The US president that played the most golf is Woodrow Wilson, with a staggering 1200 rounds of golf while in office.
As the head golf instructor at Tell Me More Golf, in this article, I will cover the US presidents that played the most golf. Measuring exactly how many rounds of golf a president played while in office is hard to measure, but the general numbers are nonetheless interesting to look at.
Fully accurate numbers are not available, especially with older presidents who weren’t closely monitored with their recreational activities. This list is meant to give you an idea of the presidents that played the most golf, but the exact order could slightly differ.
Presidents Ranked by Rounds of Golf (During Presidency)
The amount of golf played by presidents is something that interests many, and especially golfers. Calculating exact numbers is extremely challenging, as there is no official tracking. However, this list will give you a good idea of which US presidents loved golf the most.
#1. Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson, the president who served during World War 1, is known by many as an avid golf enthusiast. During his presidency, he played around a staggering 1200 rounds of golf, meaning he played several times per week.
This is very impressive considering the time-consuming job as president, and he’s with a great deal of certainty the US president that played the most golf, with the runner-up not being very close.
#2. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was also an avid golfer, and he’s believed to have played a whopping 800 rounds of golf while in office. Eisenhower was reportedly a pretty good golfer who could break 80, and he’s famous for bringing golf to the White House’s lawn.
Eisenhower is a part of the World Golf Hall of Fame, which is a spot he earned by helping grow the game throughout his presidency.
#3. Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon is another president that played perhaps too much golf. He’s believed to have also played around 800 rounds of golf during his presidency, which is very impressive.
Nixon was thought of as an okay good golfer, and he was a strong advocate for using golf to improve relations with other politicians and nations. However, nobody knows whether or not Nixon made this up to have a good reason to get out on the golf course, which is something we’d definitely understand.
#4. Bill Clinton
At number four on our list we have Bill Clinton, who is another president with a strong interest in golf. While in office, Bill Clinton is believed to have played approximately 400 rounds of golf.
Clinton reportedly had a handicap of around 12 when his presidency ended, and he said that his golf game actually improved while he was in office. Like Nixon, one of the reasons why Bill Clinton played golf was to strengthen his relations with other people.
#5. Barack Obama
Barack Obama is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about presidents, but his great golf interest has gone relatively under the radar. While Obama was president, he played around 330 rounds of golf over his two terms. This makes him one of the most frequently golfing presidents ever, especially in recent times.
Many may not know that Obama actually played more golf than Trump did while in office. However, this can easily be explained by the fact that Obama served for twice as long.
#6. Donald Trump
Former president Donald Trump is known by many as an extreme golf enthusiast, which could explain why he owns so many golf courses and plays so much. He is reported to have played around 285 rounds of golf during his four years as president.
Trump played more frequently than his predecessor Obama, but the total rounds of golf are less due to the fact he only served one term, compared to Obama’s two. Trump’s handicap of 3 is also the lowest for any president.
As mentioned, Trump is partly known for the large number of golf courses he owns. Some notable golf clubs in Trump’s possession are Trump National Bedminister, Trump International West Palm Beach, and Trump National Washington DC.
#7. George H.W. Bush
When talking about US presidents that loved golf, George H.W. Bush often comes up. How many rounds of golf he played during his time in the White House isn’t sure, but it’s probably not that many. This is the case since he didn’t feel like he had the time to golf because of its slow nature.
However, we still decided to put him on this list as he has a strong golfing background, with his maternal grandfather once being the head of the USGA and founding the famous Walker Cup.
A fun fact is that George H.W. Bush was known as an extremely fast golfer. He rushed through the golf course because he simply felt it made the game the most fun and most manageable for his tight schedule.
#8. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy, one of the most famous presidents in US history, was unfortunately not able to play a lot of golf during his presidency. However, he was known for being an avid golfer that could put up a good score, considering his single-digit handicap.
Kennedy played golf for Harvard’s golf team, and despite having back issues his swing was excellent. And who knows, if Kennedy had been able to play as much golf as Woodrow Wilson, he might have been able to play it on a very high level.
Difficulty Calculating Rounds – Why It’s Hard
The main reason why it’s difficult to calculate the number of rounds of goals US presidents have played is that there is no standardized record-keeping. As a result, there isn’t a database of some sort with comprehensive, detailed, and fully-accurate data on the amount of golf presidents have played.
Instead, we have to rely on information from sources that have kept count, which makes it especially challenging when determining how much old US presidents have played. Golf is also a recreational activity that’s often performed by presidents in private, making the difficulty of calculating the number of rounds even harder.
Amount of Golf Played by Presidents – Why People Care
Especially in recent times, many people critique current and former US presidents because of their golfing interests. With some presidents playing quite a lot, such as Donald Trump, some may say they’re ignoring their duties when they’re out on the golf course instead of inside the Oval Office.
However, it’s important to note that while some presidents have spent less time on the golf course, they might have spent it somewhere similar, like on the tennis court. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if playing golf once a week, or sometimes more, doesn’t enable a president to do their job.
TellMeMoreGolf.com – Frequently Asked Questions
How many rounds of golf did Bush play?
George W. Bush loved golf, but he stopped playing it as soon as the Iraq war started. During his presidency, he’s thought to have played around 24 rounds of golf.
How many rounds of golf did Trump play?
The exact number of how many rounds of golf Trump played during his presidency isn’t available. However, many news sources say that he’s played around 285 times, which is impressive considering he only served one term.
How many rounds of golf did Obama play?
Obama played around 330 rounds of golf during his two terms as president. This definitely puts him as one of the most frequently golfing US presidents. It also means that he played more than Trump, but in reality, he played less as he served as president for twice as long.
How many rounds of golf did Woodrow Wilson play?
Woodrow Wilson is thought by the vast majority as the president who played the most golf. He’s believed to have played around 1200 rounds of golf, making him win the competition of most golf played by a president by a landslide.
Which US president is the best golfer?
With a handicap of around 3, Donald Trump is undoubtedly the best golfer ever residing in the White House. No other president has really come close to this number, which could be explained by the fact that Trump owns many courses and plays a lot.
However, some may say that his handicap isn’t one hundred percent accurate, but whether you believe it or not is up to you to decide.
In this article, we’ve talked about the presidents with the strongest golf interests. Many US presidents have played a lot of golf, but some definitely stand out.
Woodrow Wilson takes the number one place of presidents who played the most golf, with a staggering 1200 rounds played while in office.
Eisenhower and Nixon also played a lot during their presidencies at around 800 rounds, making them also avid golfers but not very close to beating Wilson’s record.