Government

More News | | | Editor

Obama, Tiger Woods play golf

President plays round with Tiger Woods, White House confirms.

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 8:28 AM
Last updated 6:33 PM
  • Follow Golf

PALM CITY, Fla. — President Barack Obama teed it up with Tiger Woods on Sunday.

FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama watches the ball after making a putt on the ninth green during his golf match at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama played golf Sunday with Tiger Woods, the White House said Sunday. Once the sport's dominant player before his career was sidetracked by scandal, Woods joined Obama at the Floridian, a secluded and exclusive yacht and golf club on Florida's Treasure Coast where Obama is spending the long Presidents Day weekend. The two had met before, but Sunday was the first time they played together  AP
AP
FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama watches the ball after making a putt on the ninth green during his golf match at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama played golf Sunday with Tiger Woods, the White House said Sunday. Once the sport's dominant player before his career was sidetracked by scandal, Woods joined Obama at the Floridian, a secluded and exclusive yacht and golf club on Florida's Treasure Coast where Obama is spending the long Presidents Day weekend. The two had met before, but Sunday was the first time they played together

The White House confirmed that the President and the world’s most famous golfer played a round at a secluded, exclusive yacht and golf club on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Once the sport’s dominant player before his career was sidetracked by scandal, Woods joined Obama at the Floridian, where Obama is spending the long Presidents Day weekend. The two had met before, but Sunday was the first time they played together.

 The White House, which has promised to be the most open and transparent in history, has prohibited any media coverage of Obama’s golf outing.

 The foursome also included Jim Crane, a Houston businessman who owns the Floridian and baseball’s Houston Astros, and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a former mayor of Dallas, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Crane and Kirk also were part of Obama’s foursome on Saturday, the White House said.

Obama, an avid golfer, also received some instruction Saturday and played a few holes with Butch Harmon, Woods’ former swing coach.

Initial word that the First Duffer would play a round with the world’s No. 2 player didn’t come from the White House, but instead came from veteran golf journalist Tim Rosaforte, who announced it on Twitter. Rosaforte’s late-morning tweet said: “The president is arriving at the Floridian range. Awaiting is Tiger Woods and club owner Jim Crane. Historic day in golf. Their first round.”

White House confirmation of Woods’ participation came about two hours later, following multiple appeals from traveling White House reporters.

Golf Digest reported on its website that Obama spent eight hours Saturday with Harmon, playing 27 holes and hitting balls in Harmon’s studio, and then managed to coordinate Sunday’s round with Woods. The report said the original plan called for Obama and Woods, a Florida resident, to play at Woods’ home club — The Medalist Golf Club, a half-hour away in Hobe Sound. But they eventually opted for the Floridian.

Woods departed Sunday after the first 18 holes, with Obama staying on to play another nine, the report said.

“Just to see the interaction between the two on the range was pretty neat,” Harmon told Golf Digest. “The President said to Tiger: ‘The last tournament you played was fun to watch. It’s good to see you play well again.’ You could tell he meant it. It just wasn’t a throw it out compliment.”

It seems Obama and Woods — the first black men at the top of their respective fields — have spent the past few years inching toward Sunday’s meeting on the fairway.

They met in January 2009, during Obama’s inauguration in Washington. Four months later, in April, Woods visited the White House and Obama received him in the Oval Office.

Woods’ personal life imploded later in 2009 after revelations that he had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs, leading to divorce. He followed with a public apology and announced he was taking an indefinite break from golf. Shortly after Woods announced he was coming out of seclusion, Obama said in an interview with Fox News Channel that Woods will still be a “terrific” golfer despite his personal issues.

After returning to the sport, Woods went two years without winning, but his game is back on track and he currently is ranked No. 2 in the world. Woods won the last tournament he played, three weeks ago in San Diego.

The White House made clear from the start of Obama’s trip that there would be no coverage of him because he would be on vacation with no plans to leave the club, which remained open to members and their guests.

It arranged for the pool of reporters who traveled with Obama to bunk at a Holiday Inn about a 20-minute drive away in Port St. Lucie. Whenever the reporters were brought to the Floridian on the off chance that Obama might leave the property, they were taken no further than a maintenance shed beyond the club gates but on the edge of the grounds.

The presence at the Floridian of a professional journalist who tweeted about Obama’s game as he was playing, while White House reporters essentially were locked out, brought a sharp response from Ed Henry, the Fox News Channel correspondent who also is president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

“A broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the president of the United States this entire weekend,” Henry said in a statement. “There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency.”

In response, Earnest, the White House spokesman said: “The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings. It’s also consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening.”

