New Jersey taxpayers reportedly coughed up at least $2.4 million to fund former President Donald Trump’s dozens of golf outings in the state.
According to records obtained by NJ Advance Media, the bulk – $1.9 million – went to hotel accommodations for Trump’s Secret Service agents. Trump has a private golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, and he’s visited the city 99 times over the course of his presidency, NJ Advance Media reported.
The Secret Service also paid more than $454,000 on travel, rental cars, golf carts, and portable toilets, the local news outlet reported. The Secret Service did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
NJ Advance Media pointed out that the $2.4 million sum does not include the cost of Trump’s Air Force One trips to and from Bedminster. An hour aboard that private jet costs more than $142,000. Also unaccounted for is the cost of getting to the golf club from the Morristown Airport in the presidential helicopter, NJ Advance Media said.
Even now, as the former president is no longer in office, Secret Service continues to spend lavishly.
However, the scale of Trump’s losses may be even greater than it first appears, with experts pointing out that Trump appears to have lost tens of millions of dollars more by failing to implement a very basic financial practice.
First, some context: Trump has two golf resorts in Scotland.
One is the iconic Turnberry near Glasgow, which he bought in 2014, and the other is Trump Golf Links International in Aberdeenshire.
The problem is that Trump appears to have created those loans in British pound sterling – as evidenced by the fact they are all displayed as sterling loans on Companies House. The Trump Organisation would not confirm or deny this.
Unfortunately for Trump, the British pound has declined significantly in value against the dollar in the period since Trump started issuing loans to his golf courses.
That means that, when and if those loans are eventually repaid to Trump in his native dollar currency, they are going to be worth considerably less than when he issued them.
Trump has ‘incurred a significant loss’
His Aberdeenshire course started racking up debts from the beginning of its operation in 2006, when £1 was worth nearly $2. Now, £1 is worth just $1.42 (as of June 9).
Turnberry’s parent company has also been taking large loans from US-registered entities owned by Trump since he purchased the resort in 2014.
The pound was worth $1.27 made those calculations, and it has since risen to $1.42 (as of June 9), meaning some of those losses will have been mitigated – but the current figure would still represent a loss amounting to tens of millions of dollars.
Those losses, said Clapham, appear to have been the result of Trump’s failure to “hedge” the loans he created. In simple terms, hedging is a common business practice that offsets the risk of price movements like a drop in the value of a currency by fixing the repayment rate for a loan when it is created.
There is no evidence in Companies House accounts that Trump’s loans were hedged, although it is possible that Trump hedged the loan privately in the United States. Insider asked the Trump Organisation to confirm whether the loans had been hedged but did not receive a response.
“Hedging is what every business does unless there’s a specific reason you can’t do it – for example, you’re investing in […] somewhere where the capital markets aren’t developed enough to allow you to hedge the currency,” Clapham told Insider.
The prospect of Trump having lost tens of millions of pounds by failing to implement a common business practice raises further questions about the soundness of his business judgment.
“The most likely explanation is that Trump has made this loan and incurred a significant loss. It’s the simplest explanation and probably the most likely,” said Clapham.
US taxpayers paid Donald Trump’s resorts in Ireland and Scotland in 2017 for previously undisclosed visits by his family and the Secret Service, The Scotsman reported, providing further evidence of how the former president’s family benefited from his time in office.
The Scotsman’s report was based on invoices and spending records obtained by American Oversight, a Washington-based ethics watchdog.
They showed previously undisclosed expenses which included a $7,500 invoice from Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland dated August 14, 2017.
It is unclear who visited Turnberry that month, The Scotsman reported, but Trump’s son Eric had flown to Scotland the previous month to play golf at his father’s resorts.
The newly disclosed expenses included a $7,365 invoice from Trump’s Doonbeg resort in Ireland dated July 22 and 23, 2017 to cover the cost of Secret Service accommodation. There was another $9,300 invoice from the Doonbeg resort to cover Secret Service accommodation in April 2017 during a separate trip by Eric.
