President Donald Trump, who’s spending the weekend at his tropical White House in Palm Beach, made the brief trip this morning from Mar-a-Lago to his Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach.
The White House hasn’t revealed whether Trump — ranked the 12th best politician-golfer by Golf Digest last year — is playing today on his Jim Fazio-designed course.
“We’ve been told he will be having meetings and phone calls before returning to Mar-a-Lago…expect to be holding for a few hours,” said a press pool report this morning.
If Trump is playing, it will apparently be his ninth golf outing as president. The figure is not certain because the White House rarely confirms when Trump is golfing. That’s probably out of sensitivity to Trump’s frequent criticism, when he was a private citizen, of former President Barack Obama‘s golf habits.
Obama golfed 333 times as president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who is considered the foremost authority on presidential scheduling.
Obama golfed at a rate of once for every 8.8 days he was in office. Today is the 58th day of Trump’s presidency. If it is indeed his ninth golf outing, that’s a rate of once every 6.4 days.
“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said at one campaign rally in Virginia last August.
Here’s a rundown of previous occasions where President Trump appeared to be playing golf:
• Feb. 4 – Arrived at Trump International Golf Club at 9:33 a.m., left at 2:05 p.m. wearing golf hat and golf shirt.
• Feb. 5 — Arrived at Trump International at 9:27 a.m., left at 2 p.m. wearing golf hat and golf shirt. According to a pool report that day, “the White House shares that while at the Trump International Golf Club, he has had meetings and may play a few holes of golf.”
• Feb. 11 — Arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter at 9:26 a.m. with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Also joined on the course by two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els. Trump and Abe left the club after playing 18 holes at about 1:30 p.m.
Trump and Abe then visited Trump International and, according to a New York Times report, played another nine holes.
• Feb. 12 – Arrived at Trump International at 8:31 a.m., left at 1:49 p.m., appeared to be wearing a golf shirt in the limo ride back to Mar-a-Lago.
• Feb. 18 – Arrived at Trump International at 8:51 a.m., left at 1:16 p.m. Asked the next day if Trump played golf during the 4½-hour visit to the golf club, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “I do believe he played a couple of holes.”
• Feb. 19 — Arrived at Trump International at 8:58 a.m., left at 2:25 p.m. Spokeswoman Sanders: “I know he played a couple of holes this morning, but I’m not going to disclose any of the others that were there.” Golf blog NoLayingUp.com later revealed Trump played 18 holes with four-time major champion Rory McIlroy.
After the McIlroy news, Sanders said the president “intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer. He also had a full day of meetings, calls and interviews for the new NSA (national security adviser…”
• March 4 — After unleashing a series of early morning tweets accusing Obama of wiretapping him, the president arrived at Trump International at 9:26 a.m. and left at 1:05 p.m. wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and golf shirt. The White House said the president was conducting meetings, taking phone calls and that he “might hit a few balls.”
• March 5 — Arrived at Trump International at 9:02 a.m. and departed at 12:48 a.m. The White House didn’t confirm whether the president played golf during his nearly four hours at the course.