March 31, 2019

In addition to the $95,000,000 of taxpayer moneys at one of his resorts, Donald Trump has spent an unbelievable 164 days golfing, or over five full months of his 26 months in office.

Turns out, even after spending that much time on the links, Trump has proven Malcolm Gladwell completely wrong: he has to cheat to win.

“To say ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims,'” writes Rick Reilly in the new book “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” (Hachette Book Group), out Tuesday. “He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf … if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.”

Reilly, a former Sports Illustrated columnist who has played with Trump in the past, spoke to dozens of players — both amateur and professional — to recount some of the president’s worst cons on the course, starting with his declared handicap of 2.8.

In layman’s terms, the lower the handicap, the better the player. Jack Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 major golf titles and generally considered the greatest golfer in the history of the game, has a handicap of 3.4.

Nicklaus’ handicap is listed on the same Golf Handicap and Information Network website used by Trump, where players post their scores.

“If Trump is a 2.8,” writes Reilly, “Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.”

Golf pros and celebs alike have said that Trump is blatant about his cheating. "[N]o matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there,” LPGA pro Suzann Pettersen recounts.

And he's not shy about changing the lay of his opponent's ball either. His caddy admitted to ESPN's Mike Tirico that Trump himself threw Tirico's ball off the green into a bunker.

Reilly also says that his scores at the individual club are routinely fudged and made up. But how could you expect anything else of someone with so little personal integrity that he'd lie about his club's historic provenance in a fake Civil War battle?


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