The records also show US taxpayers were charged thousands of dollars for luxury car rentals during Eric Trump’s visit.
The executive director of American Oversight, Austin Evers, told the Scotsman: “No-one objects to the Trump family receiving Secret Service protection, but every time they charge their security detail to stay at a Trump hotel, thousands of taxpayer dollars line their pockets.”
The latest disclosures represent a wider pattern of Trump’s record of charging taxpayers for stays at his own resorts during his time in office.
Former President Donald Trump and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham are teaming up to raise money for their political group and other Republican interests with a Florida golf tournament.
The Trump Graham Golf Classic, which will be held at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on May 2, will cost participants $25,000 each. The fundraiser will benefit a few GOP political action committees and the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to a Monday email announcement.
Graham has had a rocky relationship with the former president, who he once called a “kook” and “unfit for office,” and he criticized Trump’s attempts to overturn the presidential election. But the senator, who was largely a staunch Trump ally over the last four years, has since cozied up to the former president again and positioned himself as a leader of the MAGA movement.
The senator, a longtime golf partner of Trump’s, recently argued that Trump will remain an integral part of the GOP going forward.
“If he ran, it would be his nomination for the having,” Graham said of the former president in an interview earlier this year. “I don’t know what he wants to do. Because he was successful for conservatism and people appreciate his fighting spirit, he’s going to dominate the party for years to come. The way I look at it, there is no way we can achieve our goals without Trump.”
He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in February, “We don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking back the majority without Donald Trump. If you don’t get that, you’re just not looking.”
Saturday marked the first time President Joe Biden played golf while in office. It was his 87th day as president.
Former President Donald Trump, in contrast, played golf on his 15th day in office in 2017 after getting inaugurated.
Between Inauguration Day 2017 and April 29, 2017 – Trump’s 100th day in office – the former president visited a golf course nearly every weekend for a total of 19 times, according to tracker Trump Golf Count. At the end of his first year as president, Trump spent more than a third of the year at one of his golf courses.
Biden on Saturday played at the Wilmington Country Club near his home in Delaware. White House pool reporters said he was golfing with adviser Steve Ricchetti and his late son Beau’s father-in-law, Ron Olivere.
Trump generally played golf at his own properties like the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, the golf-tracking website shows.
During his four-year tenure in office, Trump played golf nearly 300 times, the tracker says.
And during his presidency, Trump downplayed the amount of time he spent on the course and falsely claimed Obama played more than he did.
“I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains,” Trump once tweeted. “My ‘exercise’ is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer rounds, no problem.”
Obama did play more rounds of golf than Trump – but that was over the course of a two-term tenure. In his eight years as president, Obama played 333 rounds of golf.
Golf shoes have come a long way in the past few decades. For most of the 20th century, golfers wore what were essentially dress shoes with hard metal spikes molded into the soles. Though you likely have an idea of how uncomfortable they were by reading that sentence alone, they managed to be even more painful than you’d imagine.
Thankfully, those days are long gone as today’s golf shoes underwent a significant transformation. Metal spikes gave way to plastic spikes that aren’t as sharp but have more contact points with the ground. The dress shoe style still exists but golf shoes resembling athletic shoes are preferred by PGA Tour golfers and amateurs alike.
Just as the shoes themselves innovated, the number of available styles has multiplied as well. With great variety, however, comes the stress of making sure you’re buying the right pair suited to your game.
To help, I’ve rounded up five of our favorite pairs from brands like Adidas, Puma, and Skechers, each with their own benefit for golfers of any skill level. At the end of this guide, I’ve also included a few tips on how to shop for golf shoes and what to keep in mind.
Pros: High level of comfort for a full round of golf, provides strong waterproof capabilities, perfect shoes for those who will walk the course, will give you a nice level of support in the midsole
Cons: Spikeless design doesn’t have quite the traction of a spiked shoe, toe box is a little tight
Regardless of whether you’re walking the golf course or riding in a cart, you’ll be spending plenty of time on your feet. That makes comfort incredibly important in your golf shoes. The Skechers Go Golf Elite 2 spikeless golf shoes nabbed our top spot thanks to being comfortable enough for long days on the greens.
