Trump vs Obama Golf Games

It’s been two years and 91 days that President Trump has been in office (we can’t believe it either!). We’ve spent these last two years tracking his golfing habits, and comparing them to the frequency of previous Presidents. But let’s be honest, most of you only care about one thing: Does Trump play more golf that Obama did while he was President? And whose golf habits cost the U.S. tax payer more?

We were initially hesitant to do an in depth analysis on Trump vs Obama’s golf games, because we felt that not enough time had passed to have a representative sample size when comparing the two.

Now that we are a little over the half way mark into Trump’s first term in office, we feel the time is right. Please note this article is as of the 2 year 91st day mark of Trump’s presidency. We plan to update this article in the future around the third year anniversary of Trump’s presidency.

In this post we will cover the following seven questions:

  1. Who has played more golf as of the 2 year 91st day mark of each respective presidency? ***Spoiler alert: Trump has spent 170 days at the golf course vs Obama’s 65***
  2. Is Trump projected to play more golf in his first term than Obama?
  3. If Trump is elected to a second term, how much golf could he play?
  4. Which day of the week did the Presidents play the most golf?
  5. Did Trump or Obama play more golf at private exclusive golf courses?
  6. What are Trump’s vs Obama’s favorite golf courses measured by the amount of rounds played?
  7. Who spent more tax payer money while golfing? ***Spoiler alert: Trump has cost the U.S. tax payer an estimated $97 million in just over two years vs Obama’s $23.4 million***

Who has played more golf, Trump or Obama?

As of now the answer is clear, President Trump has spent more time on the golf course and by a wide margin. Trump has been at the golf course 170 times in his first 821 days as president, Obama was at the course 65 times over the same period of time. Below is a graph measuring the cumulative presidential golfing count by number of days in office:

Trump vs Obama

Will Trump play more golf in his first term than Obama?

Yes, Trump is expected to be at the golf course 302 times in his first term in office measured on a run-rate basis. That is almost more than Obama’s total golf count over eight year which was 322 rounds played. Obama played golf 113 times during his first term in office.

We personally expect Trump’s golf count to be a bit lower than the projected 302 times, as we expect he’ll be campaigning frequently during the last year of his first term in office.

If Trump is elected to a second term, how much golf could he play?

If Trump wins the next election and serves a second term in office he is estimated to play 605 rounds of golf in total over his two terms, measured on a run-rate basis. Obama played around 322 rounds over the same period. Trump would still fall short of Dwight D. Eisenhower who play over 800 rounds and Woodrow Wilson who play north of 1,200 over their two terms. That being said, he would rank number three out of all the presidents over the past 100 years of presidential golfing history.

Which day of the week do Trump and Obama play the most golf?

Both Trump and Obama play golf primarily over weekends, which is to be expected as they’re working Monday through Friday. Interestingly, Trump plays almost equal amounts on Saturday and Sunday at 36 percent and 38 percent respectively. Obama played mostly on Sunday’s coming at about 48 percent of the times he golfed while president. Below we’ve included a breakout of Trump and Obama’s golf count and percent by day of the week:

Trump vs Obama by day

Did Trump or Obama play more golf at private exclusive courses?

President Trump greatly prefers his exclusive private golf courses over public or military courses. Trump has so far spent 98 percent of his golf outings at private courses where  Obama only spent 12 percent during the same time period. Trump has golfed 2 percent at public courses but they all have been at his own Trump branded golf courses. Obama spent 14 percent of his golf outings at public courses.

Obama greatly preferred golfing at military bases, coming at 74 percent. While we can’t confirm why he chose this route, our best guess is he did so because they were nearby and secured, therefore requiring less tax payer spending to make sure it was safe.

See below for a breakout of Trump and Obama golf outing percentages for public, private, and military golf courses:Trump vs Obama Golf Course

What are Trump’s vs Obama’s favorite golf courses, measured by the amount of rounds played?

So far, President Trump’s favorite course is a tie between Trump International West Palm Beach in Florida and Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey. He has golfed at both 58 times since becoming president. Over the same length of his first term in office, President Obama’s favorite course was Andrews Air Force Base where he golfed 26 times.

Since becoming president, Trump has played at eight different golf courses of which only two were not his own. Over the same period of time, Obama golfed at ten different golf courses, of which none were his own or Trump branded courses.

See below for lists of golf courses Trump and Obama played at in their first 2 years and 91 days of being President.

President Trump: Trump International West Palm Beach, Trump National: Bedminster, Potomac Falls, Jupiter and Los Angeles, as well as Trump Turnberry UK, Liberty National New Jersey, and Kasumigaseki Japan

President Obama: Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Belvoir, Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, Vineyard Golf Club, Farm Neck Golf Club, Luana Hills Country Club, Mid-Pacific Country Club, Mink Meadow Golf Club, The Grove Park Inn, and Army Navy Country Club

Who spent more tax payer money while golfing, Trump or Obama?

It’s really hard to track down exactly how much U.S. tax payers have spent to support Trump’s and Obama’s golfing. To estimate these costs, we are going to look at reputable sources and calculate our best guess estimate.

President Trump’s golfing habit has cost the U.S. tax payer an estimated $97,000,000 according to Trump Golf Count. The website estimates this cost by adding up the average cost of travel for the president estimated by The Washington Post.

President Obama’s golfing habit over the same time period cost U.S. tax payers an estimated $23,370,000.

So over the same period of time President Trump has cost the U.S. tax payer $73,630,000 more than Obama.

Obama’s estimate is calculated by assuming military bases have a 50 percent reduction in costs compared to private or public golf courses and that a private or public golf course costs $570,000 per presidential trip.

The $570,000 is estimated by taking the $97,000,000 of Trump golf costs / 170 Trump golf outings = approximately $570,000 per golf trip.

See the breakdown of Obama’s cost estimate calculation below:

Military Courses: 48 golf trips x $570,000 x 50% = $13,680,000

Private and Public: 17 golf trips x $570,000 = $9,690,000

Total: $13,680,000 + $9,690,000 = $23,370,000

 

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