Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump by Rick Reilly

A shamefully delicious exposé on Donald Trump’s longstanding reputation for cheating at golf. Having heard the rumor for many years, sportswriter Rick Reilly spoke with golf professionals and celebrities who have played with the president to see if it was true.

Apparently, it is.

“To say ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims,’” Reilly wrote. “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.”

Let’s start with Trump’s handicap. He claims a handicap of 2.8. That is very low. In fact, it’s lower than Jack Nicklaus’s. “If Trump is a 2.8, Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter,” Reilly wrote.

LPGA player Suzann Pettersen told Reilly she believes Trump’s caddy is in on the cheating. “No matter how far into the woods [Trump] hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there.”

My favorite story was told by ESPN football announcer Mike Tirico. He said that one time, playing with Trump, he hit one of the best shots of his life. “I was convinced it landed close to the green,” he said. But by the time he reached the green, his ball was mysteriously 50 feet to the left of the hole and in a bunker.

He was flummoxed. After the game, Trump’s caddy pulled him aside and said, “You know that shot you hit on the par 5? It was about 10 feet from the hole. Trump threw it in the bunker. I watched him do it.”

I golf once a year with half a dozen high school buddies. Half of them are Trump supporters and are likely to defend him on all political issues. This, however, they could not excuse.