"From what I understand he's actually a pretty good golfer," the former president told Stephen Colbert

By Lindsay Kimble
December 01, 2020 02:03 PM
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President Donald Trump (left) and former President Barack Obama
| Credit: Sean Rayford/Getty; Sean Gallup/Getty

Former President Barack Obama weighed in on President Donald Trump's long-rumored relaxed approach to golf rules and etiquette during an interview this week.

While appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Obama, 59, was asked if he has ever played with Trump, as he has with other former presidents.

"Listen from what I understand he's actually a pretty good golfer," said Obama. He continued, "I understand that shockingly enough, there are sometimes problems with the scoring and whether he's keeping track of his strokes."

The 74-year-old allegedly frequently cheats while playing the sport, as detailed to Rick Reilly, author of Commander in Cheat, by some of his former colleagues and round partners.

Former PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon told Reilly in an adapted excerpt of the book published by Golf magazine that Trump even allegedly cheated during a round with golf icon Tiger Woods.

In a similar 2015 Washington Post report, journalist Mark Mulvoy said that once while playing a round with the president in the '90s, Trump — who is, by all accounts, a talented golfer — told him, "Ahh, the guys I play with cheat all the time. I have to cheat just to keep up with them."

Trump, of course, has denied the allegations, telling the Post, "I don’t drop balls, I don’t move balls. I don’t need to."

He similarly told PEOPLE in March 2016 that rumors of him cheating at golf were "disgusting," asserting, "I've won a lot of golf tournaments."

"I don’t cheat at golf," Trump said at the time. "I don’t cheat at anything actually. They're dishonest people. ... They're really dishonest people."

Before his presidency, Trump frequently publicly attacked Obama for golfing while in office. Back in 2011, responding to news that Obama golfed ahead of a family vacation, Trump tweeted, "nice work ethic."

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And in October 2014, amid the Ebola outbreak in the U.S., Trump tweeted, "President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!"

Yet Trump has played golf at least 140 times since becoming president, according to Trump Golf Count. And, according to the tracker, the president has played golf almost 30 times since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States.