The only kind of golf I know how to play is wacky golf. Which is, as it turns out, true of Donald Trump as well.
He throws opponents’ balls into the water while they’re not looking. He claims to have won tournaments he never played in. He says he has a 3 handicap but, truthfully, it’s a 9. He drives his cart all over the greens. Wacky behavior indeed.
Thanks to Rick Reilly, a highly respected sports journalist and the author of the blistering new book “Commander in Cheat,” we’ve learned Trump doesn’t just cheat on his wives and contractors, he doesn’t play fair at the game he claims to love.
Hey, it’s all in fun, right? His buddies, including Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus know Trump cheats at golf, appearing to accept it as an idiosyncrasy not worth fighting about as they enjoy a free day of golf and snacks.
It’s a mystery why these elite golfers would endure the bastardization of the game they love for a free patty melt and some potato salad. But then I don’t get the plaid pants either.
I don’t particularly care about Nicklaus or Woods or the tycoons Trump treats to free rounds and lunch at his many golf courses. It’s the kid I can’t get off my mind. As Reilly tells it, the boy is playing against his dad and Trump when Trump hits his ball in the water — not an uncommon occurrence — and the boy and his dad both land on the green.
Trump takes the cart to the green ahead of them and starts to hit the kid’s ball. And the kid says, respectfully: “Mr. President, that’s my ball.” Trump’s caddy looks at the kid and says: “Your ball went in the water.” (Why am I picturing Paulie Walnuts in white coveralls here?) And the kid who is all of 12 or 13 implores his dad to help him. “It was a new ball. That’s my ball!” And the dad said, “I’ll buy you another ball.” And Trump, whose ball was legit in the water the whole time, knocks the kid’s ball in and announces he has won the championship.
Now you may not believe this, but I don’t think Trump’s the worst villain here. I mean, he’s just being Trump, after all. A big, bragging baby who doesn’t have the character to understand that if you cheat to win, you didn’t really win. You know. Kindergarten stuff.
Nope. It’s the dad who disappoints because not only does he not stand up for his kid but he thinks a new ball will make things right. Or at least shut him up until he and Trump can chat about his hedge fund later.
The kid will remember this cowardice for the rest of his life…the way his worm of a dad didn’t back him up and instead let Trump win and crow about it afterward.
It’s time to get rid of the bogeyman. Because integrity matters and, more important, the kids are watching.
Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.