I love golf, but there are days when golf doesn’t love me back. There are days when golf hates me the way cats hate a bath, the way pigeons hate a clean statue, the way Olbermann hates Limbaugh and everyone hates Olbermann.
Those are the kind of days when you need a scoring pencil with two erasers. The kind of days when even the hand-wedge can’t get you out of a trap. Days when “bogie” sounds as pretty as Ingrid Bergman.
So I was wondering: How do the golfing presidents stack up?
It turns out Bush 41 was the best among modern golfing presidents, ranked 5th by Golf Digest.
Bush 43 is next at 6th, followed by Clinton (7th) and Obama (8th).
But these scores are as speculative as a sandbagger’s handicap.
For example, Golf Digest ranked the top four as: JFK, Ike, Ford and Roosevelt.
But wait a minute — wasn’t Roosevelt in a wheelchair? How could he be a better golfing president than Nixon, who ranked 13th, or Reagan, who ranked 9th? How could Bush 43 not be better than his Dad, who played like he was late for dinner and often picked up his ball on the 18th to avoid an incriminating scorecard? No way.
Besides, nobody really knows the score. Eisenhower, who played as many as 100 rounds a year, once said, “If I don’t improve, I’m going to pass a law that nobody can ask me for my score.”
And that’s pretty much the rule: According to ”Ike’s law,” the only secret anyone keeps in the White House is the president’s golf score.
So nobody knows Obama’s score. His ranking was apparently based on one golfer who thought he saw Obama hit a drive more than 200 yards. Which is about the same way he won the Nobel Peace Prize — like winning the U.S. Open for making par with three mulligans and a 30-foot gimme.
But here’s what we do know:
President Clinton was famous for his “Billigans” – an unlimited bag of do-overs so he could claim he shot in the 80s when his score was probably well over 100. That pretty much summarizes the imaginative prevarication that wrecked his presidency. ”It all depends on what the definition of par is…”
Bush 43 loved to play golf, but pretty much gave it up in 2003. He did not want to take the chance that some parent would get the news of their son dying in Iraq or Afghanistan while he was out on a golf course. That shows the dignity and character he brought to his presidency.
And since taking office nine months ago, Obama has already spent as much time on the golf course as Bush did. Liberals who usually treat golf like the pariah fat cigar-smoker of sports have no problem with that. Maybe they think it’s part of his economic stimulus plan to bailout golf courses.
I don’t have a problem with it, either. Presidents work hard. They are entitled to some recreation — without dragging along a gallery of reporters.
But seeing Obama on a golf course while young men are dying in Afghanistan and he can’t make up his mind to send them the troops their generals are begging for — well, yeah, Bush was right, it looks callous and clueless.
And I wonder: When Obama misses a putt, shanks an iron or slices a tee shot – does he blame it on Bush or Fox News?