Category: Barack Obama

October 23, 2013

Jeb Bush: Obama, Boehner should tee it up

Posted at 11:54 AM by Pete Madden


Former Florida governor and first-brother Jeb Bush says he has the solution to break up the partisan gridlock crippling government in Washington, D.C.

"Read the books about the times of Kennedy and Nixon and Johnson and Reagan and Bush and Clinton and Bush and Carter, and you'll find that there was a lot more engagement and a lot more trust that was built up, because there was this personal interaction," said Bush according to USA Today. "That's what's gone in Washington, D.C. No one trusts one another ... I'd like Barack Obama, who seems to be an avid golfer, to quietly invite John Boehner out to hit them up."

President Obama and Speaker Boehner haven't played together since they negotiated their "grand bargain" on the budget back in 2011.

RELATED: Top 10 Presidential Golfers Gallery

RELATED: Golfers-in-Chief: The best, worst and most overrated presidential golf swings

(Photo: Getty Images)

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October 02, 2013

Government shutdown closes golf courses across America

Posted at 12:54 PM by Pete Madden

Course Closed
Credit: Getty Images


When the U.S. government officially shut down Monday amidst a political standoff between President Barack Obama and a Republican-led House, thousands of federal employees were put temporarily out of work, government services grinded to a halt -- and a wave of cancelled tee times shelved golf bags across the country.

Andy Zunz of FOX Sports reported that courses administered by the National Park Service were forced to close in the absence of an approved federal spending plan.

"This is horrible, this kills our business," said a representative from the Historic National Park Golf Courses of Washington, D.C., which administers East Potomac, Langston and Rock Creek Golf Courses. "We have gorgeous weather and thousands of government employees at home who would love to be out golfing. If this goes on for much longer, it's going to be a major hit to our company."

Highland Links Golf Course in Truro, Mass., Grand Lake Golf Course in Grand Lake, Colo., and Wawona Golf Course in Yosemite Valley, Calif. are just a few of the other courses turning would-be hackers away until the politicians work out their differences.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Democrats say they will reject a bill offered by Republicans that would reopen select portions of the government, including the national parks.

Sounds like it could be a while before the government -- and its golf courses -- open for business.

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September 23, 2013

President Bush: Barack Obama should play golf

Posted at 1:48 PM by Pete Madden

In what could be the biggest display of bipartisanship since President Barack Obama took office, former president George W. Bush endorsed his successor's golf game.

Sitting down with the Golf Channel's Jimmy Roberts, Bush crossed the proverbial aisle:

“I’ve seen our President criticized for playing golf. I don’t. I think he ought to play golf. I know what it is like to be in the bubble and I know the pressures of the job. To be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the President. It is a good outlet.”

Several presidents, dating all the way back to William Howard Taft, have been avid players, but our Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs crowned Bush (whose great grandfather served as USGA president and lent his name to the Walker Cup) "Golfer-in-Chief" with the "best presidential swing I've seen."

President Obama has played 145 rounds of golf since taking office, 103 of them, according to TIME, with Marvin Nicholson, Obama's trip director and "First Bro," but as this three-putt indicates, he still has some work to do.

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August 18, 2013

Larry David plays a round of golf with President Obama

Posted at 2:04 PM by Josh Sens

ObamaOne man has the world’s most stressful job. The other agonizes about everything. This weekend, though, it was time to relax for President Barack Obama and Larry David, as they took the links for a Saturday round at Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard.

Rounding out their fourball were U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and private-equity chieftain Glenn Hutchins.

The round marked another recent mellow moment for the Leader of the Free World and the Curb Your Enthusiasm star, who’ve been chilling out together on the upscale island. Earlier this week, David reportedly attended a cocktail reception for Obama and the First Family hosted by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Nice for them. Let the stress and the worrying begin again next week.

