The Washington Post reported Wednesday that President (and golf enthusiast) Donald Trump had recently installed a golf simulator at the White House, replacing a former simulator used by President Obama.

But the golf simulator is not the only sports accessory on the White House grounds.

Since 1902, when Theodore Roosevelt's tennis court was built behind the west wing, the sports facilities at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have continued to grow, allowing 20 US presidents to continue their favorite sporting activities without venturing outside.

Here is a brief history of the White House's sports facilities, according to information provided by the White House Historical Association, news reports, the Library of Congress and various presidential libraries.

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The tennis court

The oldest sports equipment of the White House has been moved a few times over the last century. It is now hidden by trees in an area south of the park. Roosevelt was a great tennis player, as were newer presidents like the late George H. W. Bush, who considered himself "a very good tennis player".

The White House tennis court also played a role in a presidential tragedy in the 1920s, when Calvin Coolidge's son had a light bulb while he was playing tennis with his brother John and died from a blood infection. He was only 16 at the time of his death.

The basketball court (s)

George HW Bush had built a half-pitch on the White House field in 1991 and had invited the newest NCAA male and female champions (Duke and Tennessee, respectively) to help baptize him at home. 39, a pickup match. The court measures 26 feet by 26, according to United Press International, and was paid with government funds.

More recently, President Obama has adapted the White House tennis court to a large field. according to GQhe regularly attended collection games with staff or challenged guests to participate in friendly games of H-O-R-S-E or P-I-G.

The swimming pool

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used swimming as a treatment for polio, orchestrated the construction of a heated indoor pool at the White House in 1933.

A little more than three decades later, under President Richard Nixon, a press conference room was built just above. This space – now known as the James S. Brady Newsroom – is still in use today, while the pool is dormant below.

The White House also has an outdoor pool built in 1975 under Gerald Ford's administration.

"I swim every day I swam last night at 10:30 am Come and join me once in a while," Ford joked to reporters in 1976.

The jogging track

According to the New York Daily News, a quarter mile runway was built at the White House during President Bill Clinton's first term, but he rarely used it. White House spokesman Arthur Jones once said that Clinton sometimes began his run on the track before leaving to trace his own track, closely followed by secret service agents.


President Harry Truman was the first to oversee the installation of bowling alleys at the White House in 1947, but these were later transferred to what is now the old administration building. A new one-lane bowling alley was built in 1969, with Nixon, a passionate bowler, at the White House.

Obama planned to abolish the bowling, but finally conceded that it had helped him to "dramatically improve" his game.

"We have a bowling alley here at the White House and I have improved a lot," Obama told Marv Albert of TNT in 2010.

The putting green

President Dwight D. Eisenhower – who has played golf hundreds of times – installed a small green on the White House grounds in 1954.

"I remember that he would be sitting at his desk when the last visitor came out." He was slowly putting on his golf shoes and hat, taking off his coat and was walking in the yard to make a putt, "nephew of 39, Eisenhower, David, said the US Golf Association in 2013.

According to the WHHA, a new putting area was built in 1996 – proof that even though the technology has changed, the presence of golf at the White House is hardly new.

Contact Tom Schad at or on Twitter @ Tom_Schad.