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We asked Presidio golfers for their takes on Trump-Biden debate. The club kicked us out

A golfer holds a bag of clubs on a sunny day at a golf course.
Jordan Sussman, 62, was dismissive of claims Joe Biden and Donald Trump made about their golf abilities during a presidential debate on CNN. | Source: Tomoki Chien/The Standard

The presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump included one of the most surreal scenes in recent political history. The two ancient candidates vying for control of the most powerful democracy in the world finished their showdown by arguing over their golf game.

First-world problems?

Yet even in the relaxed confines of the Presidio’s golf course on Friday morning, the bizarre exchange between Biden and Trump was met with mockery. Every golfer The Standard approached laughed when asked about the debate.

“The most powerful people in the world should be focused on more pressing issues,” said Rachel Fenton, 48. “I was not amused.”

A golfer wearing a hat and sunglasses holds a bag of clubs over his shoulder.
Scott Evans, 53, said Biden and Trump are probably lying about their handicaps, but what golfer doesn't? | Source: Tomoki Chien/The Standard

However, the Presidio Golf Course staff did not appreciate our interest in the critically important constituency of golf voters. A worker tossed the Standard from the green almost immediately. We went back 30 minutes later.

The topic of golf skills emerged during Thursday’s CNN debate when Trump was asked about his fitness. The former Republican president and convicted felon bragged that he was in “very good shape” and had recently won two championships at one of his golf courses. “To do that, you have to be quite smart and you have to be able to hit the ball a long way,” Trump said.

Trump said Biden “can’t hit a ball 50 yards.”

Biden then touted his own golf abilities. “I got my handicap when I was Vice President, down to six,” Biden said. He again challenged Trump to a golf match, but only if Trump carried his own bag of clubs.

“Think you can do it?” asked Biden, whose handicap is listed on the United States Golf Association’s website as 6.7, with the last update in July 2018. Trump’s handicap, last updated in June 2021, is listed as 2.5. Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term while Trump would be 82 if he serves a four-year term. For those not in the know, the lower the number, the better the handicap, where golf is concerned.

To some on the course Friday, their alleged handicaps could be just another tough-to-believe campaign boast.

“Six? He’s barely able to count to six,” said 25-year-old Irishman John Walsh about Biden’s handicap.

Connor Jolibois, 32, said they should both worry about a different kind of handicap.

“I’d say as far as handicaps go, the medical kind are probably more pressing,” Jolibois said.

“That probably wasn’t the right platform to be debating their golf handicap,” said Chris Morris, a pro shop worker. “But if those are legitimate handicaps, they’re both pretty good golfers.”

Two men are playing golf on a green course. One wears a navy jacket and beige pants; the other wears a white polo, black pants, and a red cap. Both hold golf clubs.
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump subjected 100 million Americans to a prolonged golf pissing contest on Thursday. | Source: Maxwells Dublin/Irish Government/AP & Seth Wenig/AP

“Biden said his handicap is a six? Pfft,” said Jordan Sussman, 62. “That’s a smaller lie than Trump’s. After that debate, I’d be happy if Newsom ran.”

“Both of them are full of shit,” said Scott Evans, 53. “In all fairness though, who doesn’t lie about their handicaps?”

Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tomoki Chien can be reached at