David Dayen: Nothing Trump said was true
He always hits first, never mind who won the last hole, and then jumps in his Super Mario Kart with his caddy and peels off before you’ve even hit, the better to be 150 yards ahead of you so the two of them can foozle, fudge, and foot-wedge in private.
He plays only at clubs with his name on them and only with caddies who love his $200-a-round tips.
He plays only in those awful two-sizes-too-small cotton Dockers with the 1995 pleats. (Does he own golf shirts in any other color than white?) He plays only with rich people, and almost entirely with men, and not one Democratic member of Congress yet.
It stinks because we were finally getting somewhere with golf. It used to be an elitist game, until the 1960s, when a public-school hunk named Arnold Palmer brought it to the mailmen and the manicurists. Then an Army vet’s kid named Tiger Woods brought it to people of color all over the world. We had ultracool golfers like Woods, Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy, and pants that don’t look like somebody shot your couch, and we’d gotten the average round of golf down to $35, according to the National Golf Foundation.
We were finally making the game cool and healthy and welcoming, and along comes Trump, elbowing his way into the front of every camera and hurling my sport backwards 50 years to its snobby roots.
Franklin Foer: An interlude of moral clarity
That’s not just talk. That’s what Trump wants. “I’d like to see golf be an aspirational sport,” Trump told Golf Digest once, “where you aspire to join a club someday, you want to play, you go out and become successful.”
Hey, middle class, your president doesn’t think you deserve golf. Care to try pickleball?
My book is called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump. So how does golf explain Trump’s presidency? Well …
If Trump will cheat to win $20 from his friends, is it that much further to believe he’d cheat to lower his taxes, win an election, sway an investigation?
If Trump will lie and say one of his courses is worth $50 million while at the same time suing the local tax board for valuing it at more than $2 million—we feel you, Ossining, New York—is it that much further to think he might lie about his taxes, his fixer, his affairs?
I used to have a coach who said, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” It’s true.
Politics: Trump says his father was born in Germany. (He wasn’t.) He insisted he said “Tim Cook Apple.” (He didn’t.) He says he gave Puerto Rico $91 billion. (It was $11 billion.)
Golf: Trump says he’s won 20 club championships. (He hasn’t.) The truth is, he played a lot of those “championships” by himself, the first day his latest course opened, and declared himself the champ. How do I know? He told me the day we played together in the early 2000s.
Read: The mind of Donald Trump