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Why do so Many U.S. Presidents Play Golf?

Why do so Many U.S. Presidents Play Golf?

Why do so Many U.S. Presidents Play Golf?

Whether you lean ideologically right or left, are aligned with the Democratic Party or the Republican one, or simply like to be informed on the latest political happenings in Washington D.C., one thing is for sure, and that is that the President of the United States will inevitably be found, at some point in their time in office, on the golf course.

But, why exactly, do so many U.S. presidents play golf?  And why is it, that no matter the party in charge of the Executive Branch, the president of the United States seems to always prefer golf to nearly any other sport. 

Below, we are going to look at why so many U.S. presidents play golf and how doing so can actually help them be better presidents.  Interested to see why NBA players like golf so much?  Find out here!

Which U.S. President Played the Most Amount of Golf?

Although in recent years we’ve seen president’s Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all hit up the golf link, no president in U.S. history has played more golf while in office than Woodrow Wilson.  In fact, in his time in office, President Wilson found time to play over 1,200 rounds of golf.

In fact, President Woodrow Wilson golfed no matter the weather or circumstances facing himself or the nation.  Whether it was raining, snowing, or sunny out, President Wilson could be found on the golf course.

Following President Woodrow Wilson is none other than President John F. Kennedy.  And although Kennedy’s time in office was tragically cut short, he is widely considered and believed to be the best golfer from all the U.S. presidents.  Kennedy played golf at his alma mater, Harvard University, and was a deep proponent of athletics for all Americans.

And lastly, is none other than President Donald Trump.  President Trump is an avid golfer and began his golfing journey from a young age.  In addition to enjoying the game and playing through multiple rounds, President Trump owns multiple golf courses around the world and is considered one of the better golfers from U.S. presidents.

Where do U.S. Presidents Play Golf?

As president of the United States both notable and less than famous golf courses across the nation and the world are all more than willing to accommodate their needs for a quick round.  However, some national courses are more famous and have seen more U.S. presidents then others.  These include:

  • The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, VA – The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia has hosted the most U.S. presidents to its courses.  From William McKinley between 1897-1901, to President Calvin Coolidge, to President’s Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon.  In more recent years, both presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush have played on the course.  Offering some of the country’s most challenging and historic fairways, The Omni Homestead is consistently ranked among the finest Virginia golf courses and offers challenging, championship level courses to practice your game.
  • Old Course at St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland – most famous for housing and accommodating former President Bill Clinton, the Old Course at St. Andrews is considered the oldest golf course in the world. As such, it is considered by many to be the “home of golf” and was where the first game was played back in the early 15th century.
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California – perhaps the most famous golf course in America, Pebble Beach Golf Links has accommodated President’s Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.  Unanimously rated the number 1 public course in the country, Pebble Beach also hosted its sixth U.S. Open in 2019, more than any other course over the last 50 years.

Golf Can Relieve Stress

While few of us will ever understand the true stressors of being President of the United States, it’s not difficult to imagine the pressure and stress felt by being president.  As such, golf is one of the best forms of stress relief and means to handle pressure and anxiety.

As golf is a cerebral sport, you are forced to keep focused, plan moves, and execute strategy on the golf course, not allowing for much other thought or pressure.  And for the president of the United States, that is exactly what is needed to help them clear their heads and maintain their composure.

In addition, golf is one of the best sports to reduce stress due to its inherent focus on patience.  And while golf can be played alone, it is generally played with others, forcing participants to remain calm and exercise patience, which can help to induce calm.

Golf is a Networking Sport

For many U.S. presidents, whether they are in their first or second term in office, the duties and responsibilities of the office call for proper networking and negotiations.  And while these networking and negotiating events can occur within the White House residence, it is often preferred outside and in the sun.

Golf, unlike so many other sports, allows for play with conversation.  And as president of the United States, these individuals are able to discuss important topics, confidential information, and negotiating terms, all while enjoying a round of the game.

Golf Allows for Privacy

As president of the United States, there are few public places which offer and provide the privacy and security to which the job entails.  However, golf courses are one of the best and most private public places.  Many golf courses will accommodate the president by closing off the course or ensuring open rounds for them.

And for a president looking to get some time outside and to enjoy the nicer weather, golf provides the perfect escape from the stressors of the job.  Similarly, for a president looking to discuss sensitive information away from the prying eyes of the press or the White House staff, the golf course is a natural, easy choice.

Golf is a Status Sport

Similarly, and unlike so many other sports, golf is often seen as a status sport and symbol.  Typically seen as a sport for the rich, powerful, and wealthy, golf is generally reserved for the elite.  And while, that’s not to say, that less wealthy individuals are barred from the sport, most golfers are more wealthy and powerful individuals.

As such, for many presidents, golf is seen as an acceptable sport and one that they can engage in, without too much backlash and disfavor from the country.  Similarly, as U.S. presidents are often dealing and discussing topics of importance with other wealthy, powerful individuals, the golf course becomes the de-facto and default location to do so.

Golf Can Be Good for Weight Loss

And lastly, golf is often seen as a perfect form of exercise for the president.  With limited time throughout the day and week, most U.S. presidents are unable to carve out specific time to hit the gym or go on a run.  Rather, they will opt to play golf and network and discuss business as they do so.

With an 18-hole golf course burning up to 800 calories, many presidents choose golf as their preferred form of activity and exercise.