The golf season began earlier this year, but unofficially got underway last weekend with the Masters, for duffers around the nation. Given how much golf every President plays, it got us thinking: If you won or were invited to play a round of golf with President Donald Trump, would you play?
Jason Lisk: Yes. That’s because I have four kids and need any reason to get out of the house and haven’t played golf in nine months.
Let’s get the larger point out of the way: there is a point at which appearance might be endorsement, and one might have an objection to providing that. Do I agree with Donald Trump on everything? No. I interact with lots of people who share different views than mine, but I do understand there is a difference when someone is in a position to set policy. I am not there in terms of being a public figure, though, so I do think that this is not a black-and-white issue and I would accept such a hypothetical proposal. So yes, I would go, drink some beers, and see if I could borrow a golf glove (just to see if it fits.)
Ty Duffy: No. I would not play golf with him. I would not shake his hand. I would not show up were Trump present at an event. His words, his actions, and the ideas he has word vomited into mainstream discourse are disturbing and dangerous. He has crossed boundaries I believe to be moral rather than political. I won’t censure others for playing golf with him. But, I do think the line of questioning doing so raises is fair. I would consider doing P90X with Paul Ryan.
Ryan Glasspiegel: I would not play. I’ve played maybe three or four rounds of golf in my life, and I hate it. It is far too frustrating an endeavor to undergo voluntarily. However, I would try to make it so I could transfer the ability to someone who would better appreciate it, under the condition that I am allowed to walk the course with them. While I don’t consider myself nearly qualified to lobby the President on matters of urgent national security or anything like that, I’d push for greater consumer protection measures in the airline and cable industries, the preservation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota (and natural wonders like it), and nationally legalized marijuana and sports betting.
Jason McIntyre: Yes. I’ve never had an audience with any President before. And I’m still hopeful I’ll be able to hoop with Obama. Also, I’m a decent golfer and would probably beat Trump (though that tee shot above was impressive). Plus, he likes gambling, and so do I, so I might even win money off him. And unrelated to golf and sports, there are plenty of questions I’d have for him. I couldn’t be that guy who complains about whatever on social media, and then, given the chance to say something, turns it down.
Kyle Koster: No. I have no interest in spending any time with Donald Trump.
Ryan Phillips: Absolutely not. Mostly because I’m sure the president would make me sign a non-disclosure agreement so I couldn’t write about the experience. Writing about what I saw and heard would be the only reason I’d ever want to spend more than two minutes in Donald Trump’s presence. It’s not about policy or Republican vs. Democratic issues (I’m an independent who isn’t fond of either side), he just seems like someone I’d have absolutely no desire to talk to or be around for hours. I’d also constantly be thinking, “Uh, Mr. President, don’t you have something more constructive you could be doing?”
Stephen Douglas: It’s a complicated question. On the one hand, you get to play a beautiful, expensive, private golf course that under no other circumstances would you ever be able to play. On the other hand, every other thing.
Imagine being able to tell your children – or anyone else – that you played golf with a president. That’s a story. Of course, so is turning down an opportunity to play golf with a president. Or another historical figure. And I’m not saying which one. Could be a good one! It’s probably not. Hard pass.
Michael Shamburger: Yes, I’ll play golf with anyone.