The Local Knowlege


Report: Obama has spent almost $3 million on trips that have included golf in 2014

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

President Barack Obama loves golf, and he's played more of it than his recent predecessors -- George W. Bush reportedly played golf 29 times in his first term, compared to Obama's 76 rounds. In June 2012, Obama reportedly reached his 100th round of golf while in office. His allies don't really mind. His critics really mind. 

In the latter case, some have raised the question how much does all that golf cost? It's hard to say. Obama plays most of his rounds locally at Andrews Air Force Base, but according to two Freedom of Information Act requests filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, flight expenses for two recent trips in which golf became part of his itinerary to Palm Springs, Calif., and Key Largo, Fla., cost taxpayers approximately $2,952,278.

Related: Apparently President Obama plays golf really slowly.

From the release:

According to the Department of Air Force documents, the flights to and from, Palm Springs for the February 17 - 20, 2014 trip totaled 9.8 hours at $210,877 an hour, which comes to a total of $2,066,594.60 in flight expenses. The records came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of request filed on February 18, 2014.

Also according to the Department of Air Force documents, the total cost for flights to and from Key Largo, Florida for the March 7 - 9 trip totaled 4.2 hours at $210,877, which comes to a total of $885,683.40 for flight in expenses. The records came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request filed on March 10, 2014.

The Obama administration says the President's trip to California was primarily to "highlight the state's severe water drought." Judicial Watch countered by citing the White House's official schedule:

"The President spent just four hours at three drought-related events on the afternoon of Friday, February 14," the release says. "He then spent much of the next three days playing golf at some of Coachella Valley, California’s, most exclusive golf courses."