Donald Trump has long been known as one of the most notorious golf cheats, but a new story seems to sink to cartoonish lows and has the internet in quite a tizzy.
The story was recounted in sportswriter Rick Reilly’s new book, Commander in Cheat, which explores Trump’s long history of cheating at golf. While these stories have been floating around for decades, the book describes one that actually took place more than a year after Trump took office as president and came after a perceived slight to Trump for not winning his own club’s championship.
As Vox reported, Trump had missed the club championship at his company’s Trump International court in Florida — one of his near-weekly haunts when the club is in season — because he was at the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump later ran into Ted Virtue, a wealthy investor who had actually won the championship, at a golf course. Even though Virtue was playing with his son (who was either 10 or 11 at the time), Trump insisted that they play six holes to determine the “real” winner of the club championship.
Virtue politely declined, saying that he was already playing with his son, but Trump insisted and said that the boy could play with them as well. When they approached a hole with a pond around the green, Trump hit his ball into the water while Virtue and his son reached the green. But Trump simply ignored his own errant shot and played the young boy’s ball instead.
The boy tried to point out to the president of the United States that it was actually his ball, but Trump’s caddie stepped in.
“No, this is the president’s ball; your ball went in the water,” the man insisted to the two, who had just watched Trump hit his ball into the water. “This is the president’s ball. I don’t know what to tell you.”
The story has created quite a stir on social media, with many mocking Trump for something that seemed more befitting a villain from a children’s movie. The Trump-needling Democratic Coalition called him #DonTheCon in a tweet about the story, while others seemed incredulous at the claims.
Donald Trump apparently never relented about the incident. As Golf.com reported, Trump had the club put up a plaque at his locker saying he had won the championship. It made no mention of Ted Virtue.