George Graham

No Politics in Golf

Call me a fascist. A bigot. Any of the nasty names Rory McIlroy got called.. But I don’t blame him for accepting Trump’s golf date.

I’ve played thousands of rounds of golf in my life, and I never once asked my companions about their politics.

That’s the charm of golf. That’s the charm of sports.

I heard a story long ago about the English and German soldiers – I think it was in World War I – laying down their arms on Christmas Day and playing soccer together before resuming their battle.

When I heard the story, it was considered admirable. In American politics today, that kind of gesture would be considered a betrayal. By both sides.

That’s how divided the nation is. And it’s a shame.

There’s nothing about Republican politics that I like. I think it’s mean spirited and heartless, oppressing the most vulnerable to enrich and empower the most powerful.

But I will listen to Joe the bug man when he comes to spray the house. Or Rick the plumber. Or any of the decent, hard working tradesmen I encounter here in Central Florida. And they’re all Republicans.

It may be because  of their color. They happen to be white, and Democrats around here tend to be black or Hispanic. But if that’s what it is, I don’t think they realize it. They defend their views with pragmatic reasoning and examples from their personal experience. And I try to do the same in countering their arguments.

We part friends.

It’s a great pity that so many Americans seem to have lost the ability to disagree amicably. Yes, I know the stakes are high – sometimes a matter of life and death.

But, even so, we should reason together with decorum. As Pope Francis wisely said, “Don’t shout.”

There’s far too much shouting in American politics today. Far too much sniping on social media. Far too much name calling and conspiracy theorizing.

What happened to “the benefit of the doubt”? What happened to friendly disagreement? What happened to good sportsmanship?

I know one place where you can still find that kind of thing. On the golf course.

Let’s not sabotage one of the few sanctuaries we have left. Let’s go play a round of golf. And if Trump wants to join us, why not?

More on the Trump golf date

More on the Christmas Truce

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for