The first American president to openly play golf was William Howard Taft. At that time, golf was considered a game for the rich and many politicians kept their golfing private, including Taft’s predecessor Teddy Roosevelt.
Roosevelt thought Taft brought shame to the office of the president by privately engaging in golf. It was Taft’s proclivity for participating in golfing exhibitions and speeches on golf that especially angered Roosevelt. The last straw was said to be the above photo, where overweight Taft made “a mockery of himself, and a mockery of the presidency”.
The photo was taken as Taft opens the Corpus Christi Country Club in Texas. For years afterwards, the club displayed the presidential golf club, ball, and photo in a glass case.