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Wilmington Country Club hosts Biden’s first golf outing

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The Wilmington Country Club hosted President Joe Biden’s first round of golf in office and next year will host the best golfers in the world for the PGA’s BMW Championship. | PHOTO COURTESY OF WGA

WILMINGTON – As a member dating back to his days as vice president, it was probably a safe bet that Joe Biden would play his first round of golf as president at the Wilmington Country Club.

Now the private 120-year-old club off Kennett Pike can officially claim the honor.

Biden took advantage of some sunshine Saturday to play a round at the club with Ron Olivere, the father-in-law of Biden’s late son Beau, and adviser Steve Ricchetti, according to a White House press pool report.

The president has returned to Wilmington often on the weekends of his first few months at the White House, typically attending church and spending time with family but rarely venturing elsewhere. The trip to Wilmington Country Club was Biden’s first time back to the club that he and first lady Jill Biden joined as members in 2014, since he took the oath of office. The Bidens are also reportedly members of the private Fieldstone Golf Club near their Greenville home.

Known inside the D.C. Beltway as one of Congress’ better golfers, Biden’s last reported U.S. Golf Association handicap was a 6.7 in 2018. He may be a bit rusty after months away from the course campaigning, planning a transition and now running the White House.

“The course record is still intact,” Biden quipped to reporters after a little over three hours on the course.

The unannounced outing reportedly surprised many of the club’s members who were playing and practicing Saturday, and the presidential motorcade led a number of club members to record the arrival on their phones, reporters said.

Biden joins prior presidents with a love of golf, with former President Barack Obama playing a reported 333 rounds in eight years, most often at Joint Base Andrews, while former President Donald Trump played about 298 rounds in four years, almost solely at his Trump-brand courses.

The Wilmington Country Club has also played host to fundraisers for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, which honors the president’s late son’s work as Delaware Attorney General.

The presidential connection is just one bit of exciting news for the club, which will also host the PGA’s BMW Championship in 2022. That tournament is considered a top-flight, non-major competition that typically draws the PGA’s best golfers.

Editor’s note: This story incorrectly originally reported that Wilmington Country Club was previously operated by the DuPont company and acquired by local investors in 2018. That was the nearby DuPont Country Club. The Wilmington Country Club has been privately owned and operated since 1901. We regret the error.

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