When Donald Trump played in the pro-am leading up to the LIV Golf Series event at his course in Bedminster, NJ, this summer, his group was the only ones with carts – most of them occupied by a large group secret service who followed the former president.
Trump offered advice on how to play the course to Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau and repeatedly praised the course. Without prompt.
Expect the same next Thursday with Trump slated to play in the pro-am the day before the start of LIV’s final event of the season at Trump National Doral on October 28.
The pro-am is not open to the public.
Trump’s band will play 18 holes with two pros, one up front and one back. He played with Johnson and DeChambeau in Bedminster in July and his group was 6 under, a shot off the lead. Trump’s group pros at Doral will be determined on Wednesday.
“It was an honor,” DeChambeau said after his nine holes with Trump in July. “I mean, every time you play with a president, past or in office, it’s just an honor no matter who it is. Very lucky to have a relationship with him and he’s always been generous with me.
Trump aligned himself with LIV, the breakaway tour funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, in part because of his disdain for the PGA Tour. Two of LIV’s eight events in its inaugural season will have been at Trump properties and LIV’s schedule could include more Trump courses next season as it expands to 14 events.
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In July, Trump told PGA Tour golfers to “take the money now,” predicting the Tour would eventually merge with LIV Golf. Trump’s anger at professional golf stems from the PGA Tour moving its World Golf Championship event from Doral and Mexico in 2017 and the PGA of America moving the 2022 PGA Championship from its club to Bedminster after the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the United States Capitol.
“All of those golfers who remain ‘faithful’ to the very treacherous PGA, in all its various guises, will pay a heavy price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV arrives, and you’ll get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ PGA officials who earn millions of dollars a year,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Trump is an avid golfer who has played multiple rounds with Hall of Famers and legendary golfers at his West Palm Beach and Jupiter courses. He is believed to have played more golf than any other president during his tenure. While touring Bedminster, he said, “There’s no other president who can hit it like me,” according to DeChambeau.
“He’s the funny guy he talks about all the time,” DeChambeau added. “You know, it’s true from what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard, obviously I haven’t played with other presidents, but he’s up there.”
DeChambeau was asked about Trump’s game.
“He’s actually a really good golfer,” he said. “He hits it in the middle of the fairway and has a good iron game and putts it pretty well.”
Hall of Famer Ernie Els of Jupiter has played with Trump several times and was part of Trump’s foursome in April when the former president hit a hole-in-one on his West Palm Beach course.
“He hits the ball better than I’ve ever seen … I mean he’s 75 (now 76),” Els told the Palm Beach Post in April. “But he can really hit the ball. He makes good contact. He has a good swing.
“Like any amateur, you have to practice the short game. I keep talking to him about his chipping. He’s a really good putter. Back then he must have had a handicap of 4 or 5. Today he is probably a 10, 12.”
Trump was asked in July how many holes in one he’s had in his life.
“Seven. Seven, legitimately,” he said. “People say, ‘Oh wow,’ I legitimately had seven.”