Every Monday night, lucky golfers across the planet are graced with the presence of self-proclaimed New York City Royalty.
The Golf Channel runs a dopey series each week, featuring Donald Trump and his flying entourage of butt-kissers and wanna-be CEO’s playing golf and claiming scores that are difficult to believe.
Last week’s episode was the final straw.
While Trump bragged that he would be the best golfing president this country has ever seen, should he win the 2012 election, we watched Trump pick up a ball and place it next to the cup for a birdie with absolutely nobody saying a thing about it.
And yes I realize that he was doing a joke when he did this, but THE issue is that not a single person playing with, nor watching, whimpered a syllable during the deed.
I also realize I am a nobody when compared to Donald Trump, and this is like the peon kicking the spoke wheels of the emperors cart. But I’m getting tired of hearing about how great Donald Trump’s game is when the visual evidence suggests otherwise.
The big question was wondering if the Golf Channel's video editors ambushed Trump during this episode? Or is what we saw representative of his skill level? Does he really miss sand shots by 30 yards?
Assuming what we saw represented the truth, then I’m having a very difficult time buying the claim that Donald Trump is a scratch golfer. Not if those kinds of shots are what he puts out there!
But there's more than just sand shots. Trump's swing mechanics are a train wreck.
The swing is out of balance. Legs are wobbly, the club head is brought back too far to the inside and it returns over-the-top on the way back. Even if the clubhead is squared at contact, what he gives up in distance from reversing his trailing knee during the takeaway would suggest a 200-220 yard drive. If that! Tough to score pars at that distance, unless you're teeing off from the women's tees!
The swing is a mess. Especially for someone who likes to be on TV as much as Donald Trump does!
Yes I know Hank Haney was fairly easy on the Trumpster in this week’s episode, as he watched video from afar. But like everyone else that comes into contact with Mr. Trump and his private jets, Mr Haney seemed a bit intimidated and thus reluctant to tell it like it is.
Perhaps because during the episode, Trump declared that "he doesn’t care about golf mechanics and doesn’t want to hear about it when would-be golf instructors point out errors in his swing."
If that's the case, then how did he become as accomplished a golfer as he claims?
Besides, why would the guy who owns a dozen golf courses and half the planet, care about critiques from those he hired? If they tell him the truth, they’ll be fired.
Well fire me Trump! I dare ya!
See the thing about golf scores, is that scores don't care how much money you make. You can't buy a great score if you're following the rules!
I’ve seen many golf swings in my day, both terrible and polished, being a high school coach out here in Seattle. And Trump's swing with the unsteady lower body, would get him cut from our JV.
It looks a whole lot more like the swing of a 15 – 20 handicap, than it does a scratch.
However, Mr. Trump could always prove me wrong.
All it would take, is playing a live televised event where the network counts your strokes, like they do with every other golfer claiming greatness. Otherwise the majority of golfers will never believe that Trump is anywhere near a scratch golfer! Not with THAT swing!
There are other troubling issues with Trump's love for golf. It's great that he's building new courses and promoting the game. That is indeed terrific for golf. But there's some bad habits being taught to youngsters, that goes against every First Tee and high school golf program in the country!
For example, on the last Trump's Wonderful World of Golf show, one of the members of the new Trump Country-Club course located next to Pine Valley, who was part of the threesome golfing with Trump, whispered to the camera: “There is no waiting when you’re Donald Trump! He hits whenever he wants. We just let him. He doesn’t play by golf’s normal rules of etiquette where the furthest from the hole putts first. He goes when he’s ready.”
Then he giggled and shrugged like a star-struck groupie seeing her first concert.
See here's the thing: If I ever happen to be placed in a foursome with Donald Trump, the sucker is going to wait until the others putt. This isn’t a fiefdom out here on the golf course, this is what is expected of all golfers. It's what golfers who respect the game are willing to do.
Unlike the Pirate movies, golf rules are not suggestions. In golf, playing partners and fans are obligated to call offending golfers on the rules. It's one of the unique features of golf. Fans can actually be, and are required to be, participants in the game when they see a rule violated.
According to rule number 29.3: "If the partners make a stroke or strokes in incorrect order, such stroke or strokes are canceled and the side incurs a penalty of two strokes. The side must correct the error by playing a ball in correct order as nearly as possible at the spot from which it first played in incorrect order (see Rule 20-5). If the side makes a stroke on the next teeing ground without first correcting the error or, in the case of the last hole of the round, leaves the putting green without declaring its intention to correct the error, the side is disqualified."
In golf, there are no special superstar rules like in the NBA. All of us play as equals, with the same rules and etiquette, and we agree to adhere to the rules. Those who fail to enforce the rules, are as guilty as the player who breaks the rules.
Donald Trump’s glitzy show has cameras panning brand new refurbished club houses with portraits of Sam Sneed and Arnold Palmer. The narrator points out that Donald Trump is a detail man, far more involved with all facets of the design and layout that one would expect of someone in his position.
If Trump is indeed a detail man, then he obviously knows that playing out-of-turn is a felony in golf.
The last issue is most troubling of all.
Trump likes to drive around his golf courses in top-of-the-line snoot-mobile golf carts. Why, I cannot tell you, but I suspect it has something to do with impressing his subjects. He says it's because his clubs attract high end guests.
Maybe it will impress casino owners and condo builders, but for most of us hard-core golf nerds, driving gold-plated golf carts will do the opposite.
Those who truly respect the game walk the course. Especially older golfers who are soft from sitting behind desks in skyscrapers!
If you don't believe me, ask your doctor.
One of the great things about golf is that it gets us codgers out of the house and walking, and doing it consistently. This isn't about impressing shallow people.
Nope. This is about your health and living longer. Like most golfers, I'm always far more impressed with ancient bag-carrying golfers, than I am with young punks downing beers in golf carts. Cart-riders send the message that they aren't serious about the game!
The older one gets, the crankier we are, and the less impressed with money most of us tend to be. We're far more impressed with lower cholesterol and skin that doesn't flap in the wind.
So Donald, take it from an old crusty golf coach that routinely preaches all of this to teenagers, long before they are accomplished.
Those who take this game seriously, will learn a ton about life from playing the game the way it has been played for seven centuries. You're never too old or too rich to learn, and this game will teach you about life, but only if you let it.
So if you want to impress folks, and especially golf folks, you'll impress us far more by playing by the same rules the rest of us play, then you will if you claim a lower score while riding around in $10,000 golf carts!
Humbling yourself and yielding to the game is far more impressive than acting like a big shot, when you're already a big shot and have nothing to prove.
Wealthy company owners who act humble, are far more impressive than those who lord their wealth over others and spend their days with a "look at me" agenda.
So if you're not willing to do that, then your claim that you still shoot par obviously doesn't have much of an impact, since it comes across as just another purchase that probably has no credibility horsepower.
Know what I mean?