Aside from comfort, the shoes also feature a waterproof and breathable style that makes them great for any weather condition. Skechers designed the Go Golf Elite 2 to have a leather upper segment that’s fused to the sole which provides the waterproofing. This allows them to hold up in the rain but is meant more for those early morning rounds on dewy grass.
The shoe’s midsole provides just the right mix of comfort and support, too, to keep your feet happy as you play all 18 holes. You can buy the Go Golf Elite 2 in multiple color combinations, sizes, and in men’s and women’s designs.
The best spikeless
The Ecco Biom Hybrid 2 golf shoes are comfortable for walking but feature an innovative sole that gives you more traction than most spikeless shoes.
Pros: Impressive spikeless design of the sole creates hundreds of points of contact with the ground for a smooth swing and extra support for walking, highly comfortable shoe, waterproof leather construction
Cons: Price point is a little high for spikeless shoes, sizes tend to run a little small
Spikeless golf shoes certainly feel comfortable when you’re walking on the course but traction is a hit and miss proposition with them. Ecco decided to make traction a priority with its various spikeless golf shoes, culminating in the Biom Hybrid 2.
Ecco spent plenty of time designing the sole of its Biom Hybrid 2 golf shoes to help you with traction on the course. This research culminated in the creation of unique Traction Bars which give you the grip you need to have a sturdy swing.
With the recently released Biom Hybrid 2, Ecco extended the Traction Bars around the heel of the shoe to improve the balance of its spikeless shoes even more, slightly tweaking the design of its original Biom.
The redesigned pattern of the spikeless sole on these golf shoes helps you maintain a better level of traction during your swing while allowing you to walk naturally.
You’ll especially appreciate the shoe’s two-piece sole, which creates a mixture of extra firm support for your golf swing on one side and a softer part comfort while walking. The placement of the two parts matches the different movements you make when swinging the golf club versus walking.
The Biom Hybrid 2 has 800 points of contact with the ground, which gives you a high level of traction. Yet, these shoes are comfortable enough to wear away from the course, too.
The upper portion of the shoe consists of durable yak leather, which is also breathable. Ecco uses Hydromax technology to keep the yak leather pliable and to give it waterproof capabilities.
Pros: Great price point for spiked golf shoes, extra grouping of spikes near the heel helps to deliver good traction for power, waterproof design works especially well in cold and rainy weather
Cons: Low handicap players may want more traction in the toe area, arch support could be better
If you feel more comfortable playing golf with a true spiked golf shoe, the Adidas Adipure Flex golf shoes are your best bet, offering an excellent mixture of performance, comfort, and affordability.
These shoes are also waterproof, which is helpful when playing in wet conditions early in the morning or after a rainstorm. If you’re wearing a spiked golf shoe, you’re probably already concerned about keeping your traction in wet conditions, so the waterproof capabilities in these shoes are important.
With seven spikes on the sole of the Adipure Flex, you’ll receive good traction on the green, in the fairway, while driving, and all over the course. Three of the spikes are tightly bunched in the heel area, giving you extra traction for generating power. These shoes perform especially well in cold and wet conditions.
These shoes give you a nice level of comfort, too, as they each feature a sock liner that molds to your foot. Adidas sells the Adipure in several different colorways, making them suitable to match a variety of personal golf styles.
The best for comfort
When you walk 18 holes, you’re almost traveling as far as you would in a 10K road race, and the New Balance Minimus shoes deliver in keeping you comfortable the entire time.
