Donald Trump’s reputation on the golf course is taking a major hit.
A new book from sportswriter Rick Reilly explores the president’s relationship with golf, his favorite physical activity. Trump has long been known for his golfing skills and his love of the game, as golf courses are also one of the biggest holdings for his real estate company. But as Reilly found in extensive interviews with former golf partners of the president, Donald Trump isn’t exactly upstanding when it comes to playing by the rules.
As the New York Post noted, Trump is actually known as something of a notorious cheat on the golf course.
“To say ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims,'” Reilly wrote in an excerpt published by the New York Post.
“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.”
According to the book, Trump isn’t exactly subtle about his cheating at golf. The book noted that Trump has claimed a handicap of 2.8, which is almost impossibly low. For example, legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus has a handicap of 3.4.
This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has been accused of cheating at golf. In early 2018, the USA Today even compiled a list of interviews with former golf partners who told tales of Trump’s cheating on the golf course. That included Samuel L. Jackson, who had a very telling answer when asked if he was a better golfer than Trump.
“Oh yeah, I am for sure,” Jackson said. “I don’t cheat.”
Others said that Trump enlists his caddy to assist with the cheating, as the caddy conveniently “finds” balls Trump appeared to hit well off the fairway — and they always happen to be in advantageous spots.
Donald Trump’s golfing has also been a source of controversy throughout his presidency. Trump said frequently during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would not have time to golf if he won the election, and also frequently attacked Barack Obama for his golfing trips. But since moving into the White House, Trump has gone golfing at a rate much higher than any previous president.
⛳️ Made up his handicap, which is lower than Jack Nicklaus'.
⛳️ Takes mulligans without asking—doesn't count them.
⛳️ Has caddy pretend to find his balls when lost.
⛳️ Secretly throws opponents' balls off green.
⛳️ Has caddy relocate his balls to fairway. https://t.co/bzwd2WWomP
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 30, 2019
Trump’s golf trips have also become quite costly, with a recent analysis from the Government Accountability Office report finding that each golfing trip for Donald Trump costs taxpayers about $3 million. That puts the total bill to taxpayers for Trump’s golf trip at over $100 million.