Donald Trump loves golf — a lot — but his presence at a tournament had the reverse Midas touch on its ratings.
In July, Donald Trump’s high-profile presence at a major women’s golf tournament at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, seemed to sink the event, which drew small crowds and a record-low TV audience.
Sunday, it happened again.
Trump made sure to make a big splash at the PGA’s President’s Cup tournament, which took place Sunday at Liberty National Golf Club on the banks of the Hudson River, across from New York City. The biennial event features a team of American players against a team of non-European players.
It didn’t have any official ties to Trump or his courses, but Trump became the first sitting president to attend the event, where he presented the American team with the winning trophy.
He dedicated the trophy to victims of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico — a bizarre move for someone whose response to the latter has been nothing short of horrendous and embarrassing.
“Midway through the action, the Presidential helicopter, Marine One, flew over a corner of the course to cheers from the crowd and landed nearby at about 2:45 p.m., at which point Trump was whisked up to the clubhouse in a black SUV,” Golf.com reported.
If Trump thought he was doing the tournament a favor by gracing it with his presence, though, he was sadly mistaken.
The TV ratings for the event were down dramatically, with Sunday’s final round garnering just a 1.8 rating, according to data from Nielsen. By contrast, when the President’s Cup was last held in the U.S. when Barack Obama was president, it drew a 2.5 rating — nearly 40 percent more viewers.
And this sudden ratings crash for the PGA comes during a season when television ratings had been on the increase.
This year, Trump has spent nearly 60 days at one of his private country clubs. Nobody knows how many rounds of golf he’s actually played because the White House often refuses to offer any hard statistics. But Trump is on pace to make more than 350 visits to golf courses over the next four years.
It’s funny how Trump loves to promote golf, built courses for a living, and now spends endless weekends on the links. Yet the more he’s associated with the sport, the less popular it becomes.
Call it the reverse Midas touch: The more he buddies up to the sport, the more people want to tune it out.
Note to professional golf: If you want to increase the sport’s popularity, keep the deeply unpopular Trump away.