As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Has Shot 41 Rounds of Golf as President

President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks.

With the excursions lasting on average at least five hours, the president has devoted a total of more than 200 hours to golf, not counting time spent on the White House putting green. That’s the equivalent of twenty five eight-hour work days, or five work weeks spent smacking golf balls.

Obama plays golfThe former community organizer’s 41 trips around the links – a standard of recreational activity well beyond the budgets of most Americans – compares to only 24 total outings for former President George W. Bush, according to statistics compiled by White House chronicler Mark Knoller of CBS News. Bush, whose golf outings were used to help deride him as a callow, lazy, rich boy, played his 24th and last round on Oct. 13, 2003, saying he was ending the practice out of respect for the families of Americans killed in Iraq.

Since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 rig workers and started the Gulf oil spill, Obama has teed up seven times, according to White House Dossier’s count. This includes back to back sessions April 23 and 24 while on vacation at the Grove Park Resort & Spa in Asheville, NC, just days after the crisis began.

Obama’s focus on golf borders on obsession. Startled reporters follow him out to the course in the motorcade in the broiling Washington heat and then wait in the air conditioning while he puts in 18 holes. Rarely does he play any less.

On June 19, he dragged the 67 year old Vice President Biden onto the course for a sweltering 18 holes, calling into question whether he was trying to commit murder-by-golf in order to free the 2012 VP slot up for Hillary.

From a period stretching from April 3 to May 22 of this year, the president went golfing eight of nine weekends. WOULD YOUR WIFE LET YOU DO THAT?? WOULD YOU LET YOUR HUSBAND? Michelle, what gives?

He went out only once in June when, with the Gulf of Mexico slowly becoming the new U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and accusations of presidential inattention at their height, White House image counselors appeared to think the golf needed scaling back. But he’s back with a vengeance, having made his way out on the course both weekends so far this month.

Since he’s officially on vacation this weekend in Bar Harbor Maine, there appears to be little holding him back from heading out to the greens at least once.

Obama golf While on the course, Obama for the most part likes to keep it nice and light, often playing with a youngish crowd. No deep discussions of policy on the links.

One of his companions on nearly every outing is Marvin Nicholson, the affable, White House trip director. Nicholson, a former  “body man” to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), is the perfect guy for getting away from it all, having worked as a golf caddy, a bartender, and in a windsurfing shop – where he met Kerry.

Also generally on hand is David Katz, a former Obama campaign photographer.

Emphatically not invited for the most part are members of Congress or senior White House aides.

The White House is of course sensitive to the awkward look of the whole thing. A search of of the word “golf” on the White House page or the photo sharing site Flickr brings back only nine official White House photo results, three of which are neither of Obama nor golf. A search for “basketball,” the everyman’s game, brings back 39 photos.

But who wants to be the White House official to tell the president to cut back on golf? Somebody with another job offer, one would presume.

199 Responses to Obama Has Shot 41 Rounds of Golf as President

  1. actually has him up at 42 rounds, but either way, it’s a lot–he’ll easily have played twice as much golf as Bush did by the mid-terms, and the Republican attack ads will practically write themselves. His golf obsession is going to be the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP–he’s easily on pace to play more than ONE HUNDRED ROUNDS OF GOLF in four years. Meanwhile, unemployment is within spitting distance of double digits. Where have you gone, Marie Antoinette?

    Re Bush being away from the White House. First, nuts to the Camp David argument–every US President since FDR has gone there. That’s a straw man argument, and you know it. After all, the President who used it the most was…Ronald Reagan. He must have been too busy kicking back at Camp David to, you know, win the Cold War and all that. Other thing: Camp David’s capabilities are, one has to assume, comparable to the White House proper, in case of a catastrophe in DC. And if you think no work ever gets done at Camp David, Carter, Begin, and Sadat would beg to disagree with you.

    Now, Crawford. That was President Bush’s home, so he wasn’t exactly vacationing in the Hamptons when he was out there. He was just going to his real-America home, not his political-America home, and getting the heck out of Washington. If anything, it’s good to see he never forgot where he came from–remind me how many times Obama has been back to Chicago since he took office?

  2. As a taxpayer, I for one would rather pay for his golf rather than his failing policies…I say keep him on the links, it’s cheaper in the long run.

  3. This guy is so in over his head…. his gift of the gab is what elected him.. After the speech is over, there is nothing in the suit. As stated below, maybe he should spend all his time on the golf links and take his cronies with him.. The United States of America would be better off.

    • I wonder if he takes George Cloony on these golf outings.and do thay talk about which kind of people can get married .I thought all american people have the same rights , If anybody is getting short changed its the single person that cant economicly get Married,for reasons of no monitary gain . unless they come from some other part of the world and have babies in countless numbers.and go back to there country.and let us pay for it Thanks George want to marry a man. obama dosnt care, yum yum tasty <3

  4. Golf is a fine diversion for those with great responsibilities.

    “DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER got in his share of golf, and then some. A study of the 34th president’s daily itinerary during his eight years in office from 1953-’61 turns up a staggering 1,000-plus days of golf, including almost 800 rounds everywhere from Augusta National to Cypress Point to Turnberry and beyond.” — GOLF DIGEST, April 2008

  5. I wonder if those posting the pathetically jealous commentrs here would habve carped at Ike for his golf habit. Incidentally, Ike also had a problem with his swing, which he never corrected. Too impatient perhaps. Clinton was a notorious cheater who claimed special privileges on the course, providing some basis for complaints.

    As for Obama, I think he is a very talented, very hard-working President.

  6. For someone who appears not to know his a$s from a hole in the ground, it should be the last sport in the world that he would take up!

  7. He doesn’t like presidentin,’ but he sure likes the perks that go along with it. The perennial teenager needs to man up and at least pretend like he’s working. What a child.

  8. Well, Hell, tell him for me. Mr. President…..Resign! You are incapable of doing your job! You should pursue Golf as a profession. Most of us cannot afford to even play anymore, let alone the equivalent of 5 weeks of involvement! Hell, I cannot even find a portion of that time to even “watch” golf that much! Here’s an idea. Let him go to Iran as America’s ambassador of Golf…..he can teach how to play in a sand trap…without tripping any explosive devices!

  9. I’m sure the President’s a pretty busy guy. Probably at least ten times busier than the busiest one of us. Why do people always seem to get slammed in the media for playing golf?. I’ve yet to see a derogatory piece about a politican or ceo who might be playing too much tennis or bowling on the job. For whatever reason, golf always takes a bad rap. The writer makes reference to the prospect of the President damaging his “ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks”. The reality is that most of the golf played in this country takes place on public courses, and is played by “average folks,” yet the perception of golf as an elitist, rich, old white white guy’s game remains.

  10. My response is great – the longer he is on the course – the less damage he can do to this country – media will be watching and cooing – so they will be constant in their Obama is the greatest.

    No this is great – see if they can set him up for 8 to 5 and throw away his cell phone.

  11. You folks are real Jerks…Presidents are elected to make decisions not type. I didn’t think this argument had merit with Bush and certainty don’t think so with Obama. Hell, for 400K a year, anyone serving as president is underpaid by a factor of at least 1000.
    These Posts illustrate how this reporter and his viewers are puffed up comparing their responsibilites with President Obama. This guy is keeping you alive…

  12. I’m glad he’s playing golf so much. I’d rather see him out on the course than plotting the communist demise of our nation. I mean, the most damage he can do on the course is break someone’s window, right? And judging by his awful swing, I’m sure he’s broken a few!

  13. Who cares that he’s playing golf? Bush took more time off then any president in history. I’m glad Obama plays golf and gets away from all this crap, if not he would be in poor health and angry. Where was Keith’s story when Bush was taking all those vacations?

  14. Funny how the Dumbs would criticize Bush for everything he did and everything he didn’t do. But the Dumbs get so offended if any negetive thing is said about “community organizer Barry”.

  15. This election showed the world how friggin stupid the American voter really can be. There was enough warning signs to educate the ill-informed but many chose to ignore them. America, you now have a regime that by far is your worst nightmare.

  16. This is all about fairplay. The asinine comments the left would make about Bush is the only reason anyone brings up the Affirmative Action kid’s golfing. If the clown took people with him that could discuss policies and different strategies it would be different. Much the way it is wrong to compare Bush’s time in Crawford or Camp David to staying at resorts or campaign donors, I mean “friends” houses. Camp David is DESIGNED for a president to continue his work there. Bush brought his staff, and others to these places , to continue working, not so with Princess Barry. If liberals want respect, they need to grow up and earn it. These are your traps that you set for republicans in which obozo keeps getting ensnared. The left screams the Tea Party is racist, but not a peep about Robert Byrd, the black panthers, or “rev.” wright. Jesse Jackson was the one who called obozo the N word and said he wanted to cut off his balls, but yet he hasn’t been castigated. So yeah, he deserves to be ripped on for golfing to much.
    When he hears about the Gulf disaster, he thinks you’re talking about his handicap.

  17. The problem the president has is that the vast majority of the people who voted for him do NOT play golf … it is too expensive, too time consuming, too elitist and too snobby for most Democrats, especially Democrats.

    Remember when the #1 adjective applied by Democrats in front of the noun Republican was “Country Club Republican” ???

    Those were the good ole days when you could be sure who really represented you and your family…. now union presidents make more than Obama and we see Democrats in this forum talking about how much golf they play themselves!

    Most disturbing is the slandering of Bush for spending time at his ranch and Camp David. When he was doing that he was not running up massive security bills to cover his travels to public sites. He also had all the technology of the Whitehouse installed at those to locations.

    I sure hope we hear, once he’s out of office, that Obama is regularly visiting the wounded soldiers the way Bush did. Any wounded soldiers out there want to break silence and tell of Obama visiting them ????? Somehow, I doubt it.

    Then again…. WHO is he meeting with on the golf course? Is it a business meeting? Is he deal making???? One of the “transparency” changes that Obama made was to regulary post to the press the list of people visiting the Whitehouse. Is he on the golf course so much so he can meet people without having their names passed on to the press? Just wondering.

