U.S Election

‘Settle this on the golf course’: World mocks ‘mortifying’ Trump-Biden golf debate

Author: Editors Desk, Andrew McMurtry, Sports Reporter Source: News Corp Australia Network:
June 28, 2024 at 14:44


Of all the topics and trash talk expected in the first Presidential debate, this was a moment no one had on their bingo card.

The world has roasted the first Presidential debate after a question about both Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s ages devolved in shambolic scenes.

Viewers expecting a mudslinging match were not disappointed after a question posed by host Jake Tapper quickly devolved into a clash of egos.

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Many voters are feeling disenfranchised over the options between the pair — who are already the two oldest men to become president. 

For the record, Mr Trump was 70 years, 220 days when he became president in 2017, while Mr Biden was 78 years, 61 days in 2021.

Before the last two presidents, Ronald Reagan was the oldest president sworn in at 69 years, 349 days in 1981.

It means whoever is elected will be the oldest president elected in American history.

But when the topic moved to their age, the 81-year-old Biden and 78-year-old Trump addressed the elephant in the room in the most childish way possible.

“First of all, I spent half of my career being criticised for being the youngest person in politics,” Mr Biden said.“I was the second-youngest person ever elected to the Senate. Now I’m the oldest.”

Mr Biden was sworn into the US Senate on January 5, 1973 — over 50 years ago.

“This guy’s younger and a lot less competent. Look at the record. Look at what I’ve done.

“I’ve turned around the horrible situation he left me.”


Did anyone learn anything? Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA / AFP
Did anyone learn anything? Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA / AFP



Mr Trump was also asked the same question.

“Well I took two tests, cognitive tests — I aced them, both of them, as you know. We made it public,” Mr Trump said.

“I’d like to see him just take one, just one, a real easy one. Go through the first five questions, he couldn’t do it. 

“I took two cognitive tests. I took physical exams every year.

“We knock on wood, wherever we may have wood, I’m in very good health. 

“I just won two club championships, not even senior, two regular club championships. To do that, you have to be quite smart and you have to be able to hit the ball a long way. And I do it. 

“He doesn’t do it. He can’t hit a ball 50 yards.

“He challenged me to a golf match. He can’t hit a ball 50 yards. 

“I think I’m in very good shape. I feel that I’m in as good a shape as I was 25-30 years ago.

“Actually, I’m probably a little bit lighter but I’m in as good a shape as I was years ago.”


Mr Biden. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
Mr Biden. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP



But when it moved to the rebuttal, the discussion descended.

“You can see that he’s 6-foot 5 and only 225 pounds,” Mr Biden quipped.

Although his microphone was off, Mr Trump appeared to say “I never said I was 225 (pounds)”.

He was likely referring to when Mr Trump was arrested and booked into jail in Georgia in 2023 when he was described as 190cm tall (6-foot 3) and weighing 97kg (215 pounds), numbers which were reportedly self-reported.

Fans pointed out it was the same height and weight as NFL superstar Lamar Jackson.

The debate then devolved into smack talk over their golf games.

“Look, I’d be happy to have a driving contest with him,” Mr Biden said. “I got my handicap when I was vice-president down to a six.

“By the way, I told you before, I’m happy to play golf if you carry your own bag. Think you can do it?”

Mr Trump shot back: “That’s the biggest lie that he’s a six handicap.” 

Mr Biden then looked to re-evaluate, saying: “I was an eight handicap …”

Mr Trump: “I’ve seen your swing. I know your swing,” before adding: “Let’s not act like children.”

Mr Biden replied: “You are a child.”


It’s golf carts at dawn. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP
It’s golf carts at dawn. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

Mr Biden at the G7 Summit in June. Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images
Mr Biden at the G7 Summit in June. Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images


Viewers had a field day with the moment. 

SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio host Jason Sobel posted both mens’ Handicap Index scores of 6.7 for Mr Biden and 2.5 for Mr Trump.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy commented: “That’s it folks. Cancel the election. Let’s settle this on the golf course. Winner takes all. The only way to do it.”

Author Carlos Gill added: “Watching Biden and Trump debate is like watching two old rivals argue over who’s better at golf and who can still do a cartwheel without pulling something.”

The account for golf podcast Country Club Adjacent quipped: “‘You’re not a 6’ is part of the debate that decides the future of America. I hope they keep talking about golf.”

NBA star Josh Hart added: “THEY TALKING ABOUT GOLF?!”

ESPN’s Gary Striewski posted: “FINALLY they both say something that we can all relate to. Inflating golf handicaps.”

Another suggested the pair may need to solve it in the next instalment of The Match.

Even Aussie TikTokers Shepmates had their say.



But New York Magazine’s Intelligencer called the exchange “mortifying”.

“What followed was a drawn-out, machismo-filled insult contest between the two candidates that … well, you just try to make sense of it,” the story read.

Mr Trump has long professed to be a great golfer, despite claims that he cheats.

In 2018, Mr Trump’s then-playing partner and women’s star Suzann Pettersen told a Norwegian newspaper that he “cheats like hell”.

“He always says he is the world’s best putter. But in all the times I’ve played him, he’s never come close to breaking 80,” she said.

“But what’s strange is that every time I talk to him he says he just golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship some place. I just laugh.”

Mr Trump played a reported 300 rounds of golf while he was president in a style that’s been referred to as a “barge-ahead style”, with the New York Times reporting he scoops up shots that are too hard to make.

Mr Trump also won a senior club championship at Trump International Golf Club last year despite not playing on the first day.

In September 2023, he also claimed to have won another senior club championship with a score of 67 on the 72-par course.


Mr Trump in May 2023. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP
Mr Trump in May 2023. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP


Earlier this year, Mr Trump claimed to have won both the senior club championship and club championship titles.

Mr Biden wrote to his 38 million followers on X: “Congratulations, Donald. Quite the accomplishment.”

Mr Trump was then roasted in the comments.

But while there are questions around Mr Trump’s golfing ability, there were few around who won the debate.

While Mr Biden had some comebacks to Mr Trump, he also had other moments where he flubbed lines and figures and appeared to freeze.

According to a CNN flash poll, taken straight after the debate, 67 per cent of registered voters said Mr Trump had won the debate. Prior to the debate, 55 per cent of the voters expected Mr Trump to prevail.

The poll also showed little enthusiasm for either man to run America, yet here Mr Trump is now doing better. 

Of those surveyed, 36 per cent have confidence in Mr Trump’s ability to lead to Mr Biden’s 14 per cent.

Intriguingly, just 5 per cent of those polled said the debate would change their voting intention.

However, there have also been calls for Mr Biden to stand aside for a younger candidate.

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