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Donald Trump loves playing golf. In fact, it felt like he spent more time out on the course than he did in the Oval office during his time as president.

According to trumpgolfcount.com, there was evidence of Trump playing golf on “at least 150 visits” during his four years.

That’s an awful lot, and he also happens to own 17 courses himself.

But how good is he? Well, that’s actually a matter of big debate.

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The magazine Golf Digest was mocked recently for awarding the top position to Trump in a list ranking American presidents by their handicap.

The publication awarded the 45th president the top score of 2.8, while allotting current president Joe Biden the number two slot with a 6.7 score.

How good is Trump at golf? Really?Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Now, 2.8 is a very impressive handicap. But the fact is, a lot of people dispute the fact that Trump is that good.

Sportswriter Rick Reilly, for one, doesn’t believe it. The journalist wrote an entire book about Trump cheating at golf called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, in which he states: “If Trump is a 2.8, Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.”

Reilly previously told CNN in an interview: “He cheats like a mafia accountant. He cheats crazy. He cheats whether you're watching or not. He cheats whether you like it or not."

Perhaps his 2.8 handicap is a little too true to believe after all. These are the biggest cheating stories and times Trump has been accused of lying about his golfing exploits.


When he ‘strong armed a 10-year-old boy during a fake championship round'

Reilly previously told Vox that the president once approached the 2018 winner of the club championship at Trump International, and challenged him to a winner-takes-all game for the title, since the president was unable to attend the actual competition.

Ted Virtue — the true club championship winner, and a financier behind the Oscar winning film Green Book — was playing with his 10-year-old son, and reportedly tried to laugh the challenge off.

According to Reilly, Trump insisted.

“Trump is dead serious. Trump says, ‘We’re going to play these last six holes for the championship.’ And Ted’s like, ‘I’m playing with my son, but thanks anyway.’ But Trump says, ‘No, your son can play too.’ So they end up playing,” Reilly told the publication.

The trio reportedly came across a hole with a big pond. Virtue and his son both hit their balls onto the putting green, while Trump hit his ball into the water.

But, Trump then reportedly rushed ahead and decided that the 10-year-old’s ball was his and his caddy then backed him up. The story was first reported in Golf Magazine, but Mr Reilly claimed he was able to verify with at least two other club members.


When he ‘almost tied with Tiger Woods’

He played with the greatest golfer ever, Tiger WoodsKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

According to Reilly, Trump once played against golf legend Tiger Woods and claimed that he came close to beating him – despite the fact he hit his ball in the hazard more than once.

“He tried to cheat Tiger Woods in a match… [Trump] hits two balls in the water, doesn’t count either, and pretends that he almost tied Tiger Woods,” he told CNN.


Winning tournaments without even turning up

Sometimes, he doesn’t even bother appearing in person before declaring himself the winner of golf tournaments.

Michael Bamberger previously reported that Trump won the 2018 club championship at West Palm Beach club, which he owns, without even playing in the tournament.


That's one way of doing it, we suppose.When he ‘shot in the low 70s’ at one of the toughest courses in the US

Appearing on Fox Sports Radio a few years back, Trump said that he had shot “low 70s, quite a bit” around Winged Foot in New York. “I’ve been a member there a long time. I could do pretty well,” he added.

Winged Foot is notorious for being one of the toughest courses in the US. The winner of the 2006 US Open held there, Geoff Ogilvy, won the tournament by shooting rounds of 71, 70, 72, and 72. Bryson DeChambau then won the tournament there in 2020 by shooting 69, 68, 70, 67, which gives an indication of just how hard it is.

Reilly’s book also mentions that caddies at Winged Foot are said to refer to the president as “Pelé” because he kicks the ball around the course like the Brazilian football icon.

Safe to say, we’re sceptical.


His record in ‘club championships’

It helps when you own your own golf courses, we guessCliff Hawkins/Getty Images

This isn’t so much of an accusation as an admission from the former president.

Trump claims to have won 18 club championships. According to the New Yorker, though, he also happens to own the courses himself and is said to have essentially admitted that the ‘championships’ mean next to nothing.

He reportedly told Reilly: “Whenever I open a new golf course, I play the official opening round and then I just call that the first club championship. There you go! I’m the first club champion!"

Indy100 has reached out to Trump's representatives for comment.

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