Obama should play golf without being criticized, says former President Bush
President Obama has played more than 140 rounds of golf since moving into the White House. And while some people have voiced their objections, one very prominent person who can relate to the pressures a president faces says all those golf outings are quite alright with him.
In an excerpt from "In Play with Jimmy Roberts," which debuts Tuesday on the Golf Channel, President George W. Bush says that playing golf is a good outlet for the men who hold the nation's highest office.
"You know, I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't – I think he ought to play golf," Bush says in the interview. "Because I know what it's like to be in the bubble. And I know the pressures of the job. And to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet."
Bush was an avid golfer for years, but quit playing in the fall of 2003, saying it was inappropriate for the commander in chief to be seen on the course while Americans were fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has resumed playing in retirement, and has participated in the last several Patriot Golf Day events near his new home in Dallas.
Fifteen of the last 18 presidents have played golf, and two are in the World Golf Hall of Fame – Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush. Eisenhower was a member at Augusta National.
When Roberts suggested that golf is a good release, Bush agreed.
"I think it is," he said. "And I think it's good for the president to be out playing golf."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.