Donald Trump's Golf Scores Hacked, False Scores Added to USGA Website

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2019

Golfer Natalie Gulbis, right, watches as President Donald Trump swings a golf club during White House Sports and Fitness Day on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Four scores were entered into the USGA's Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) under the profile of United States President Donald Trump by a hacker Friday.

Eamon Lynch and Bill Speros of Golfweek reported Saturday the fake scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102 were posted using Trump National Golf Club Westchester in New York, Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach in Florida and Cochise Golf Course in Arizona as the round locations.

Trump is an avid golfer who's made 175 visits to golf clubs, including the Mar-a-Lago Club he owns in Florida, with an estimated 82 rounds played since his January 2017 inauguration, according to Trump Golf Count.

Since the scores were posted through typical GHIN protocol, it appears the hacker was able to obtain Trump's log-in information, per Lynch and Speros.

The Golfweek article notes an outstanding score of 68 was also posted Wednesday before getting removed.

"We have become aware of reports in the media questioning recent scores posted on President Trump's GHIN account. As we dug into the data it appears someone has erroneously posted a number of scores on behalf of the GHIN user," USGA managing director of communications Craig Annis said. "We are taking corrective action to remove the scores and partnering with our allied golf associations, and their member clubs, to determine the origin of the issue."

Trump's reported success on the golf course—he carried a 2.8 handicap before the fake scores were posted to GHIN—has been frequently challenged.

Longtime sportswriter Rick Reilly penned Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, a book released in April with stories detailing the businessman's loose interpretation of the rules.

"Trump doesn't just cheat at golf. He cheats like a three-card Monte dealer. He throws it, boots it, and moves it. He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs," Reilly wrote. "At Winged Foot, where Trump is a member, the caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back onto the fairway they came up with a nickname for him: 'Pele.'"

A score of 96 posted in October 2018 is the only other one on his GHIN profile since he became the 45th president, but Golfweek noted "the veracity of that too has been called into question."