Pros: Good price point for golf shoes, very comfortable style of golf shoes made for walking the golf course, excellent waterproof capabilities, flexible sole means you don’t need a break-in period
Cons: Spikeless design may not deliver the traction you need, the longevity of these shoes is questionable
If you’ve ever shopped for running gear, you know the name New Balance. This shoe company is popular among runners looking to stay comfortable over long distances. And when you consider the fact a golfer might walk 5 to 6 miles during an 18-hole round of golf, it’s easy to understand the importance of comfort in a golf shoe.
As such, it’s probably a no-brainer to see the New Balance Minimus golf shoes end up on this list as our pick for most comfortable. After all, the company already has proven its ability to create comfortable running shoes that are designed for going the distance in comfort.
The Minimus is a spikeless golf shoe, and New Balance’s designers took advantage of that by creating a flexible sole that further contributes to the comfort of the shoe. The flexible sole means that these shoes don’t require a break-in period.
You can purchase the Minimus golf shoes from New Balance in multiple colors and sizes, and you can select from men’s or women’s shoes.
Pros: Unique design of the spikes gives you an incredibly solid base, completely waterproof design, extra support and padding in areas where the foot is typically under stress, comfortable shoes
Cons: Can feel the spikes when walking on firm ground, the sole may be too flexible for some golfers
When you’re trying to drop that long 4-iron shot onto the 18th green for bragging rights, you know you’ll need a little extra power in your shot. The last thing you want to do is slip or fall slightly off-balance on your downswing because then you’ll end up in the sand trap.
To gain that extra power, you need solid footing and stability throughout your swing. The newly designed Puma Ignite Pwradapt golf shoes use a unique design in the spikes to give you an impressively stable swing.
Each of the seven spikes built into the sole of the Ignite Pwradapt is attached to a disc that can move independently inside its base, matching the angle of the ground each part of your foot is using. Think of these flexible spikes kind of like the rotating heads in an electric shaver that flex up and down to match the contours of your face.
Even though the sole is the highlight, the rest of the shoe features mesh for breathability, as well as some useful waterproofing throughout. Puma didn’t ignore comfort, either, and built this model with the same Ignite foam cushion found in previous models, giving it additional cushioning in the mid-sole.
Additionally, the Ignite Pwradapt shoes provide support in the areas of the shoe where feet typically are under the most stress, making it more comfortable to walk long distances.
How to shop for golf shoes
In the 1990s, metal spikes gave way to plastic spikes, and around 2010, spikeless shoes began to appear on the golf course. Choosing between spiked and spikeless golf shoes will be your most important choice when buying golf shoes.
Spikes in modern golf shoes often consist of plastic with five or six prongs per spike. You can replace these plastic spikes once they become worn or lost. A spike will help you maintain traction on the ground in wet weather, in tall grass, on hills, or when you have an odd lie.
Spikeless shoes are the more comfortable type of golf shoes, as they most resemble other types of athletic shoes. Rather than a waffle tread like you might find on a basketball or tennis shoe though, a spikeless shoe has nubs and bumps on the sole of the shoe, creating contact with the ground without being uncomfortable for walking. You can wear spikeless golf shoes anywhere, which many people like.
A spikeless golf shoe generally offers more comfort than a spiked golf shoe. However, if you want the most traction when swinging a golf club, especially on a power shot, spiked golf shoes outperform spikeless golf shoes.
When shopping for golf shoes, you’ll also want to think about comfort, style, and waterproofing (especially if you plan to golf in a region that sees a lot of annual rainfall and precipitation).
Fans looking to post Instagram selfies with their favorite golfers at the Masters will have to find another way to share their content, as Augusta National forbids any phones. While there are plenty of signs to help patrons find their way around the course, meeting up with friends if you get separated could prove difficult without communication. For fans who need to reach someone off the course, payphones are available.
Bulky bags and backpacks
Not allowing big bags has become a somewhat standard practice at many sporting events of late, but still, taking in hours and hours of golf and walking the course without a sizable pack could prove frustrating for some.
Beepers or other electronic devices
Proving how old school the Masters is, the tournament still has rules on the books regarding the use of beepers. So yeah, doctors better leave their pagers at home, as most others have for the past 15 years.
