President Barack Obama reportedly played golf for the 200th time of his presidency on Sunday.
President Barack Obama selects a club while golfing at Farm Neck Golf Club, in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, during a vacation. (Image source: AP/Steven Senne)
This significant golf outing took place at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The president has been criticized frequently for playing the game amid national and global crises.
On Sunday a second U.S. Ebola diagnosis was reported.
In August, Obama came under fire for golfing shortly after speaking about the beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic State.
In 2008 Obama's predecessor George W. Bush told Politico the reason why he stopped playing golf five years earlier: “I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”
But last year Bush said Obama should not be criticized for playing golf.
Not everyone is as charitable, however.
“The president’s 200th trip to an oasis of fairways comes at a particularly turbulent time,” veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler wrote on his website White House Dossier.
“The usual problems – an uncertain economy that may or may not be gaining its footing, stagnant wages, low work force participation, Iran on the cusp of a nuclear weapon, and soaring U.S. debt – are all present,” Koffler continued. “But as he strolls about the course today, Obama now also finds himself waging war with merciless (Islamic) terrorists raging across Iraq and Syria like a wildfire, confronting the 21st century version of the Bubonic Plague, and facing the revived threat of a major terrorist attack.”
Even at this rate of golfing (which averages about 33 games a year), Obama won’t break any presidential records for the frequency of his outings.
President Dwight Eisenhower golfed 800 times over his eight years in office, while President Woodrow Wilson golfed 1,600 times in eight years, according to Don Van Natta Jr.’s book on presidential golfing, “First Off the Tee.”