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Donald Trump proves again that golf is the ultimate predictor of Presidential elections (No, really)


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November 16, 2016

There have been countless things written trying to explain how Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in last week's Presidential election. But it turns out, these votes come down to a simple rule: To get into the White House, you need to spend time on the greens.

Historically, golfers have dominated Presidential elections, and we're not just saying that because we love the game here at Golf Digest. A Tuesday story in the New York Post claims that since World War II, golfers have defeated non-golfers in 16 of 18 elections for the highest office in the land. The Post has Harry Truman (1948) and Jimmy Carter (1976) as the lone exceptions. Nate Silver and all the other pollsters could have saved themselves a lot of time and trouble!

A closer look, however, shows those numbers are off. There have been 18 elections since World War II, but they haven't always pitted a golfer against a non-golfer. For instance, in 1992, Bill Clinton defeated incumbent George H. W. Bush. Both men loved golf, and Bush went on to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

But yes, a golfer still won that year. And another one won this year. They usually do.

As we know, Donald Trump is an avid golfer and the owner of 18 golf properties around the world. He's won numerous club championships and even once wrote a golf instruction book. True story.

Although Hillary Clinton has dabbled in playing the game -- and mini-golf -- she's never professed to playing consistently like her husband, who ironically, has been a member at one of Trump's clubs. And after being defeated on election night, Clinton won't be able to carry on Barack Obama's legacy -- either in office or on the links.

Perhaps, the better stat proving golf's influence on this country is that since William Howard Taft was elected as the first golfing President in 1908, only three Presidents -- Truman, Carter and Herbert Hoover -- didn't play the game. In other words, if Trump runs for re-election in 2020, the Democrats' search for their next nomination should probably begin on the golf course.