Cameras are allowed on the course at Augusta National during the practice rounds but not once the tournament starts on Thursday. With so many fantastic views and sites to capture at Augusta National, it makes sense that fans looking to take home some memories on film would get to the tournament a day early to take advantage.
Weapons of any kind (regardless of permit)
While apparently there was a time, as the above picture shows, that bringing guns on golf courses was a thing that happened, Augusta National has a strict policy against weapons of any kind. Regardless of your permit, you won’t be allowed onto the course armed.
It should also come as no surprise that Augusta National would prefer fans don’t bring alcohol onto their pristine course. Thankfully, beer is reasonably priced, so golf fans can still enjoy a brew while taking in the action.
Beverage containers and coolers
Similarly, the Masters does not want patrons walking the grounds with coolers filled with drinks. Again, there’s plenty of reasonably priced food and beverages available, so planning a Masters tailgate may be unnecessary.
While Augusta National permits chairs, which are necessary for anyone hoping to watch up close at one of the greens for the majority of the day, it’s vital that patrons have the right type of seat. “If you bring a chair, make sure it’s a collapsible one without armrests,” is the official line, so the safest way to get a seat might merely be to buy one from the Pro Shop at Augusta to ensure it passes all inspections.
Ladders, periscopes, and selfie sticks
The people who run the Masters want to make sure everyone has a fair shot at the views offered at Augusta National, so selfie sticks and ladders are out of the question. If you want to be able to see a part of the golf course without jumping over the crowds, it’s probably best to arrive early.
Radios, TVs, and tape recorders
It’s probably for the best that any and all electronics of yours are left at home if you’re planning on attending the Masters. If you need to keep up with something happening off the course, your best bet will be to make use of the phone bank.
While there is no age restriction on the course, it’s best to use your head when planning on bringing children along to the Masters. Strollers are not allowed, meaning that should you bring a young child, you’ll be holding them for a large amount of the day.
The good news is that children aged 8-16 can attend for free if they are with somebody with a patron badge. They do not have to be related.
While you’ll see rules officials walking the course with walkie-talkies, fans watching from the sidelines are forbidden from having them, just in case you thought you had found a workaround on the course’s phone ban.
Souvenirs not purchased in the official Augusta National shop
This may be obvious, but don’t even think about taking something from the course, even a cup of sand.
In 2012, a patron decided to collect some sand in a beer cup as a souvenir. He was arrested and later recounted how the incident cost him approximately $20,000 and left him depressed.
Birds are also mysteriously rarely seen at Augusta National. Bird sounds are heard during the television broadcasts, but there is a rumor that those sounds are artificial.
“Also, there are no birds, squirrels, insects or any other living creature indigenous to planet earth at the Masters. Nowhere on the property. Well, okay, there must be some somewhere. But the Post’s Dave Sheinin and I made a multi-day quest for a single bird sighting. So far, none. Those bird calls that you sometimes hear on the Masters broadcast? The source remains undiscovered.” — Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.
The lakes are also reportedly artificially enhanced to look immaculate on TV. Golf Digest tested the water on one hole in 1996 and found food dye.
Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.
Golf cart drivers who are hired to drive the players around Augusta National also pick up the golfers at the airport in the Mercedes they will be using. The cars also have a number in the back window so that employees can always identify the players by which car they are in.
Tickets are dirt cheap; only $375 for a patron badge that grants you access to the entire week. But getting one is a lot like Green Bay Packers season tickets. There is a waiting list and it has been closed since 2000. A limited number of single-day tickets are sold via lottery each year. Those are $115 for the tournament rounds and $75 for practice rounds.
The course is insane about who it lets into the tournament and it’s illegal to sell tickets within 2,700 feet of the gates.
You can also go to jail for trying to take sand home as a souvenir.
In 2012, Clayton Baker made headlines when he made a quick run to a bunker to get some sand to take home. He was quickly arrested and thrown in jail. The charges were ultimately dropped, but he says the incident cost him $20,000 and led to depression because of how he was treated.
