President Barack Obama played the Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C., last Saturday. He’s played 160-plus rounds while in office, taking five to six hours to play each round. He’s been described as methodical, not all that good at the game and in no rush to cut short one of his few leisure activities before getting back to a billion-and-one headaches.
We suspect Obama doesn’t spend a lot of time looking for lost golf balls because last Sunday, the day after Obama played, a guy who identified himself online as “larydoh” played Congressional and found a Titleist ball marked with “44” on one side and “POTUS” on the other. Obama is the 44th president of the United States, so it’s safe to assume the ball was Obama’s.
300 Million Balls Lost a Year
Good for “larydoh,” but also good for the environment. Losing golf balls hurts your game, your budget and your planet. Some 300 million golf balls are lost just in the United States each year, which is a lot of litter in our woods and bodies of water (see video of hundreds of thousands of golf balls on the bed of Loch Ness).
Research teams at the Danish Golf Union have discovered it takes between 100 to 1,000 years for a golf ball to decompose naturally, and decomposition releases heavy metals, including dangerous levels of zinc found in the synthetic rubber filling used in solid core golf balls.
The only practical solution: "Keep your balls on the fairway or invest in a stock of biodegradable balls,” says one UK lawmaker.
Memo to the president: Keep your balls in the fairway, or push for legislation forcing the use of biodegradable balls.
Top 10 Golfers-in-Chief
Finding a ball hit by a president has to make you feel you are now connected to a colorful history of golf and presidents. According to Links Golf Magazine, 15 of the last 18 Commanders-in-Chief played golf; only Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman and Jimmy Carter didn’t.
The editors ranked the top 10 First Golfers, and here’s their description of the president ranked No. 1:
“JFK was a natural talent who was hampered by a bad back and Addison’s Disease. By most accounts, he was passionate about the game and could have been a single-digit handicap if he played regularly. But more than his physical limitations, the factor that limited his golf was his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, whose unabashed love of golf was considered a political liability. So Kennedy played far less often than he would have liked, and when he did, kept the outings secret.”
It’s an excellent read to check out who the other nine presidents are on the list. There’s one on the list who will raise your eyebrows, the chap in the picture below. Who is he?