In golf, as in business & politics, Mr Trump tramples on norms, kicks over trace of the facts


My father, a surgeon in India, played golf for half of his long life so Sports Illustrated’s portrait of Donald Trump’s golf game strikes a chord. A memory chord. (Click here to read the whole piece. Or just carry on below.)

Golfers must be gentlemen (or gentle ladies) in the way they keep their score because they traverse the course mostly on their own. And a golfer plays the game just as he works, relaxes, lives life as a whole. His mindset and general attitude to the world drives the game. Dana Milbank quotes the famous 20th-century golf pro and instructor Percy Boomer in The Washington Post to say the game reveals much about the man. “If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf,” Boomer said.

What then to make of Mr Trump as seen through his golf game? It is described by Sports Illustrated as follows: “Trump will sometimes respond to a shot he duffed by simply playing a second ball and carrying on as if the first shot never happened. In the parlance of the game, Trump takes floating mulligans, usually more than one during a round. Because of them it is impossible to say what he has actually shot on any given day, according to 18 people who have teed it up with Trump over the last decade.”

This is patently superfluous for, as Sports Illustrated writes, Mr Trump is easily the best golfer ever to occupy the White House. He has no need to trample on the traditions of the game just to make himself feel and look better.

But in paying no heed to the rules (and norms) of golf, Mr Trump is simply replicating his behaviour in business and politics.