Donald Trump plays golf on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. (Getty/Ian MacNicol)

Commander in cheat: Trump regularly breaks the rules of golf, exaggerates his handicap

The president is not the most honest golfer, surprising no one


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Taylor Link
August 2, 2017 1:37PM (UTC)

Presidents rarely get do-overs. Decisions they make can be binding. That might explain why President Donald Trump does not seem up to par for the job.

A fabulous article that will appear in the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated provides an inside look at Trump's golf game, revealing that the president regularly takes mulligans and even lies on his scorecard.

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According to 18 golfers who have played with Trump in the past decade, the president takes multiple mulligans in a round without a second of consideration, SI's Alan Shipnuck reported. A mulligan is when golfers repeat their shot without penalizing themselves on their scorecard.

Trump apparently is a master mulligan taker. Because of that, it is nearly impossible to quantify how good he actually is at the game. The president's official handicap is listed at 2.8, which means he shoots around 75 on a golf course with a par of 72.

But according to legendary South African golfer Ernie Els, who has played with Trump on numerous occasions, the president's real handicap is closer to "an eight or a nine," Shipnuck reported.

An eight or nine handicap is nothing to scoff at. That is an impressive handicap for most golfers. But considering Trump has spent at least 20 percent of his time as president on a golf course, one would expect he would put up those kind of numbers.

The president, especially at his own courses, has also broken one of the most sacred norms, driving on the green at one of his private golf clubs in June.

It appears that Trump plays the game of golf in a similar manner to which he lives life — a reckless disregard of the rules that allows him to embellish his skill and greatness.

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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