Earlier this week, with a visit to his company’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, President Trump brought to an end one of the longest droughts of his presidency. Before Monday, he’d gone 63 days without visiting a Trump Organization property as president — the longest stretch to date.
You can see that gap below. A fairly constant staccato of visits to his own properties suddenly dried up in December.
Why? Mostly because of the partial government shutdown. Trump had planned to follow the pattern he’d demonstrated in 2017, heading down to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays and through the new year. But once he decided to oppose a government funding measure unless it included money for a wall on the border with Mexico, the government shut down and he decided against making the trip. He’d done something similar in January 2018, when a brief shutdown prevented him from making a trip to Florida to celebrate the anniversary of his inauguration.
But Trump has passed a perhaps more notable milestone: He has gone over two solid calendar months without playing golf.
Until about September, Trump played golf at a prodigious pace. It was rare that he would go more than a week or two without playing a round, either heading to his private club in Virginia or flying to New Jersey or Florida to play at one of his clubs. Once September rolled around, though, the pace slowed as he replaced his primary form of exercise with his other energizing pastime — holding political rallies — as the midterm elections approached.
As is normal, he went to Florida for Thanksgiving and played a round then — but that was the last time. It’s been 67 days since he played, the longest stretch since the one that ended when he played his first round while in Florida for Thanksgiving.
The result? He’s now averaging a round of golf about once every 5.4 days, down substantially from the pace of once every 4.6 days he was playing at the end of his vacation in New Jersey in August. In fact, this is the slowest overall average rate he’s seen since his August vacation in 2017.
Mind you, this is still a much more rapid pace than Barack Obama played during his two terms. In fact, for Trump to match Obama’s pace of a round every 8.8 days, Trump would have to refrain from playing until May 2020.
With the shutdown over and Mar-a-Lago still open for the season, it seems unlikely that Trump will hit that mark. Trump normally spends the Super Bowl weekend at Mar-a-Lago, usually cheering on the New England Patriots in recent years.
There are flight restrictions at Palm Beach airport and over Jupiter, Fla., this weekend because of VIP travel. Those happen to be the locations of Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s golf club.