I wasn't sure if this was a serious investigative piece by Ben Terris until the Style section placement helped make this seem less Onionesque and took some edge off. Some. (Thanks to Tim who sent this.)
Talking to three former Trump golf partners--Mark Mulvoy, Alice Cooper, Rick Reilly--Terris concludes Donald Trump plays by his own rules on the course. A similar taint dogged Bill Clinton and still does, but as Commander-in-Chief no one was about to call him on it. The same situation seems to be part of the Trump matter.
Naturally, The Donald was not pleased with the comments, not even remembering Mulvoy and throwing a few jabs at Reilly's writing.
Reilly told The Washington Post about an afternoon when Trump wrote down scores he didn’t actually achieve on his scorecard, conceded putts to himself by raking the ball into the hole with his putter rather than striking it properly (“He rakes like my gardener!”), and even called a gimme — something a player might claim for a two-foot putt — on what should have been a chip shot.
“He took the world’s first gimme chip-in,” Reilly said. At one point, Trump, after taking a number of second shots, told Reilly to “make sure you write that I play my first ball. You don’t get a second ball in life.” In life it may or may not be true that a person gets a second chance; and yet, as Reilly wrote, on holes 1, 13 and 17, Trump did indeed get a second ball.
Naturally, Reilly's writing came under fire from the Presidential candidate.
Trump disputes Reilly’s entire story as well: “I always thought he was a terrible writer,” he said. “I absolutely killed him, and he wrote very inaccurately. I would say that he’s a very dishonest writer. . . . I never took a gimme chip shot. . . . I don’t do gimme chip shots. If I asked his approval, that’s not cheating, number one. Number two, I never took one.”
And to be clear, Reilly wasn't complaining.
But Reilly noted something else about playing with Trump that is echoed by others who have played with him: He had an amazing time. Trump played with confidence and bravado, he tipped the caddies, he gave great pointers that helped his comrades with problem swings. So what if he cheats? The guy is a lot of fun!
“It’s his limo ride, his golf course. The guy paid for lunch — what are you going to do?” Reilly said. “He’s exhausting, but I want to be clear: I really liked him. It was just like being in a crazy carnival for a day. Though I’m not sure it would be so much fun when it starts to count.”