The Top Ten Golfing Presidents

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It’s my understanding that JFK had a lock on #1 until recently, he was about a 7 handicap but his bad back kept him off the links for the most part of during his presidency. I know that Eisenhower was an avid golfer, and his best round was 79 as a member of Augusta National so the story goes, he was told to give it a rest because he was playing too many rounds of golf at the famed course. There was even a tree named after the president guarding the left side of the fairway on the 17th hole. The native loblolly pine was more than eighty years old and sixty-five feet high when it was extensively damaged in a major ice storm and had to be removed in February of 2014. Recently I read that President Woodrow Wilson played the most rounds of golf of any president, but never mastered the game. Since 1897 when William McKinley hit the first presidential putt, almost every president played golf in some capacity. The exceptions were Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, who was a good athlete but preferred Softball, and Harry Truman.

Here’s the top 10 list of Presidential prowess on the links!

#10 belongs to Richard Nixon, who played football in college but fell short when it came to making a six footer.

#9, Ronald Reagan, also a good athlete but he didn’t play a lot of golf especially during his two terms as president, he’d been known to shoot in the 90’s.

Much was made about Gerald Ford’s golf game and he took it in stride, he took lessons from Arnold Palmer but never could cure his slice and he made more headlines by hitting patrons in the gallery than he did for his accomplishments in the oval office. Ford ranks at #8.

George W. Bush carried on his family’s legacy of supporting the PGA Tour and it’s many charities, but he was more concerned with how fast you could play 18 holes in a suped up golf cart than his score. He once bragged that he could knock out 18 holes in two hours and shoot in the 80’s, but his aids say that was with many gimme’s. Bush II lands at #7.

At #6 is “Billigan”, Bill Clinton, a decent golfer but hard to figure his true score because he liked do-overs, mulligans, or “Billigans” as he called them.

#5 is H W Bush, he took his game seriously, and when he had time to play he was about an 11 handicap.

Eisenhower did break eighty a few times and had a putting green installed on the lawn of the White House for days he couldn’t make it to the course. Ike ranks at #4.

At #3 it’s Barack Obama, capable of shooting in the 70’s with tie’s to Tiger Woods he carried a single digit handicap, but enjoyed other sports better, particularly basketball.

#2 is John Kennedy, with a natural swing he could’ve been really good had it not been for his bad back.

Finally, the best presidential golfer is Donald Trump. Playing to a 3 handicap he holds several course records on courses he owns. There are conflicting reports as to what is the best part of his game though, I’ve read he’s a long hitter, and I’ve also read he’s a short hitter that makes up for it on the greens. Trump himself claims putting is the best part of his game.

So there you have it, the best presidential golfers since 1897!