Trump Cheats to Beat Club Member and Son at Golf, Declares Himself Club Champion

Trump Cheats to Beat Club Member and Son at Golf, Declares Himself Club Champion

Perhaps instead of reporting that President Trump is spending his weekends playing golf, the media needs to start saying thta he is spending his weekends cheating at golf. Because to hear sportswriter Rick Reilly tell it, Trump expends more effort at cheating than any other part of his game.

Vox has a fascinating interview with Reilly about Commander in Cheat, his look at Donald Trump’s cheating habit. Among the revelations are Trump’s claim to have won 20 club championships, the yearly tournament that every country club holds for its best golfers. Reilly even reveals that Trump once explained to him how he did it: by playing the first championship at one of his own clubs by himself, declaring himself the club champion, and putting a plaque up on the wall.

Reilly also revealed this incredible story, about a time Trump inserted himself into a round being played by recent club champion Ted Virtue at Trump International in Florida for six holes, declared the winner of those holes would be the real club champion, and proceeded to steal the ball of Virtue’s son and claim it as his own on the green after he hit his into a water hazard:

Reilly’s thesis for his book, as he explains in the interview, is that how a man plays golf reveals a lot about his character. Golf has long been called “the gentleman’s game,” so what does it mean when a person playing it, in Reilly’s words, “cheats like a Mafia accountant?”

“It’s absolutely a Rorschach test for your morality,” Reilly explains. So how does Trump handle the test? He throws his own ball out of bunkers and other people’s in. He kicks the ball so much that people call him Pelé, after the world-famous soccer star.

What is the point of all this cheating? Reilly explains it as part of Trump’s narcissism, which a psychiatrist explained is a particular personality disorder that manifests as an inability to think of one’s self as anything less than number-one: “He just wants to tell people he beat your ass.”

That last quote explains so much about Trump, who allegedly decided to run for president after President Obama roasted him in person at a White House Correspondent’s Dinner. The theory goes that he didn’t so much care about being president as he did about getting revenge on Obama by succeeding him.

He beat everybody’s ass. And yet, with even the wealthiest of his acquaintances, he still cheats like a weekend duffer on a community course. Sad!

UPDATE: Apparently Virtue’s son is in his twenties. The original Vox story had Reilly saying the kid called his father “Daddy,” so we assumed he was little. Our headline has been changed accordingly. We regret the error.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.