Golf Digest editors picks

Yep, Obama Is a Golfer, Too

Ranking the golfing Presidents

President Barack Obama
January 2009
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Ranking the golfing Presidents
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President-elect Barack Obama will become the 15th of the past 18 American presidents who has played golf. He doesn't play often, but he did during a vacation in Hawaii in August. Vice President-elect Joe Biden, who discovered golf less than 10 years ago, has a Handicap Index of 8.2. Here's our ranking of the golfing presidents, with an assist from Don Van Natta Jr., author of the book, First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush.

1 John F. Kennedy Despite chronic back pain, averaged 80.
2 Dwight D. Eisenhower Had a green outside the Oval Office.
3 Gerald R. Ford Clumsy, but was a legitimate 80s-shooter.
4 Franklin D. Roosevelt At 39, polio robbed him of a powerful golf swing.
5 George H.W. Bush Once got his handicap down to 11.
6 George W. Bush Outgoing prez is a capable 15-handicapper.
7 Bill Clinton Can break 90, especially using his "Billigans."
8 Barack Obama The lefty plays more hoops than golf.
9 Ronald Reagan Didn't play often or well (best was low 90s).
10 Warren G. Harding Struggled to break 95.
11 William Howard Taft As hapless a golfer as he was a chief executive.
12 Woodrow Wilson Played more than Ike but almost never broke 100.
13 Richard M. Nixon He shot 79 once and quit the game.
14 Lyndon B. Johnson Played with senators to secure votes for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
15 Calvin Coolidge When he vacated the White House, he left his clubs behind.

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