Donald Trump: The Phantom ‘Cheating’ Golfer?

by Daryl Symonds

2017 has been an amazing year for golf. From the rise of USAs Justin Thomas to Sergio’s maiden major at Augusta. One event that was a pleasure to watch (even coming from a European) was witnessing the USA retain their title in style against Nick Price’s International side at the Presidents Cup. Team USA were simply amazing for the first two days; a real pleasure to watch and an insight for next years Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.

To close out the tournament, the President of the United States is invited to present the trophy to the winning captain. Unless you’ve been in hiding for the past year you will of course know that this is Donald Trump.



In the golf industry, we’d known of The Donald for a long time prior to the controversial and shock presidential appointment.

10 years ago, I watched Donald Trump receive a ‘Stone-Cold-Steve-Austin Stunner’ in scripted Wrestling (if you need a laugh, watch the entertaining clip on YouTube) and now, by the power of money, he’s presenting Steve Stricker and team USA with the Presidents Cup.

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Trump has long been associated with golf, and a few tales have arisen as to whether he’s any good at the game or not… He describes himself as a man of accomplishment and success in virtually every industry; including a skill set in Golf (one of the most self proclaimed talents of the US President).

Supposedly an Eighteen-time Club Champion, Trump, a few years back invited Samuel L Jackson to play on one of his golf courses along with fellow actor, Anthony Anderson.

Appearing on the Late Night show with host Seth Meyers, Jackson claimed (and later Anderson) that the presidents caddie was miraculously finding balls that had disappeared deep into water hazards.

Now, if you’ve not played in the states, we’re not talking ponds with 2 ducks and a lily pad like the UK, we’re talking water hazards the 5 great lakes would be proud of.

On the show Jackson said “Yeah, I’ve met him a lot! I’ve played golf with him. I actually played golf with him and Anthony Anderson one day we were all playing golf together, and we clearly saw him hit a ball into a lake at Trump National in Jersey – and his caddy told him he’d found it.”

Never far from a controversial tweet, President Trump (during his campaign) responded to the fellow golf nut and Hollywood icon Jackson, starting a twitter spat.

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Trump has also been accused of cheating by rock legend Alice Cooper, to which he responded ”I do not know Alice Cooper and have never played golf with him, that’s a terrible thing to say about people, especially me”.

In a world dominated by social media, I find it incredibly hard to comprehend how someone with so much public attention, can so confidently deny that he had ever played golf with these celebrities. Especially considering there is photographic evidence, YouTube videos, endless Twitter conversations, Facebook posts and much more to back up the various claims made.

In early 2017, Trump again found himself in the spotlight though this time for his golfing etiquette when he drove his golf cart (buggy) onto and across the green that he and his playing partners has just completed.

Any golfer whether young or new to the game is taught that this is something highly frowned upon – I’ve thrown people off a golf course for doing the same back in my pro-shop days.

WARNING: greenskeepers may wish to look away…

Trump Golf currently has 19 golf courses worldwide, so sadly The Donald won’t be leaving any time soon.

From Scotland to Palm Beach, Los Angeles to Dubai, the Trump brand has acquired courses in all climates, offering world class service and facilities that come at a hefty fee.


Trump boasts of making great deals, but financial reports tell another story. British government reports that he lost millions of dollars for three consecutive years on recent large golf investments in Scotland.

A report from Companies House showed total losses of £17.6 million across two Scottish golf resorts in 2016.


As I write this in October 2017, 18 holes at the historic Open venue Turnberry – will cost you and one friend the heart wrenching sum of £650 under the current hands of Trump.

A lack of respect for the course, blatant cheating and responsibility for the increasing green fees at heritage courses worldwide, it seems to me that making golf great again, doesn’t involve Donald Trump.