Pro golfers say President Trump 'cheats at the highest level' in new book

President Donald Trump is certainly known to bend the truth. The Washington Post has counted nearly a dozen false or misleading claims per day of his presidency, while Politifact scored 70 percent of his statements as Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

As it turns out, that propensity to lie also carries over to his longtime love of golf.

There’s already been the story of Trump naming himself the winner of a tournament he never played in, but former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly spells out the extent of the lying and cheating in his new book, “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump,” which will be available on Tuesday.

“To say ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims,'” Reilly writes. “He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf … if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.”

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Donald Trump's golf outings through the years
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Donald Trump's golf outings through the years
U.S. property mogul Donald Trump holds a golf club during a media event on the sand dunes of the Menie estate, the site for Trump's proposed golf resort, near Aberdeen, north east Scotland May 27, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir (BRITAIN POLITICS - Tags: SPORT GOLF BUSINESS)
Businessman and television personality Donald Trump (2nd L in red hat) and Carolyn Kepcher (2nd R), executive vice president of the Trump Organization, watch the first round of the 105th U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina, June 16, 2005. The tournament is being played on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course. REUTERS/John Sommers II RTW/KS
Donald Trump (L) and professional golfer Natalie Gulbis look down the fairway at the Manhattan Golf Classic on Governors' Island in New York October 22, 2006. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky (UNITED STATES)
Donald Trump tosses a golf ball to his caddy after hitting a shot into the rough in a skins match at the Manhattan Golf Classic on Governors' Island in New York October 22, 2006. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky (UNITED STATES)
Donald Trump (R) drives his golf cart along the ninth fairway while he watches the final group of the day with an unidentified partner during the first round of the ADT Championship LPGA golf tournament at the Trump International course in West Palm Beach, Florida November 15, 2007. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
U.S. property mogul Donald Trump poses next to bagpipers during a media event on the sand dunes of the Menie estate, the site for Trump's proposed golf resort, near Aberdeen, north east Scotland May 27, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir (BRITAIN POLITICS - Tags: SPORT GOLF BUSINESS)
Real Estate magnate Donald Trump (R) plays golf with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie during the opening of his Trump International Golf Links golf course near Aberdeen, northeast Scotland July 10, 2012. REUTERS/David Moir (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS SPORT GOLF REAL ESTATE)
Golf - RICOH Women's British Open 2015 - Trump Turnberry Resort, Scotland - 30/7/15 US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump views the course during a visit to his Scottish golf course Turnberry Action Images via Reuters / Russell Cheyne Livepic
U.S. property magnate Donald Trump practices his swing at the 13th tee of his new Trump International Golf Links course on the Menie Estate near Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain June 20, 2011. To match Special Report USA-ELECTION/TRUMP-GOLF REUTERS/David Moir/File Photo
HARRISON, NY - JUNE 9: Donald Trump hits a shot during the pro-am prior to the start of the Buick Classic at the Westchester Country Club on June 9, 2004 in Harrison, New York. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 09: Donald Trump putts on the ninth hole in the pro-amateur Buick Classic at the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 7: Tycoon Donald Trump hits out of the second fairway during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on February 7, 2003 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: Real-estate mogul Donald Trump (right) and director Ron Howard ride golf cart during the opening celebration for Trump's latest venture, the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
092226.FI.0113.trump.1.LS. Real estate mogul Donald Trump is set to break ground on a luxury housing project at his golf course on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
American businessman Donald Trump eyes his shot off the tee during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Trump International Golf Club, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
American football player Tom Brady (fore) tees off, watched by real estate developer Donald Trump (in red cap), on the course at Trump International Golf Club, Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2006. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
View of American football player Tom Brady (seated left) and real estate developer Donald Trump in a golf cart at Trump International Golf Club, Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2006. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
Developer Donald Trump poses next to a green side bunker on hole 11 at his new golf course, Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, on Friday morning. Digital image taken on 01/14/05 (Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Donald Trump (Photo by Mirek Towski/FilmMagic for Laura Davidson Public Relations)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to play host to members of the U.S. Coast Guard he invited to play golf at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Mulligans and tampering with balls

Trump’s most blatant cheating reportedly comes in the form of not playing his shots — or others’ — where they actually land.

When Trump played golf with Tiger Woods, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and PGA Tour veteran Brad Faxon in February, Trump hit a ball into the lake. But when the other players weren't looking, he got out another ball and hit another try, although that too went into the lake.

“So he drives up,” Faxon said, “and drops where he should’ve dropped the first time and hits it on the green.”

