• Founding Fathers and Golf

    Aaron Dyer  •  July 8, 2013

Did any of the Founding Fathers Play Golf?

Happy Birthday to our great country!  We hope you get a chance to relax around the busy tee-sheet and Flag-Day Tournaments on the Fourth.

I did a bit of quick research and found a couple of interesting facts that might be good for conversation while we celebrate our Independence.

Founding Fathers and Golf

I couldn’t find any hard evidence of the founding fathers playing golf while on trips to Europe, but there are some articles and comments by a couple which imply they liked the game and might have played, just didn’t directly speak about playing.  I found an article about Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania in the USGA Museum’s online library.  Dr. Rush mentioned golf in an article published in the 1772 booklet, “Sermons to Gentlemen upon Temperance and Exercise”, published by Philadelphia printer John Dunlap.  Dr. Rush was familiar with golf getting a good glimpse of the sport when he studied medicine in Scotland and he recommended the sport along with others as a good method of exercise and staying healthy (USGA Museum).   Did he play?  We don’t know.  Maybe he jumped out on the links in between studying and helping to create a nation.

Which US President Played the Most Rounds in Office?

Everybody knows that “Ike” was a golf fanatic playing more than 800 rounds of golf while in office; however, he was not the #1 golfing President in rounds played.  Who was?  Woodrow Wilson.  Wilson played more than 1,000 rounds of golf while in office (Links Magazine).  I found two interesting rankings of US Presidents and Golf.   Links Magazine ranks the Presidents based on their skill, and Golf.com ranks them using a combination of skill, passion, and contribution to the game.  The quick notes and stories included on each page of the rankings are interesting.  Here are the lists….

Links Magazine Top Ten US President Golfers (based on skill)

1. John F. Kennedy

2. Gerald Ford

3. Dwight Eisenhower

4. Franklin D. Roosevelt

5. Bill Clinton

6. Bush #41 & #43

7. Barack Obama

8. Ronald Reagan

9. Richard Nixon

10. Woodrow Wilson


Golf.com Top 10 US President Golfers (based on skill, passion, & contribution to the game)

1. Dwight Eisenhower

2. George Bush #41

3. Bill Clinton

4. John F. Kennedy

5. Barack Obama

6. Gerald Ford

7. Franklin D. Roosevelt

8. George Bush #43

9. Richard Nixon

10. Ronald Reagan


Happy Fourth!

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