Which President Played the Most Golf? You Might Be Surprised

Last Updated on May 15, 2022 by

Woodrow Wilson was one of the most enthusiastic golf players to ever become a president during his time in office, having been noted for playing more rounds than any previous presidents combined–a total of 1,200 during his 6-year term in office!

Presidents are not only too busy to play golf, they are also prone to a lot of stress. There is no question that being a president and prone to stress go hand in hand. Part of this may stem from having to maintain relationships with other high profile individuals as part of their job.

There are many excuses that people use to take some time off in their busy schedules every now and again. One of the more famous ones is getting away because a stressful job is mentally draining when you’re trying to make all the decisions. 

A golf course can be a wonderful place for escape because it provides more opportunity than one may realize at first glance to relax without having to go too far from home or the office. The popularity of this game amongst presidents remains unclear, and the history behind them has been sporadic throughout different decades. 

If you have ever wondered if your favorite U.S. president follows your sport of choice, it’s time to find out! In this article, we’ll take a look at the top ten presidents that played the most golf.

1. Woodrow Wilson 

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson played more golf than any other President. While he was the president, Wilson was able to enjoy playing golf more than 1200 rounds – actually that’s more than three times a week. Even though he wasn’t very good at golf, earned the nickname ‘Old Four Eyes’, and he didn’t care much for his advisors telling him the game took too much of his time away from his job as president, Wilson continued to play everyday.

Golf makes Wilson happy. And he could be found on the course all the time – just without much skill or talent. As you might’ve guessed, Wilson wasn’t exactly passionate about this sport and thus wasn’t able to really master it even after so many rounds of golf over such a short period of time. You see, his lack of passion for the game lead to him taking up golf as a hobby without giving it the love and attention that true fans of the sport would undoubtedly give it every single chance they had; this ultimately resulted in Wilson playing from season to season with no consistent practice whatsoever – which is something an avid fan must never do!

Several accused Wilson of being too occupied with golf during his presidency. In fact, while the rest of the country was declaring war against Germany, Wilson reportedly headed out to play a round at Burning Tree Golf Club. Some biographers claim golf was the only thing that kept him sane – since managing the pressure of his job and maintaining his responsibilities as a national leader weren’t always easy feats to achieve.

While Wilson might not be carrying a super-low handicap with him from his golfing days, he was a decent player and the course he designed at the Burning Tree Golf Club ranks as one of his greatest achievements. More than 100 years after its construction, Wilson also has an award named in his honor handed out annually by USGA to individuals that have provided significant impact on the game of golf. The fact that many other Presidents took up the game has only served to grow its popularity over time – would Wilson have done any better if you gave him more time on the links using modern equipment?

2. Dwight Eisenhower

Eisenhower was one of the people who made a huge impact on the history of Golf. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1999 for contributions to the development of golf worldwide, through such efforts as installing a putting green on White House grounds; prior to his Presidency, there had never been an official green on White House grounds before then. Let’s take a moment to honor our beloved former President and many others who have helped make Golf what it is today!

Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, Kansas, which happens to be Dwight Eisenhower’s birthplace. However, Eisenhower didn’t grow up playing the game of golf. In fact, he was 35 years old as a lieutenant when he took up the sport of golf. He became a notable athlete at the time, quickly mastering his swing and using it effectively in competition.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a golfer and avid fan of Arnold Palmer, who at the time was one of the most popular players in the game. During Eisenhower’s two terms, golf did become more accessible to the common person but the sport still had a way to go before reaching a level of popularity that it has today. Toward the end of his presidency, Eisenhower introduced (then-Lieutenant General) Colin Powell to another famous golfer named Jack Nicklaus. The three often played together during their days off and eventually Powell became an avid fan himself.

3. John F Kennedy

John F Kennedy

While President John F. Kennedy is known for not playing many games of golf, he was known for his excellent golf swing! The former president excelled in sports at Harvard, and despite enduring a sickly back which even led to him undergoing surgery in 1956, his form when striking the ball shows how he protected himself from unnecessary damage by controlling his lower body while maintaining an upright stance during impact. This allowed him to make full use of powerful upper-body movement during each swing. You can see this in some footage of historical tape where he’s shown hitting at the presidential retreat on Cape Cod.

JFK did not golf during his presidency because he didn’t want to be seen as focused on leisure and not on the people of America. If only his back had been better, then perhaps he would have found the time to walk a few rounds of golf and eventually become a single handicap player.

4. Barack Obama 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama loves playing golf. While he was in office, he played more than three hundred rounds of golf. When the 44th president hit the links, people started to get pretty ticked off because it makes the president seem detached and disinterested when he doesn’t devote his full attention to running this country.

Barack Obama is an enthusiastic golfer who spent his spare time on the links with friends and established contacts. As President of the USA, he was often seen out and about at his beloved game. President Obama likes to play golf so much that he plays regularly now too since he is no longer in charge – perhaps even more so!

The president used to enjoy his occasional golf outings even though he usually shot around a 20 handicap rather than under par,. However, because he was much better at golf than most presidents, people would often wonder if there wasn’t something fishy about that game. As you’ll see with number five on our list of presidential golfing blunders, holding a handicap much lower than the average golfer in America can actually be detrimental to the reputation of this gentleman’s favorite game.

Conclusion

Golfing is a sport where Presidents and national leaders can find themselves spending a lot of their time. These true golfers act as role models for the rest of us because after all, who doesn’t wish to take a few minutes away from the office, or even home for that matter, and step into the office with a powerful putt that leaves all those around you speechless?

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