Donald Trump has been cheating his entire miserable life: cheating on his taxes, cheating on his wives, and cheating at golf. The former two have been exhaustively cataloged and litigated in the court of public opinion for years while the latter has been known in certain circles but received far less attention in the broader conversations about the man.
Vox has a new piece in which they dive into the book Commander in Cheat by sportswriter Rick Reilly. In it, the author discusses Trump’s golfing habit and the myriad ways in which he has cheated and continues to cheat in order to avoid the embarrassment of defeat. What emerges is a deeply unflattering portrait of a man with no sense of sportsmanship and no sense of fair play. Reilly contends that golf is a game dependent on “self-governance” and that the stories of Trump’s cheating cut “to the core of his character.”
Apparently, Trump insists that he has won 20 golf club championships, but Reilly told Vox that is “100 percent a lie.” The way in which Trump has fabricated this lie is incredibly pathetic.
“I actually played with him once, and he told me how he does it,” said Reilly. “Whenever he opens a new golf course, because he owns 14 and operates another five, he plays the first club champion by himself and declares that the club championship and puts his name on the wall.”
And that wasn’t even the most incredible golf cheating story Reilly had to share. At one point during his presidency, Trump was in Singapore meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un while a club championship was going on at a Trump golf course near Mar-a-Lago. When the president arrived at the club a month later, he encountered Ted Virtue, the man who won the championship during his absence.
Virtue was allegedly playing golf with his son when Trump drove up to them in his golf cart. The president congratulated Virtue for his win but then insisted that it wasn’t a real victory because Trump himself hadn’t been there to compete.
“Ted tries to laugh it off, but Trump is dead serious,” recounts Reilly. “Trump says, ‘We’re going to play these last six holes for the championship.’ And Ted’s like, ‘I’m playing with my son, but thanks anyway.’ But Trump says, ‘No, your son can play too.’ So they end up playing.”
Eventually, they got to a hole with a pond, which the president proceeded to whiff his ball into. Virtue and his son both landed their balls on the green, but by the time they arrived at it, Trump was preparing to hit Virtue’s son’s ball, claiming it as his own.
When the son pointed out that it was his and not the president’s ball, Trump’s caddie lied, saying, “No, this is the president’s ball; your ball went in the water.” When Virtue and his son reacted with confusion, the caddie insisted: “This is the president’s ball. I don’t know what to tell you.”
Trump then sank the son’s ball into the hole and declared himself the new club champion.
If true, this could perhaps be one of the most absurd things Donald Trump has ever done. The President of United States cheating in golf against a family is something that would have been unimaginable a few short years ago, but now it’s simply par for the course.