Barack Obama, John Boehner and the Top 25 Politician Golfers Ever

John BurkeContributor IMarch 2, 2011

Barack Obama, John Boehner and the Top 25 Politician Golfers Ever

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    Photo Courtesy or Reuters

    Everyone enjoys a nice, relaxing day on the golf course. 

    That includes politicians.

    And even though many of them receive criticism for the time they spend on the links, their love for the game is enough to bring them back.

    On top of that many politicians agree that the only time they can talk and joke with members of the opposing party is when they are on the golf course.

    So if the golf course is the place where a little bi-partisanship happens, so be it.

    I say, let them spend more time chasing the little white ball!

Barack Obama

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    President Obama has taken more than his fair share of flack for spending time on the links.

    Whether you agree with his policies or not, Mr. President deserves his own time to relax and try to step away from the most stressful job the world.

    After all, it cannot be easy to lead to free world.

    And although the lefty plays hoops more than golf, President Obama still plays a few rounds now and then.

    Lets just hope his golf game is as good as his speeches are inspiring.

John Boehner

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    Photo courtesy of Golf Digest

    No one will every accuse John Boehner of not loving golf. 

    In his latest campaign, Boehner's opponents even put out a political advertisement attacking Boehner for the time and money he spent on golf and golf-related activities.

    A frequent player in Pro-Ams, the House Republican leader from Ohio plays to about a six handicap.

Bill Clinton

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    Another President, another golfer. 

    Former President Bill Clinton says, "I like it for the same reason a lot of other busy people don't: I like it because it takes so much time."

    Clinton, who plays to a 12 handicap, says dream foursome includes "Lincoln and the two Roosevelts." 

Anthony Kennedy

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    Photo Courtesy of Palm Beach Post

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is known more for making ground-breaking decisions in the courtroom.

    But did you know that he is able to read putts that break to the right and to the left? 

George H. W. Bush

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    Photo Courtesy of NY Daily News

    Former President George H. W. Bush did arguably the most for the game of golf than any other President.

    Consequently, President Bush was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement Category.

    In 1996, President Bush was an honorary chairman of the President's Cup. Since then he has been in attendance at every President's Cup.

Joe Biden

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    Considering Vice President Joe Biden only started playing golf 10 or so years ago, he carries a pretty good stick. 

    Biden, who plays to an eight handicap, is often seen playing with his co-worker President Obama. 

John Paul Stevens

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    John Paul Stevens just recently retired from the Supreme Court. He was the third longest-service Supreme Court Justice in the history of the court.

    And while many say Stevens' key to longevity was ability to find common ground, I beg to differ.

    Clearly the key to his longevity was golf and his 25 handicap. 

Condoleezza Rice

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    Photo Courtesy of The Washington Post

    Rice first picked up the game in 2005 and from her first swings, she was hooked on the game. 

    Rice would play on Sunday afternoons when she worked in the White House, sometimes with former boss President George Bush.

    And while currently her handicap is in the low 20's, Rice is working hard to get it into the single digits. 

George W. Bush

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    President Bush first followed in his father's footsteps to the presidency. 

    Now, he is following in his footsteps again.

    This time President George W. Bush is being named an Honorary Chair of the First Tee program, a role his father, Bush Sr., served for many years.

John Yarmuth

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    Who?

    Exactly. I had never heard of him. That was until I checked the Golf Digest rankings of the 200 best political golfers.

    There in a tie for second was John Yarmuth.

    Yarmuth, a Democrat from Kentucky, carries a +0.5 index!

Lyndon B. Johnson

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    Former President Lyndon B. Johnson played golf. 

    But unlike current president Obama, President Johnson played golf for political reasons.

    In 1964, President Johnson played with Senators in order to garner support for the Civil Rights Act. 

Dan Quayle

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    Dan Quayle is a seven handicap. 

    Quayle fell in love with the game at the age of eight, and since then has found moderate success on the links.

    He captained his college golf team at DePauw and got his handicap down to scratch.

    Since the, however, Quayle has struggled a bit. He had back surgery in 2004 and has been struggling with golf as a result. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton

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    Former First Lady and current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton plays golf too!

    That being said, Clinton often played to please her husband Bill Clinton, usually only playing a couple of times a year.

Rudy Giuliani

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    Former New York Mayor and presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani has been playing golf for many years. 

    Sometimes for political methods, sometimes for fun, Giuliani found the game a way to bond with his son Andrew Giuliani. 

    You may have heard of Andrew as he was a contestant on The Golf Channel's Big Break and also filed a lawsuit against Duke University after being kicked off the golf team. 

Dwight Eisenhower

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    Photo Courtesy of SportsIllustrated.com

    "Ike" played more than 800 rounds during his years as President. He was also lucky enough to play a majority of those rounds at Augusta National. 

    Eisenhower is responsible for making the game very, very popular in America. Ike was also smart enough to team with Arnold Palmer (who became prominent during Ike's second term) in order to broaden the game's appeal to an even larger audience. 

    Eisenhower also had a golf green installed in the White House so he could always be working on his game. 

William Howard Taft

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    President Taft was the first president to seemingly want the American public to be aware of his love for the game.

    He often held exhibitions against high profile men, many of which were covered by the American press. 

    Little known fact: President Taft holds a course record at Kebo Valley Golf Club after carding a 27 on the 17th hole. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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    FDR never played a round of golf as President. The reason being was his battle with polio did not allow for the game. 

    In his younger days, FDR was an excellent golfer who won the club championship at Campobello Golf Club. 

    He is also responsible for building many golf courses as part of public-works projects as president.

John F. Kennedy

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    JFK was hurt by his predecessor's, Dwight Eisenhower, love for the game.

    Many viewed golf as a liability for the president, so JFK did not play often.

    That said, the few who watched him play said he could have easily been a low handicap if gave the time and energy to the game. 

Gerald Ford

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    Gerald Ford brought a very decent golf game to the White House.

    A former college athlete, Ford knew his way around sports.

    Once out driving Arnold Palmer in a ceremonial drive, Ford could hit the ball a mile. 

    Unfortunately, Ford could not find a way to keep the ball on the course. 

Ronald Reagan

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    Before Ronald Reagan became President, he spent many hours playing golf.

    It is said he was a decent golfer, but President Reagan never played in office.

    The one exception to that was on New Year's Eve, when he would play one round at a private course in California.

Richard Nixon

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    President Nixon first started to play golf while Vice President to appease his boss Dwight Eisenhower.

    The problem was he was never very good.

    Nixon did not let that stand in his way, often dedicating many hours to becoming better.

    But like all presidents, Nixon simply did not have much time to play. 

Woodrow Wilson

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    President WIlson played the most rounds during his tenure as president.

    Playing nearly everyday, President Wilson played more than 1,000 rounds during his presidency. 

    Despite all of this, he never became a very good golfer. 

Mark Udall

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    Mark Udall, a Democratic Representative from Colorado, has one of the lowest handicaps in the House.

    At only 2.5, Udall's handicap puts him amongst the golfing elite in Washington.

Tom DeLay

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    Tom DeLay, the former House of Representatives majority leader, has spent a lot of time on the course.

    So much so, that DeLay was often attacked by opponents during election season.

    Those attacks did not stop Delay. He could often be seen on the course playing with President George W.  Bush. 

Mike Ferguson

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    It may be sad but in today's world of politics, the only place where Democrats and Republicans can come together is on the golf course.

    Mike Ferguson, a Republican representative from New Jersey, paired with another representative to have a hitting net installed in the gym that representatives can use.

    Now, that is dedication!