    • Great points, Karl. I’d forgotten about “Country Club Republican.” And I will look into his meetings with wounded soldiers. I don’t think they are freque

  18. Who cares? Frankly the less time he spends at the WH is less time he screws the country even more. I wish he would spend everyday on the golf course! 2012 can’t get here quick enough.

  19. Actually I am glad he spent 200+ hours chasing little white balls on a golf course. That is 200+ fewer hours for him to damage this still great Nation by trying to enslave it into Socialism/Marxism. Comnrade Obama please play more golf for the remaining 2+ years you have before 2012. Then you can probably get a job being a caddy, assuming there are still golf courses in business then.

  20. I thought basketball was his game!?

    If he’s played 5 straight weeks of golf, he must have 2 months of basketball……..

    I guess, in the end its good, everything he does or tries to fix is wrong anyway…….

  21. It has also been reported that Obama has been getting 5 hrs of sleep a night!! What is it with this guy?

    That’s some solid reporting Keith!

  22. Bush spent a record 977 days on vacation in Crawford or at Camp David – nearly ONE THIRD of his time in office. Obama has taken 26 days of vacation.

  23. I don’t begrudge him his time on the links. If that’s what he needs to unwind, think and even conduct some business while in less formal setting, so be it.

    But I wonder about his timing. It seems really lousy, given when he seems to have gone to the links over the past 18 months–but especially now.

    Just as lousy, I think, as his and his family going to Maine to vacation now, just after the missus made that public-relations-commercial trip to the Gulf and imploring Americans to come on down and vacation.

    Real leadership would’ve been Obama putting a governor on his desire to play in the land of the blue-blood money up in Maine and deciding that it would bolster the Gulf of Mexico economy–and, just maybe, the public’s confidence in his judgment and executing of his office–to have seen him and his family on its beaches, eating in its restaurants, whatever.

    But, then, that’s what a leader might’ve done now.

    BTW, Parik: No, it’s not Obama who’s keeping me or anyone else alive. Best I can see, he’s stopped just short, by a few steps, if that, of actually sending his hired thugs to get rid of some of us who don’t mindlessly follow him.

    Given his weakness and his pandering to Islamothugs, he’s actually empowered them to attack America. Oh, wait: They’ve already done that a few times since he’s been in office.

  24. This article is a joke. If you are going to judge a president, judge him on his merits, not on how he decides to spend his time. The article is designed to evoke an emotion in those that are instinctively anti-Obama; reading the comments below it seems that it achieved this. An unfortunate commentary on American media and way of thinking.

  25. The real question we should be asking is, who ELSE is he golfing with? Are these recorded conversations for public record, or it this where the REAL business is happening these days. How many times has he played with an SEIU executive? Someone from Goldman?… what wheeling and dealing is happening outside the public eye?

  26. I hope he goes golfing EVERY single day. Every day that he is golfing is one less day that he can push his socialist agenda.

  27. hahahaaha…oh stop it–you guys are killing me!!

    Comparing Obama to Eisenhower?

    hahahahha oh my God please stop! hahahahhahahahaha please!

  28. As usual, the liberal bias of the mainstream press is shown in what is NOT reported. After endless carping about golf with Bush, nary a peep out of our pusillanimous press about the Boy Prince. (ah ha!–he said “boy”!! he must be a tea party racist!)

  29. Robert Mann: While Ike had concerns during his administration, such as the Korean war and the beginning of the cold war, he was also presiding over a period of amazing economic rebound as America was putting the Great Depression behind it. Obama is presiding over an economy that is in a serious slump atop the concerns of our overseas military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the question of how we are to combat the threat of terrorism that we learned in 2001 can no longer be ignored. Ike had much less on his plate than this current president, and given that Mr. Obama’s Presidential predecessor was so taken to task over his playing of golf, many feel that his time spent in sport and not in management of our nation is of great concern.

  30. Yeah, too many 0bama defenders have missed the point of the article. Here’s a hint: it isn’t that he plays a lot of golf.

    The point is: for someone who won on the backs of people who used golf as “proof” that the previous President hated the little guy, this is an awfully ironic way to spend most of his free time.

    The point is: for someone who is supposedly so intelligent, it seems quite dumb to fail to recognize the inherent symbolism in seeming to be more dedicated to golfing opportunities than showing restraint in solidarity with the ‘huddled masses’.

    The point is: in times of great uncertainty, people need the assurance of a leader who seems more focused on the weighty tasks at hand than merely ‘fiddling while Rome burns’.

  31. OMG. big deal. The President should be able to golf. He should be able to clear his head. I’m sorry but this reminds me of Michael Moore’s cheap shot at Bush when he was asked a question about a suicide bombing while he was playing golf. Isn’t there enough to criticize Obama about besides the amount of time he spends on the golf course? The country would be better off if he plays 36 holes every day for the next 2 years, and that’s all he does.

  32. He’s always been in it for the perks. Pizza delivered from Missouri, jetting Michelle off to NYC on the public’s dime. That’s why he has czars to make all his decisions for him; he’s clueless to make them on his own. But this is worse; at least Bush had the sense to give it up because it looked bad. Obama knows it looks bad and doesn’t care.