US President Donald Trump has splashed $50,000 ($A70,510) to install a new room-sized golf simulator at the White House.
Paid for out of his own pocket, it replaces a less sophisticated version installed during the Obama administration.
Trump, who owns more than a dozen golf courses, is an avid golfer. But the purchase comes with an irony given his attitude toward his presidential predecessor’s golfing habits.
Simulators allow golfers to play virtual rounds at famous courses from around the world. Trump’s new simulator was installed sometime over the last few weeks in a room in the White House residence, the Washington Post reported, citing an administration official.
The Post suggested the simulator could be made by TrackMan, a Danish company that says it made simulators for Trump’s courses in Florida, Virginia and Scotland.
According to the company’s website, players can virtually play famous courses, like Innisbrook, Muirfield Village, Albany, PGA National, and the St Andrews Links courses.
But as CNN notes, before Trump become president, he was not shy in criticising Obama for his time out on the green.
“Pres Obama is not busy talking to Congress about Syria..he is playing golf …go figure,” Trump tweeted in 2013, CNN reported.
In 2014, Trump said: “Obama has admitted that he spends his mornings watching @ESPN. Then he plays golf, fundraises & grants amnesty to illegals.”
And during the Louisiana floods that killed 13 people in 2016, the former reality TV star hit out at Obama: “President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late.”
Trump even said he’d have to give up his favourite game if he became a US president.
“If I win I may never see my property. I may never see these places again,” Trump said in 2016, according to CNN.
“But because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2019
Earlier this month, the president played at Trump National Jupiter in Florida with golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
After the round, the president took to Twitter to compliment Nicklaus and Woods’ game.
“Everyone is asking how Tiger played yesterday. The answer is Great! He was long, straight & putted fantastically well. He shot a 64. Tiger is back & will be winning Majors again!” Trump tweeted. “Not surprisingly, Jack also played really well. His putting is amazing! Jack & Tiger like each other.”
Other presidents have installed practice golf greens at the White House: President Dwight Eisenhower installed a putting green in 1954, and President Bill Clinton had the green moved to a new position outside the West Wing during his presidency.
This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared on Fox News and is republished with permission.