Presidential Golf Handicaps

1 of 10 AP

Ronald Reagan

The Gipper started playing golf when he began his acting career in California. David Sowell, author of "Eisenhower and Golf: A President at Play", writes that Reagan played to a 12 before entering politics when he worked as a spokesman for General Electric.
2 of 10 Franklin D. Roosevelt Library/MCT/Getty

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt stands with his golf clubs at Campobello Island, in Canada in August 1899. Roosevelt began playing the game at age 12, according to the USGA, and won the club championship at Campobello at 17. His ability to play the game was curtailed by polio, but his legacy in the game endures with more than 300 municipal courses built as part of his public works programs.
3 of 10 Diana Walker/Time Life Pictures

George H. W. Bush

The 41st President likes to play fast, reportedly finishing a round in less than two hours while president. The World Golf Hall of Famer carried a handicap in the 20s during his time in office, according to author David Sowell.
4 of 10 AP

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon took up the game as a way to spend time with Dwight Eisenhower during his time as Ike's vice president. He played less as president, though reports peg him as low as a 12 handicapper. He played more often after resigning the Presidency in 1974. Friends built a three-hole course at his home in San Clemente, Calif.
5 of 10 Bill Eppridge/Sports Illustrated

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford, part of two national championship football teams at the University of Michigan, was one of the best athletes to ever become president. That talent didn't translate to the game of golf. With a swing described as a "hot mess" by Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs, Ford played to a 12 at his best before falling back to 20.
6 of 10 AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Barack Obama

The President has been a frequent player since his 2009 inauguration, racking up more than 150 rounds during his first five years in office. He doesn't have an official handicap but is said to be about a 17.
7 of 10 Walter Iooss Jr./SI

Dwight Eisenhower

There's never been a presidential ambassador for the game like Ike. The World Golf Hall of Fame member played more than 800 rounds during his two terms as president and was a member at Augusta National Golf Club. Hedidn't like to divulge his scores but was said to have broken 80 several times while carrying a handicap between 14 and 18. He became good friends with Arnold Palmer; that's him and the King at the 1965 U.S. Open.
8 of 10 John Bohn/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Bill Clinton

The 42nd President played about 400 rounds during his eight years in office. He told Golf Magazine he had lowered his handicap to 10 after leaving office. That was short-lived though, as travel commitments mean the former president has not had has much time to devote to his game. He's still active in the game as his Clinton Foundation hosts the Humana Challenge PGA Tour event in California in January.
9 of 10 AP/J. Scott Applewhite

George W. Bush

The 43rd President has one of the stronger games among his fellow Presidential golfers. Here's how Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs described the younger Bush's swing : "It looks like the swing of an athlete, and it really has some speed in it." Bush's handicap in his years since leaving office has improved to 10.
10 of 10 White House
“What's he doing there? His hands are too close to his body. His putting looks like somebody I know—me!" --Arnold Palmer watching a video of JFK’s putting stroke. Kennedy had planned to ask Arnold Palmer to critique his swing when he returned from his fateful trip to Dallas.