Pres Obama now at Ft Belvoir for a round of golf. By my count, this is his 200th round of golf as President.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 12, 2014
Two hundred sounds like a lot but it’s small potatoes compared to what the most avid presidential golfer racked up. Woodrow Wilson managed to damage America in all sorts of durable ways while golfing a mind-boggling estimated 1,200 rounds in just six and a half years. (He was incapacitated for the last 18 months or so of his presidency due to a major stroke.) That’s roughly 3.5 rounds a week for every week of his presidency while he was able-bodied; Obama, by comparison, has racked up a meager 0.67 rounds per week, meaning he’s out there not quite every weekend but every two out of three.
He’s been golfing more as he slips further into lame-duckery too, as you might imagine. Per this site, he was out there around 30 times a year during the first three years of his presidency, then cut back to a slim 18 outings in the all-important reelection year of 2012. (If presidential golfing is all about relief from the stresses of the job, shouldn’t he need to golf more often when he’s juggling the job plus a national presidential campaign? That’s intense stress squared.) Once that was past him he started making up for lost time, golfing 45 times last year and at least 35 this year with two and a half months still to go. Running the world’s most powerful country can be done partly from the golf course, even when ISIS is threatening Baghdad and the CDC’s reporting the first confirmed Ebola transmission on U.S. soil, but truly important tasks like a reelection campaign evidently require 24/7 focus. Just worth bearing all of that in mind for reference later, when the next Republican president takes some R&R and it’s Democrats’ turn to complain about how he’s lost focus.