Cost of Trump’s Golf Outings
A lot of people ask us how much does President Trump’s golf outings cost. When folks see pictures of Trump hanging out at his very expensive international golf courses enjoying his weekends, they can only imagine what it costs for a president to golf at these locations. In honor of Trump’s 200th golf trip, we will do our best to estimate the total cost of Trump’s golf outings since becoming president.
What is the Cost of Trump’s Golf Outings?
It’s estimated that Trump’s golf outings have cost the US taxpayer approximately $105 million since being sworn in as president of the United States on January 20th, 2017. The cost breakdown is around $88 million for Florida based golf trips, $9.0 million for New Jersey trips and $8 million for other golfing trips in Scottland, Japan, and other locations. Costs include estimated travel costs as well as government and security costs.
Here is our estimate for Trump’s total golf outing cost by location
Note: Mar-a-Lago is where Trump stays when golfing in the West Palm Beach area.
Methodology Used to Estimate Trump’s Golf Outing Costs
In the spirit of being as accurate as possible while estimating Trump’s Golfing trip costs, we broke the expenses into their components. Costs are broke down into a per day as well as per trip cost by available expense line items:
- Defense Department
- Department of Homeland Security
- Lodging for secret service and staff
- Other costs (portable bathrooms and golf cart rentals)
- Airforce One Flights
Per day and per trip costs were then multiplied by the days and trips frequency resulting in a reasonably informed estimate of the total cost.
How Does Our Golf Cost Estimate Compare to Other Publications?
Many publications have also come up with estimates on Trump’s golfing costs. As the true detailed golf-related costs are not provided to the public, only little pieces of information can be gathered through freedom on the information request.
We feel it’s important to share all the estimates to inform you what others think Trump’s golf cost number is.
Here at Presidential Golf Tracker our estimate comes in at $105 million which is middle of the pack. See below other publications estimates:
- HuffPost $108 million
- Trump Golf Count $106 million
- Forbes $105 million
- Business Insider $100 million
- People $100 million
Why Do Trump’s Golf Outings Cost so Much?
Trump’s golf outings cost so much mostly because of Airforce One Costs and Security costs. Every hour Air Force one is running it costs approximately $200,000. On average a trip to West Palm Beach from DC takes around 2.5 hours. So one way costs about $500,000 and a round trip ticket costs about $1 million.
Trips to Bedminster New Jersey are “relatively” more affordable since the trip only takes about 1.25 hours from DC. One way costs about $250,00 and round trip $500,000.
Security costs vary widely but using estimates from Trumps first few trips to Mar-a-Lago we can estimate security costs are over $1 million per day.
Broadly speaking, Mar-a-Lago trips cost much more than Bedminster. We believe this is because Trump tends to host high-profile guests at the property. Also, there are other guests on the property many times who need proper vetting and surveillance we the President is on the premise.
Another reason could be security is more assessable in Bedminster New Jersey than in West Palm Beach.
What is the Breakdown of Costs for Trump’s West Palm Beach Florida Golf Trips
Our estimated per day cost breakdown for Florida golf trips, which are primarily Mar-a-Lago based:
- Defense Department $773,000
- Homeland Security $455,000
- Lodging $5,450
Per day total is approximately $1,233,000
- Airforce One round trip $973,000
Total costs for a Trump three-day golf trip $4.6 million!
What is the Breakdown of Costs for Trumps Bedminster New Jersey Trips
Our estimated per day Bedminster New Jersey trip costs are:
- Security $14,000
- Golf Cart Rental $800
- Portable Bathrooms $418
- Lodging $42,000
Per day total is approximately $57,254
- Airforce One round trip $500,000
Total costs for a Trump three-day golf trip $672,000!
How Were the Other Golf Locations Costs Estimated
For Trump’s other golfing locations we came up with some general assumptions related to costs. For Trumps UK golf trips we referenced Trump Golf Count estimates. Trump’s golfing trips in Japan also involved other foreign relations related work so we allocated $1 million cost estimates to the golfing portion of those trips.
For other US locations outside of Washington DC we assumed the costs were the same as Bedminster excluding the costs of using Airforce One. We assumed Trump was already in those locations for other reasons so golf or no golf would have been in the area.
For Potomac falls in Virginia we assumed the same security costs used for Bedminster estimates but excluded any hotel costs as this golf course is only 40 minutes away from the White House.
How Much Could Trump’s Future Golf Outings Costs?
Trump in his 919 days in office has spent 200 times on or near a golf course. Assuming the same rate of golfing we project Trump will golf another 118 times and finish his first term with 318 rounds golfed in 4 years (as a comparison Obama golfed 333 times over 8 years).
Assuming the same average cost per golf outing term to date at $526,000 per trip we can estimate Americans will have to foot the bill for another $62 million of golf-related costs. Trump’s total golf cost could end up costing the US taxpayer $167 million dollars in 4 years.
If Donald Trump wins a second term as President we can estimate another $167 million in golfing costs, bringing a 2 term, 8 year total of $334 million for 635 projected golf outings!