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The Masters is one of the most cherished tournaments in sports, and its iconic green jacket is the object of desire for golfers around the world.
The tournament, the first of the PGA’s four majors, is scheduled to begin on April 8 and will run through April 11. Unlike last year’s competition, this year’s event will allow in-person fans to watch their favorite golfers in action. For the first time since 2019, the tournament will take place at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Although 2019 winner Tiger Woods will be absent from this year’s edition, 2020 champion Dustin Johnson hopes to defend his title. Other top golfers, including Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth, hope to grab the green jacket in 2021.
How to watch the Masters 2021
The Masters will begin on April 8 and the tournament will conclude on April 11. Coverage will be spread across a few different broadcast stations and online sources, including ESPN, CBS, CBS Sports, Masters.com, the Masters app, ESPN+, and Paramount Plus.
You can stream the Masters Tournament for free through the Masters website and mobile app
The most comprehensive way to stream the Masters is through the Masters.com website or the Masters mobile app. Both the website and the app are free and don’t require an account or TV provider.
Through the app and website, you’ll be able to watch four rounds of streams from select groups and select holes, such as Augusta National Golf Course’s Amen Corner.
Aside from select streams, you can also choose certain players to add to a “My Group” list. Once you choose players to watch, you can start streaming all their shots live from the tournament. This is the only way you can catch golfers with the earliest tee times each round.
The only downside to using the website or app is that playback will be limited to a mobile device or web browser. If you want easy access to the Masters on your TV, you can catch select coverage on ESPN and CBS, as well as streaming services like ESPN+ and Paramount Plus.
The Masters: ESPN and CBS schedule
ESPN will broadcast select coverage from the first and second rounds of the Masters. CBS will offer select coverage from the third and fourth rounds of the tournament.
3 p.m. ET on April 8
3 p.m. ET on April 9
3 p.m. ET on April 10
2 p.m. ET on April 11
The cheapest way to watch ESPN’s first and second round broadcasts without cable is via Sling TV.
Sling’s Orange plan costs $35 a month and includes the ESPN channel, along with several other popular networks like TNT, AMC, and CNN. You can find a full breakdown of Sling’s channel offerings here.
Outside of the ESPN cable network’s broadcast, you can also get access to select groups and holes from the tournament through ESPN+.
The platform costs $6 a month or $60 a year. ESPN+ can also be bundled with Disney Plus and Hulu for $14 a month. It’s important to remember, however, that ESPN+ does not include access to the live ESPN channel.
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If you want to watch the third and fourth round broadcasts on CBS without cable, your cheapest streaming option is Paramount Plus. Paramount Plus costs $6 a month for ad-supported streaming, or $10 a month for ad-free streaming. Commercial-free playback is only available when watching on-demand content.
Donald Trump Jr. shared a video on Twitter mocking President Joe Biden’s three stumbles on Friday.
The video showed former President Donald Trump taking a shot on the golf course – one of his favorite pastimes. The golf ball Trump hit flew into the greenery and came back in another frame, striking Biden in the head and knocking him down on the steps of Air Force One.
“It wasn’t the wind folks,” Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter.
“Does every member of the trump family have the intellect of an angry kindergartener?” one user wrote in response to his post. Another user said they reported the tweet and cited it as “disrespectful.”
Trump Jr.’s tweet did not violate Twitter policies, according to The Hill, which cited a spokesperson from the social media platform.
Weeks after winning the 2020 presidential election, Biden fractured his foot while playing with his dog Major.
Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s doctor, said in a statement that a scan “confirmed hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden’s lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the mid-foot.”
At the time, O’Connor said that “it is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks.”
Biden, 78, is the country’s oldest president. During his campaign against Trump, Biden vehemently denied having any issues with his health. He and his campaign dismissed all health concerns, as well as released a medical report last year from Biden’s doctor. The report said Biden is “healthy” and “vigorous.”