Rick Rielly is a golf player, fan, and lover of everything golf related. He was moved in 2019 after seeing so many reports about trump’s “winning” golf game to write a book. Unfortunately, Trump gets that “winning” by cheating, per Rick. He has his caddy knock other people’s balls into the bunker, dig his ball out of the bunker, or rough and put it in the perfect place to make the shot, etc. Mr. Rielly quotes one cabby as assuring him that “Donald Trump never cheats” because of course it is the cabby being ordered to cheat for him. That’s when he isn’t away from his own golf course in Singapore or another city, but played a game where he was and then insisted on his score from that other city being placed in the list of the tournament at his course…incidentally at the top of the list.
In addition, trump never paid attention to the simple etiquette of golf. For example, when you play golf, you only overtake others, and “play through” if you asked permission as a piece of politeness at least. He didn’t. Also, you never drive your cart on the green, which he does. Which probably explains why, when he was in the White House he never golfed at a course he didn’t own. This also helped his pocketbook because of the hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars spent with the carts that had to be provided for the secret service — all “super-charged” in order to keep up with Trump who was quite to drive away ahead of everybody else.
I don’t care for golf, I have never thought that chasing a tiny ball around a huge field was a way of having fun. My favorite game is actually bowling. I have even bowled myself, although it has been years. So much of the rules of the game and the nuance of why Trump was such an offense on the golf course would have gone over my head, however, his bragging about how wonderful his golf courses were, was easy for me to see as another piece of his lying about his own prowess and his denigration of others.
Then there is what he did to the locations he built or bought golf courses at, with one notable, the one he actually did improve. For example, the fact that one of his two courses in Scotland has engendered hatred that far over-reached any love the Scottish might have extended to the son of a Scottish woman who went on to be President of the United States. In addition, even in this country, one of the counties in California that were heavily, heavily Republican, voting for McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, went for Hillary in 2016. Why?? Because of all the problems the county had with all his lawsuits and demands for all sorts of perks over whatever time he had a golf course in their boundaries before he ran. They just could bring themselves to vote for the man who caused them personally so much trouble.
The author does take it to the political level, however. We have seen above what he had to say about Trump’s golf lies and his difficulty working with in general. However, he also points out that while Trump was running all over the country screaming about “foreigners invading”, he himself was using illegal immigrants on his golf courses and in his hotels as maids and other low-level employees. However, instead of hiring them directly, he got them via a third party so that he had deniability, at least so he thought.
I never thought of using sports etiquette and values to evaluate a person in the White House but I think Mr. Rielly did very well with this one. I would recommend that anybody that is interested might check it out from the library if you don’t want to buy it, and read it and see what you think. If you play golf, it might even mean more to you.
The Book: Commander In Cheat, Rick Rielly, published 2019