The cheating is not just to impress pro golfers. Reilly also details stories with ESPN announcer Mike Tirico, LPGA pro Suzann Pettersen and actor Samuel L. Jackson. In one of the most egregious stories, Tirico remembers hitting one of the best shots of his life squarely onto the green, but when he walked over, the ball was 50 feet away in a bunker.

“Trump’s caddy came up to me and said, ‘You know that shot you hit on the par 5?’” Tirico says. “‘It was about 10 feet from the hole. Trump threw it in the bunker. I watched him do it.’”

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Donald Trump Golf Course in Scotland
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Donald Trump Golf Course in Scotland
TURNBURRY, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08: Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club, after its $10 Million refurbishment on June 8, 2015 in Turnberry, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - APRIL 25: Anti-wind farm protestors demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament as American tycoon Donald Trump pays a visit on April 25, 20012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Trump spoke of his concerns over a proposed wind farm, mooted to built near his new GBP 1 billion golf resort, telling the Scottish Parliament that they will destroy tourism in the country.. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 23: Work continues on Donald Trump's golf course currently under construction on the Menie estate on April 23, 2012 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr Trump will appear before the Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism committee on Wednesday to voice his concerns over the Scottish government's policy of promoting wind power. A decision is expected later this year on the government's plans to erect 11 turbines of the coast next to the Menie estate golf course. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: 10: Donald Trump and Colin Montgomerie share a joke after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial £100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 23: Work continues on Donald Trump's golf course currently under construction on the Menie estate on April 23, 2012 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr Trump will appear before the Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism committee on Wednesday to voice his concerns over the Scottish government's policy of promoting wind power. A decision is expected later this year on the government's plans to erect 11 turbines of the coast next to the Menie estate golf course. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
US tycoon Donald Trump (C) addresses the media as he officially opens his new multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 10, 2012. Work on the course began in July 2010, four years after the plans were originally submitted. AFP PHOTO / Andy Buchanan (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 23: Michael Forbes stands beside his shed, near to Donald Trump's golf course which is currently under construction on the Menie estate on April 23, 2012 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr Trump will appear before the Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism committee on Wednesday to voice his concerns over the Scottish government's policy of promoting wind power. A decision is expected later this year on the government's plans to erect 11 turbines of the coast next to the Menie estate golf course. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial £100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
US tycoon Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 10, 2012. Work on the course began in July 2010, four years after the plans were originally submitted. AFP PHOTO / Andy Buchanan (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 23: Michael Forbes stands beside his shed, near to Donald Trump's golf course which is currently under construction on the Menie estate on April 23, 2012 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr Trump will appear before the Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism committee on Wednesday to voice his concerns over the Scottish government's policy of promoting wind power. A decision is expected later this year on the government's plans to erect 11 turbines of the coast next to the Menie estate golf course. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Donald Trump (2nd R) opens The Trump International Golf Links Course as (L-R) George O'Grady, Colin Montgomerie and Don Trump Jr look on, on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial £100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 08: Tripping Up Trump campaigner holds a copy of the newspaper Menie Voices outside Robert Gordon University on October 8, 2010 in Aberdeen, Scotland. US business man Donald Trump recieved his honourary award of Doctor of Business Administration from the University. Mr Trump is currently building a golf development at the Menie Eastate outside Aberdeen. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - APRIL 25: Donald Trump speaks during a press conference following his address to the Scottish Parliament on April 25, 20012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Trump spoke of his concerns over a proposed wind farm, mooted to built near his new GBP 1 billion golf resort, telling the Scottish Parliament that they will destroy tourism in the country. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 23: Work continues on Donald Trump's golf course currently under construction on the Menie estate on April 23, 2012 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr Trump will appear before the Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism committee on Wednesday to voice his concerns over the Scottish government's policy of promoting wind power. A decision is expected later this year on the government's plans to erect 11 turbines of the coast next to the Menie estate golf course. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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Lying is par for the course for Trump

One of the strangest things about Trump’s history of lying while golfing is that he’s reportedly a very respectable golfer. However, he habitually lies about how good he is, including his self-reported 2.8 handicap, which is less than a stroke away from PGA legend and frequent golfing partner Jack Nicklaus.

Even his courses contain lies, from his Trump National Golf Club wrongly claiming that a Civil War battle took place on site to his Bedminster course falsely attributing praise from famed golf architect Tom Fazio.

Still, none of this is particularly shocking to anyone who has followed Trump. After he repeatedly admonished former President Obama for golfing and said that he would have no time to play himself, Trump has played a round every 4.2 days — twice Obama’s rate. And, naturally, he tends to lie and cover up how often he plays while on the job.

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