President Joe Biden played golf for the first time in his presidency on Saturday, taking a note from his golf-obsessed predecessor Donald Trump and hitting the fairways in his hometown of Wilmington.
Around lunchtime, the Democrat motorcade rolled into the Wilmington Country Club for an unannounced outing. Members of the private, upscale club paused between swings and putts to watch, with some pulling out their cellphones to record the spectacle.
The president appeared to be riding in a mini-motorcade of half a dozen golf carts across a wide grassy fairway, but reporters accompanying Biden were unable to see him play.
Biden’s playing mates, according to the White House, were Ron Olivere, Biden’s late son Beau’s father-in-law, and senior advisor Steve Ricchetti.
It was not only the first time Biden had dedicated a day to golf since taking over from Trump in January, but it was also undoubtedly the first time many Americans knew he played at all.
In comparison to the publicly boastful Trump, who not only played as much as possible while in the White House but also owned the courses he used, Biden has kept his golfing skills largely hidden.
In reality, Biden is said to be a great golfer. Although some former Republican critics have argued the rating was exaggerated, Golf Digest listed him as having an impressive six handicap when he was vice president under Barack Obama.
Biden’s return to the game follows a hectic week in which he announced sanctions against Russia, met with Japan’s prime minister at the White House, and sparked controversy with an ill-advised effort to describe his refugee policy.
However, with coronavirus vaccine rollouts on track and a 59 percent approval rate in a Pew survey, Biden may have thought it was time to relax.
Golf is a presidential tradition that dates back decades, making it the ultimate power game in Washington.
During his four-year tenure, Trump played 300 times, always at one of his own golf courses, which was nearly twice the pace at which his predecessor, Barack Obama, played.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN