The One Game Bloomberg Doesn't Always Win

It may seem as if Michael Bloomberg has it all. But money doesn't buy you everything, you know. All the riches in the world can't turn a nebbishy guy from Medford, Massachusetts into Tiger Woods, and so despite all the effort the mayor has put into improving his golf game since taking up the sport in 2000, he hasn't been able to improve all that much. But it's not like he doesn't want to. He's "obsessed" with the game, according to Christine Quinn. And it's not as if he isn't trying. He is. He really is.

According to today's Times, Bloomberg hired two professional golfers to help whip his game into shape. He invested in a "digital simulator to measure the speed of his swing and the distance of his shot." The mayor joined clubs in Bermuda, Maryland, Florida and New York, and has been known to occasionally head off on weekend golfing trips accompanied by a $130-an-hour instructor. He's even been willing to slip out of some of his official duties to go golfing, too:

His security guards sometimes keep his golf clubs in the trunk of his city S.U.V. when Mr. Bloomberg marches in parades, so he can escape to the links afterward. And when the banking system collapsed last September, and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. needed to reach him on a Sunday, he was patched through to the course where Mr. Bloomberg was playing.

All his work hasn't paid off, though: "Bloomberg's determination to master the sport, despite little natural talent for it, has proved a humbling chapter in an otherwise charmed life."

There is some good news. According to people who have played with him and who were interviewed by the Times, the mayor is "scrupulously honest on the course, counting every shot." That's reassuring, sure. But here's one more thing that Mayor Bloomberg can take comfort in. Although the mayor used to shoot over 100 when he first took up the game, he now routinely shoots between 80 and 90, according to the Times. That means he's considerably better than Rudy Giuliani. And that must feel good, right?

For Bloomberg, Golf's a Foe With No Term Limits [NYT]