(Photo: AP)

August 13, 2013

Three-Putt for POTUS: Video shows Obama's struggles around the green

Posted at 11:44 AM by Josh Sens

Regardless of political affiliation, every golfer can relate to the pain of a three-putt. But staunch Republicans may draw a bit of pleasure from the short-game woes of President Obama, captured here on video, botching the first hole of a recent round at Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard. Members of the press corps were only allowed to watch the POTUS play the first hole, in a foursome that also included aide Marvin Nicholson, White House chef Sam Kass and Wall Street consultant Robert Wolf. The rest of the round was played off-camera.

So who knows? Maybe he four-jacked the second hole.

June 17, 2013

Obama jokes about golf game in Northern Ireland

Posted at 10:31 AM by Mike Walker

Obama_300President Obama is in Northern Ireland this week for the G8 summit and like any golfer visiting the linksland, he wishes he could have brought his sticks, according to the USA Today.

"I am unhappy that I will not get a few rounds in while I'm here," Obama said.

Northern Ireland is home to Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, both among the top 20 golf courses in the world, according to Golf Magazine. In addition to hosting world-class courses, Northern Ireland also breeds world-class golfers, including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke. Obama, who took a weekend golf trip with Tiger Woods earlier this year, has a standing invitation for a lesson with McIlroy, he said in Belfast.

"I did meet Rory McIlroy last year, and Rory offered to get my swing 'sorted' -- which was a polite way of saying, 'Mr. President, you need help.'"

Photo: President Obama plays golf at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in May (Getty Images).


May 06, 2013

President Obama loses golf match to GOP senators

Posted at 4:28 PM by Josh Sens


Obama_600President Barack Obama with, from left to right, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Mark Udall,, and Sen. Bob Corker (AP Photo).

UPDATE (via White House report):

This afternoon, the President, who has the highest handicap of the foursome, paired with up Senator Udall, who has the lowest. Senators Chambliss and Corker, aided by Chambliss's hole-in-one on the 11th, won the match.

The President enjoyed the chance to spend some time on the golf course with the Senators. Most of the talk centered on the round of golf and not the latest round of legislative negotiations in Congress. The President was pleased that the rain held off, despite the damp forecast.


Never mind reaching across the aisle -- President Obama has reached across the tee.

With some free time in his schedule, the leader of the free world lit out for the links today, and he turned the round into a bipartisan outing by inviting two Republicans into his group. The President’s four-ball at the Andrews Air Force Base golf course in Maryland consisted of Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, and Mark Udall, D-Colo.

You wonder if they played in two-man teams.

According to the New York Times, all three congressmen who joined the President are known for working together across party lines.

All three are the sort who are willing to work with colleagues of the other party on bipartisan legislation -- just the kind Mr. Obama is hoping to build into a super-majority of the Democrat-led Senate, at least 60 votes -- to pass his second-term priorities like budget, immigration and guns measures. With Senate passage of such legislation, the strategy holds, the House, and its Republican majority, would be under pressure to compromise in turn.

An avid golfer, Obama has caught flack from political opponents for spending too much time on the fairways. According to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, Obama has played 121 rounds since taking office in January 2009. On this occasion, at least, Sen. Corker had no complaints, describing the golf get-together as a “good thing.”

“With the major fiscal issues our country is facing, not mention foreign relations issues around the world, anytime you can get the president’s ear for a few hours, I think that’s a good thing.”

No word yet on what the stakes were. But most likely they were playing a five-dollar nassau.

Or for the future of health care reform.

May 02, 2013

Elin Nordegren makes rare public appearance at DC event

Posted at 1:48 AM by Mike Walker

Elin_300She must be a Conan O'Brien fan.

Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods's ex-wife, made a rare public appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night. O'Brien hosted the event, which included a speech from President Obama. Society blog Guest Of A Guest has the details:

Elin came as a guest of People magazine, which is also the one and only outlet she interviewed with after her divorce. She made it very clear to the public that it would be her first and last interview. Only peek-a-boo paparazzi shots are published of Elin nowadays.

