Tom Brady has been pretty damn cagey about his association with Donald Trump since the sentient Cheeto ramped up his soon-to-be-failed attempt to become the president of the United States.
Brady has in recent years essentially become a brand who still plays football at a curiously high level, so it’s hardly a surprise that he’s refused to take a stance ether way about Trump’s campaign. Tommy wants to have it both ways.
It started over a year ago with the “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. At the time I thought, Huh, I wonder what Gisele thinks about this. And as of yesterday—October 18, 2016, to be exact—Brady was still refusing to say anything of substance against the man whose recent transgressions have exhausted anyone’s ability to keep track of, let alone describe, them.
Brady walked out of a press conference last week when asked about Trump, then, in true Masshole fashion, gave an extensive interview to Kirk and Callahan about the subject. “Obviously there’s a lot of headlines to make, and I’ve tried not to make a lot of headlines. I’ve been in an organization where we’re taught to say very little, we have respect for our opponents and we don’t do the trash-talking,” Brady said.
Mr. Bündchen described his relationship with Trump as such:
“I met him probably 15, 16 years ago,” Brady said. “We’ve played golf together many, many times and I’ve always had a good time with him. He’s been a friend of mine. He’s supported our team. He’s supported the Patriots. He’s been on the Patriots sideline a lot. He’s always called me after games to encourage me over the course of 15 years. That’s kind of the way it is.”
And while Brady once again wouldn’t reveal which presidential candidate he was going to vote for, the quarterback did confirm he was not going to be sitting Nov. 8 out.
“Yeah, I’ll vote,” he said. “Maybe we’ll talk about it after Super Tuesday or whatever it is.”
Since we probably won’t get anything more substantive out of Brady about Trump, let’s turn our attention to the much more interesting topic of them playing golf. How would these two match up on the green?
The Golf Handicap and Information Network publicly posts recent golf scores by registered golfers, so we took a look at the scores that were self-reported by a Thomas E. Brady and a Donald J. Trump.
I reached out to Trump spokesperson Jason Miller last night and this morning to confirm whether or not the Donald J. Trump listed on the GHIN website is the same Donald J. Trump who is running for president, and did not receive a response. A similar request for confirmation regarding Thomas E. Brady from the Patriots was also not returned.
If these are indeed the public figures known as Tom Brady and Donald Trump, a review of these public scores suggests that Brady is a replacement-level golfer, while Trump’s reported scores would put him in the top fifth percentile of golfers in the United States. It is likely that Trump whoops his great friend Tom Brady on the fairway.
(There is, to be fair, a long history of Trump being accused of cheating at golf. Gawker published a summation of the allegations in May of this year. As noted in the Gawker piece, the Washington Post published a thoroughly reported story on the reputation. The takeaway from the WaPo piece was largely that Trump’s caddies might have cheated for him, rather than there having been any direct cheating by Trump himself. Tom Brady, you might note, has also been accused of having assistants around him help him gain competitive advantages.)
For people like me, who might find anything involving golf to be gibberish, the background here is that the GHIN is associated with the United States Golf Association, and golfers can report their scores to the USGA to maintain a record of their scores and use that information to compete against golfers of different skill levels, gauging who performed better relative to their personal best on the same course. The GHIN issues a handicap index for each registered golfer, which is used to determine a course handicap, with the slope rating (more later) as a variable. It becomes simple after that: At the end of a round, each golfer’s strokes are tallied up and the course handicap is subtracted from the gross score to determine the day’s winner. Golfers choose which scores to report and which to omit, which Deadspin’s own Drew Magary points out to me is something of a parable for Trump’s presidential campaign. The GHIN posts the most recent 20 scores submitted by golfers.
A handicap index registered through the GHIN to a Thomas E. Brady who plays at the California Golf Club and Boston Golf Club shows him at 15.2, a fairly unimpressive handicap, if still pretty good for a dude with other extensive time commitments.
For the dorks, here’s a chart:
There are lot of numbers here that I’m sure golf fans will be able to interpret pretty well, but for the rest of us, here’s what to know:
- An asterisk in the “Used” column means that score was used to calculate Brady’s handicap index. It means those were Brady’s 10 best recent rounds.
- The score is, well, how many strokes it took Brady to complete a course. Most courses are par-72.
- CR = course rating. This essentially tells you how many strokes it would take a great golfer (“scratch golfer”) to complete the course.
- Slope rating is a on a scale of 55-155 (the higher the number the harder the course), and it essentially tells you how much harder it would be for an average golfer (“bogey golfer”) versus a scratch golfer. There’s a formula for it and all that shit, but who cares. The closer to 155 the rating is, the more difficult the course.
- “Diff.” is handicap differential, which is calculated by another fancy formula, and those numbers can be combined and multiplied by .96 (obviously) to determine the golfer’s USGA handicap index. It is more likely, though, that for casual rounds, a golfer would just use a constant handicap, which would likely be 15 for Brady, and 3 for Trump.
Now that we have this established, let’s take a look at the public USGA scores for a Mr. Donald J. Trump registered at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Winged Foot Golf Club, Trump National - Colts Neck, Trump National GC Westchester, Trump International Golf Club, Trump National GC, Jupiter, and Trump National, Washington DC.
Here’s that Mr. Donald J. Trump’s score chart:
Trump’s handicap index is a 2.8, which, according to this handy USGA chart, suggests that Trump is better than 94.57% of golfers in America. Very high-energy.
(There is also a “Donald J Trump” registered at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, who played at least 11 rounds in November 2006, and one round in December 2006, with four rounds averaging a 8.4 handicap index.)
The Republican nominee for President of the United States owns 17 golf courses, 12 of them in the United States. (Two of them made Golf.com’s “100 Courses in the U.S.” ranking for 2015, though there’s of course always that the possibility the others didn’t make the list because the failing Golf.com rigged the rankings against Mr. Trump.)
These public scores show this Donald J. Trump has gone through the generous effort of reporting gross (in the raw data sense) scores for 20 rounds of golf since 2009 to the USGA. Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has made golf a core part of his mythology, but only reporting his greatest and most bigly golf scores would just make him smart.
Trump has been called out for lying about just about everything under the sun during this year from hell (the exception to this is apparently about grabbing women by the pussy), and there are numerous, independent allegations that he cheats at golf, but why would a man who has demonstrated impressive sensitivities to any hints of losing any sort of contest manipulate his golf scores to lower his handicap?
Just think! A lower handicap is a huge detriment to anyone interested in gambling or competing in tournaments. HUGE. Surely Mr. Trump would prefer a higher handicap index so he could come out way ahead of his powerful friends when they play a round. In fact, it’s sad Trump’s handicap index is not higher. He’d probably love to have a higher handicap, and therefore a higher margin of finishing below his expected par, but he can’t help it.
It must feel great for Trump to beat his good friend Tom Brady at golf. Brady is a winner, and he likes winners. And Trump, whether the failing mainstream media likes it or not, is simply an honest winner.