DONALD TRUMP AND BARACK OBAMA Both Presidents Are Golfers 

By R.J. Smiley

Now that the election is over and Donald Trump has been inaugurated President, one image sticks in my mind. Donald Trump and Barack Obama standing on the world stage shaking hands and acting like they like each other.

As I watched, one man, X-POTUS, peacefully passes the most powerful office in the world to another man, POTUS Elect. I had a flash – the previous year’s Masters Champion placing the Green Jacket to the current year’s winner. Remember these words, “Acting like they liked each other.”

Think back with me as I review past Masters Champions placing the Green Jacket on the new Champion. Think about 1979 when Gary Player, the workout freak who understood nutrition and physical fitness long before the rest of golf, placed the jacket on Fuzzy Zoeller, the golfer who smoked cigarettes on the course and had a beer belly. Remember 1986, Jack Nicklaus, the greatest major winner of all time, placing the jacket on Larry Mize, the skinny kid who won on a fluke. Or, in 2003 when Tiger Woods, no explanation necessary, slipped the Green Jacket on Mike Weir, the Canadian left-hander. Certainly the perfect example of my vision occurred in April of 2012 when Charles Schwartzel, the unknown Masters Champion from South African, gently wrapped the Green Jacket on Bubba Watson, the golfer hated by most on the PGA TOUR. Schwartzel smiled and shook his hand like he loved him.

Question: What do all these Masters Champions have in common?

Answer: All Masters Champions are golfers. No non-golfer has ever won the Masters.

That same similarity is found with Trump and Obama. Both men are golfers. As we look at a list of every player who has won the Masters, there is no pattern. There is no body type. Right-handers have won the Masters. Left-handers have won the Masters. Young? Old? You get the idea.

There is no perfect body type for golfers. There is no age for golfers. Golf does not discriminate by race. Even women play golf. Donald Trump came to golf from one direction. Barack Obama came from a completely different direction.

President Donald Trump owns some of the most upscale golf properties in the world. The members of his private clubs pay a premium fee to belong to these prestigious clubs. Guests at his luxury resorts don’t even want to know the price of green fees. Expensive! Donald Trump learned to play golf as a college student in Philadelphia while attending Warton School of Business. Fellow students invited this baseball player to join them on a very muni, municipal golf course. After a few rounds of golf, the golf bug bit The Donald. He learned to win playing golf; beating the hustlers at the muni. When you think of Donald Trump, that entry to golf, beating the hustlers, was perfect Trump.

On the other hand Barack Obama, who played a little golf in high school, had retired his clubs until wife, Michelle, suggested that he take up a game a little less physical than pick-up basketball. Obama played only a few rounds prior to being elected President. But during his time as President, Obama played golf 333 times in eight years. Obama scores in the 90s, but feels that during his post-Presidency he could become a single digit player.

Donald Trump plays golf to compete on the golf course. He is a single digit handicapper who has worked on his game for years. No matter what the bet, Trump wants to win. Trump loves the action.

Both Trump and Obama have played golf with Tiger Woods. This writer can find no record of the matches. Imagine being in Tiger’s shoes. I would have loved to be a caddy in either of those groups.

Obama and Trump have also enjoyed several rounds with John Daly. In a recent interview Daly said, “Obama is a pretty good golfer with a nice smooth swing, but Donald Trump hits it really good.”

When ask about golf, Trump said, “Golf is an aspirational game. Most people, who have aspirations of greatness, aspire to be successful so they can join a golf club.”

These two men have joined an elite club, President of the United States of America. On the golf course, these two men are just two more golfers. One right handed. One left-handed. If they ever play a golf match, I feel sure that the loser will shake the hand of the winner. And the winner will buy a beer for the loser. Both will smile, like they like each other!

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