Donald Trump installs $US50,000 golf simulator in the White House, topping Barack Obama’s toy – Donald Trump’s America
Donald Trump plays golf about 70 times a year, but now can do it without leaving the office. (Reuters: David Moir)
US President Donald Trump has installed a golf simulator in the White House, according to reports.
- Mr Trump reportedly paid for the system and installation himself
- He plays roughly 70 rounds a year, but went 69 days without a game during the government shutdown
- Before he was president, he slammed Barack Obama’s golfing habits
The room-sized system cost around $US50,000 ($72,500) and replaced a “less-sophisticated” version previously installed by president Barack Obama, the Washington Post reported.
The simulator allows Mr Trump to play virtual rounds at golf courses all over the world without leaving his private quarters, hitting a ball into a large video screen that resets after each shot.
The system was installed in recent weeks at Mr Trump’s personal expense following his 69-day absence from the course — by far his longest — during the month-long federal government shutdown and harsh winter.
He ventured out on February 2 for a round at his Jupiter course in Florida with golfing greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
@realdonaldtrump tweet: Great morning at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida with @JackNicklaus and @TigerWoods!
The Post estimated Mr Trump had played golf about 139 times as President, mostly at one of the 16 golf courses he owns in the US and abroad.
Previously, he was a critic of his predecessor playing golf while in office. Mr Obama played about 38 rounds a year to Mr Trump’s estimated 70.
@realdonaldtrump tweet: Can you believe that,with (sic) all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
The Post reported an unnamed White House official who said Mr Trump had not yet used the simulator.
The price tag suggests it resembles a model made by the Danish company TrackMan Golf, which would not confirm when contacted by The Post that it supplied the product.
The company’s basic system starts at $US49,995 and includes a fake grass mat for teeing off into a large flexible screen where the course is projected.
Spared from chasing the little white ball, it takes just an hour to play a round of 18 holes — an efficient use of Mr Trump’s “executive time”, the term recently applied to account for his unspecified activities since taking office.
Mr Trump is not the first president to modify the White House to serve a personal hobby. President Dwight Eisenhower put in a putting green, while President Richard Nixon added a bowling alley. Mr Obama turned an existing tennis court into a full basketball court, the Post noted.