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Donald Trump vs. Barack Obama: Who's Played More Golf Through 2 Years As President?

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel threw a barb at President Donald Trump this week amid the weeks-long government shutdown sparked by the president's demand for funding for his long-promised border wall. It was a shutdown joke, sure, but also focused on perhaps Trump's favorite thing to do (outside, perhaps, tweeting): golf. 

With the shutdown trudging on, it would be a bad look for Trump to hit the links and, Kimmel noted, the president hadn't played golf since late November—making it the longest golf-less streak in his presidential tenure. He appealed directly to the president.

"I know it doesn't mean much to Donald Trump that a bunch of Americans are being forced to work without paychecks, or that vital services like food inspection, TSA, anti-terrorism efforts are being compromised" Kimmel said. "But I know what does matter to you. I know what you care about down to the bottom of your Kentucky-fried little heart. And that is golf. Donald Trump has not been able to play a round of golf in 52 days. The only time the president gets to yell 'fore' now is when he tells his staff how many Whoppers he wants for lunch."

Kimmel noted that it must be killing Trump—a noted enthusiast—to not be able to play. And he might be right.

trump golf compared obama President Donald Trump plays a round of golf at Trump Turnberry during his first official visit to the United Kingdom on July 15, 2018, in Turnberry, Scotland. Leon Neal/Getty Images

According to the tracking website Trump Golf Count, Trump has gone to a golf course—he owns many—during the daytime at least 154 times during his presidency. And of those trips to golf courses, there is documented evidence of Trump playing golf on at least 70 visits, according to the site. That evidence bit is key. As Politifact noted here, counting the number of times Trump has actually golfed during his visits can be a nebulous undertaking because the White House has often worked to conceal whether or not he was playing. There's a reason for that.

Back when he was just a reality-TV-star/businessman Trump had, after all, routinely criticized President Barack Obama for golfing, claiming it showed he wasn't working hard. "I'm going to be working for you," Trump said at a rally months before the 2016 election. "I'm not going to have time to go play golf."

Friday marked Trump's 729th day in office. January 20 marks two years since his inauguration. Over two years in office, that equates to a neat 35 confirmed rounds per year in office. According to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, Obama played a total of 333 rounds of golf in his eight-year presidency. That averages out to about 41 rounds per year. 

But, again, Trump's actual number of rounds played is likely significantly higher. And Trump is also in the midst of two uncharacteristically long delays in playing golf, one leading up to the November midterm elections and the current time off for the shutdown.

A Washington Post analysis in November—around the time Trump's last lull in golf outings ended—noted that in a month-to-month comparison Trump has nearly always played far more golf than Obama and that his average time between rounds was lower than his predecessor. Of course, this latest stretch of time away from the links would shift those figures. 

And Trump's average amount of golf played might continue to drop. After all, there's no end in sight for the shutdown. 

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