Anyone with a tiny bit of familiarity with the current American political landscape knows a thing or two about Donald Trump and golf by now. Specifically, that is, Trump's remarkably frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago, the notorious-at-this-point resort in Palm Beach. Trump's visits have been a point of heated debate for many considering the fact that the passionate critic of Barack Obama's golf trips has made 16 golf trips himself in less than 12 weeks. However, POLITICO reported on Wednesday that it's expected Trump will visit New Jersey while Mar-a-Lago closes for summer.
Since the Floridian resort is closing for the season, Trump is reported to be planning visits to his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. This change of venue leads to a few questions (which press secretary Sean Spicer may not enjoy answering in the future). Considering the frequency of his trips and the millions of dollars it's cost American taxpayers, Trump's habitual visits to play golf is not exactly a private matter like Spicer has tried to suggest.
In fact, the issue of Trump almost turning Mar-a-Lago into a second home and now possibly turning to the Trump National Golf Club is a cause of nationwide concern and tension on several fronts.
There's traffic, and the issue of the chaos that comes with Trump's presence virtually anywhere he goes. Whether it's in Manhattan or Palm Beach, Trump's presence is known to stop traffic. If Bedminster becomes the new summer hub for Trump to play golf, fundamental needs like, say, a headache-free commute for everyday citizens of the rural New Jersey town might become an issue, to say the least.
So far, POLITICO reported that the White House and Secret Service have not mentioned any specific form of transportation for Trump when he does decide to visit his golf club although officials hinted that Trump may use a smaller 757 version of Air Force One.
There's also the money it will cost taxpayers. Budget watchdogs have kept track of Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago and claim that, based on similar figures for Obama's visits, Trump's golf-resort-hopping has cost taxpayers more than $20 million. To put it in more detail, CBS News reported that since Air Force One requires a reported $180,000 per hour to run, Trump's four-hour round-trip totals up to more than $700,000 — and that's just one trip. That's a lot of money for someone who promised not to play golf while criticizing Obama.
Lastly, there's the issue of consistency — or lack thereof in this case. One has to ask what happened to the aggressive promise Trump issued to his fans about not touching a game of golf during his leadership. There is an undeniable and demonstrated contradiction between what he claimed and what he delivered — a theme that has become pattern for his presidency.
Right now, not much can be said for Bedminster and its locals. However, given the past record in Mar-a-Lago and the massive bill Americans have footed so far, there might not be much of a change in Trump's appetite for golf trips.