New Jersey—where the president is currently spending his first major vacation since taking office. The photo appears to show Trump with a contractor.

In the photo, Trump is wearing his typical white golf shirt and his signature “make America great again” hat.

H/T: @Jules_su Twitter

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*First Published: Aug 11, 2017, 3:49 pm CDT