So, what was Elin doing at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, the ultimate media event? We may never know. The mother of two was almost able to fly below the radar during her entire time here, except for this photo Popsugar instagrammed on Friday at the People/TIME Party, and, well, this photo I snapped of her with my boyfriend before the dinner (which she attended, a source at People told Guest of a Guest). Perhaps People will have more photos and a new story to show in the next upcoming days, but as of now, there is very little online documenting her time in DC.

Woods and Nordegren divorced in 2010, following Woods's sex scandals. Woods is now dating skier Lindsey Vonn, although he reportedly attended Michael Jordan's wedding alone.

Photo: Elin Nordegren at the 2009 Presidents Cup (Getty Images)

March 12, 2013

Bloomberg thinks Obama should play even more golf

Posted at 2:31 PM by Coleman McDowell

ObamaThere is a saying that more business is done on the golf course than in the office.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks President Obama should continue to play golf, no matter the hefty price tag, every weekend in order to create and maintain relationships with other government officials.

"I find it fascinating, people criticize him for taking people to dinner - he should be doing that every night. They criticize him for going and playing golf with people who he's got to deal with. He should be doing that every weekend. You always can work better with somebody that you have a chance to build a social relationship with," Bloomberg said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich disagrees and believes the cost of each trip outweighs the positives.

"The president will use up more Secret Service time guarding him while he golfs than it would take to keep the White House tours open all year," Newt Gingrich said Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Photo: An aide takes several golf bags up the stairs of Air Force One as President Barack Obama prepared to depart from Palm Beach International Airport. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

February 28, 2013

President Obama's Florida golf outing with Tiger Woods proves costly

Posted at 6:24 PM by

Obama-golf_300Tiger Woods and President Obama recently enjoyed a round at the Floridian, an upscale course in Palm City, Fla.

And it was costly.

Members of the course pay a $50,000 initiation fee and $15,000 in annual dues, according to Melissa Holsman of An hour with swing coach Butch Harmon at his on-site learning center sets you back another $3,000. But that total still falls short of what it cost just to protect the President while he enjoyed his eighteen holes with the world's No. 2 player.

The total bill for local law enforcement during the golf getaway was $78,205, according to

St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office sourced the majority of the work with over 100 officers manning access gates and sixteen holes on the course.

Eighty-two deputies and a civilian vehicle maintenance employee worked at various times at a cost of $58,452.21 in salaries, sheriff’s officials said. St. Lucie County deputies handled security issues for 16 golf holes and access gates.

About 30 Martin deputies worked throughout the golf outing, at a salary cost of $17,452.92, with a majority going to overtime pay.

Port St. Lucie police spent $2,300 for a sergeant and six officers, with the bulk of the cost for overtime. Port St. Lucie officers provided traffic control for the presidential motorcade from Florida’s Turnpike on Becker Road to Gilson Road.

But no one was complaining about the charges, at least publicly.

"We don't resent doing this," Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said. "This is part of what we do. He's the president of the United States of America. It was our obligation to provide the security necessary for the president of the United States."

Tiger might have felt an obligation to even the playing field during his round with the President last week.

On Wednesday at a pro-am during the Honda Classic, Woods said he played a $5 Nassau during his round with the President against Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

The catch? Woods had to tee-off from the "Tee III," which measures 906 total yards shorter than the 7,114 yard Tee I.

Bob Harig of noted it was Woods' personal "Tee It Forward" gesture, an idea currently promoted by the USGA to quicken pace of play. Woods also said the bet included hitting driver even on the shortened holes. Even though the change in tees significantly reduces the yardage of the top two handicapped holes, No. 9 and 18, by almost 80 yards each, Woods said the change in distance didn't always translate into better results.

"It's not that easy," he said. "There's nowhere to hit it from up there. The fairways get narrower and the holes bend."

His match with Obama was the first of two highly-publicized exhibition matches for Woods this month, with the second coming last Sunday against world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

But it's doubtful the top two players in the world played from anything other than the championship tees.

(Photo: President Obama on a golf course in Hawaii on Dec. 31, 2009. Chris Carlson/AP)

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