Previous administrations have allowed brief news media coverage at either the beginning or the end of presidential golf games. Obama’s policy generally is no coverage at all, but exceptions were made for separate outings he had in 2011 with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and former President Bill Clinton.

Golf Channel said Rosaforte is a member of the Floridian who sent his tweets from the clubhouse. Rosaforte did not have access to the course or to Obama, the network said.

Obama is in Florida while his wife and daughters are on an annual ski vacation out West. He was due to arrive back in Washington on Monday night.

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
noxiousfumes
449
Points
noxiousfumes 02/18/13 - 09:51 am
8
2
The President has more

The President has more vacations than the kids in the school system. Fiddlin' while Rome burns . . .

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 02/18/13 - 09:59 am
1
0
That's awesome Mr. President.
Unpublished

That's awesome Mr. President. The country is going to he'll in a hand basket, and you're out playing golf. Guess what I did yesterday? I went to work away from my family all day to try and make ends meet. I hope you had a great time. I am thankful for you though. I am thankful that you can never be our president again. At least that's some good news. Fore!!!

southern2
6263
Points
southern2 02/18/13 - 10:46 am
8
2
BHO says "We are going to

BHO says "We are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice..." Guess he wasn't including himself or his family as they continue these multi-million dollar vacation junkets on the taxpayer dime. I resent the hypocrisy that is displayed daily by this freeloader. I suppose the double trip, lavish Christmas/New Years Honolulu vacation wasn't enough R&R for the First Family!

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 02/18/13 - 11:22 am
6
2
Brings to mind.......

...another saying, "do as I say, not as I do". He doesn't have to worry, we don't have anyone else's money paying for a vacation for us!

Willow Bailey
20602
Points
Willow Bailey 02/18/13 - 12:07 pm
6
3
"Obama is in Florida while

"Obama is in Florida while his wife and daughters are on an annual ski vacation out West. He was due to arrive back in Washington on Monday night."

Has he got a great job or what? How many of Chelle's friends attend this annual event on our money? Do you think they all left their guns at home?

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 02/18/13 - 12:14 pm
7
1
Nero

fiddled while Rome burnt.....

Swatbad
448
Points
Swatbad 02/18/13 - 12:16 pm
3
7
SMH, No more than W.

SMH, W took far more vacations than BHO. I suppose nobody noticed that, eh?

triscuit
3098
Points
triscuit 02/18/13 - 12:38 pm
6
2
ROMNEY was dissed because he

ROMNEY was dissed because he was to elitist...geez, OBAMA doesn't seem to rub elbows with the common man much either??? Get your butt back to Washington and do the job you were elected to do.

Willow Bailey
20602
Points
Willow Bailey 02/18/13 - 02:13 pm
6
2
W vacationed on his private

W vacationed on his private ranch in Texas. No hype, no millions in additional travel,lodging and entertainment expenses, no close-knit group of 400 friends on the taxpayer's payroll.

juantez
243
Points
juantez 02/18/13 - 02:52 pm
1
0
During 2 terms as President,
Unpublished

During 2 terms as President, Bush took spent all of part of 477 days at Camp David, on retreats and made 77 trips to his Crawford Ranch, in Texas, where he spent all or part of 490 days, on his Ranch.
The total number of days of vacation or retreat President Bush took, while in office over a period of 8 years was 967 days, or 32% of his total time in office, was spent on vacations or retreats.

noxiousfumes
449
Points
noxiousfumes 02/18/13 - 05:03 pm
1
1
Rebellious, I was using Rome

Rebellious, I was using Rome burning as a metaphor. Look it up.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 02/18/13 - 05:13 pm
0
0
What a treasure
Unpublished

obama is! Always working. Wonder when he's going to have another working trip to reid's Las Vegas?

KSL
131269
Points
KSL 02/19/13 - 01:37 am
4
1
How much is jet fuel these

How much is jet fuel these days? And did Laura take a second plane and guests to a different destination?

KSL
131269
Points
KSL 02/19/13 - 01:43 am
3
1
Bush did far fewer of the

Bush did far fewer of the things Obama is doing, but Obama's supporters still denigrate Bush while totally ignoring Obama's actions. It's amazing that some are so stupid and others are such hypocrites.

bumblebeerose
682
Points
bumblebeerose 02/19/13 - 05:43 am
1
0
Someone help us!!!!

We need people up in Washington that really care about whether the American People have jobs.

Why should they care they have jobs with a good pay check and a lot of extra's that the average citizen will never get!!!!

All of them up there need to be kicked out of office.

CobaltGeorge
160802
Points
CobaltGeorge 02/19/13 - 08:17 am
0
1
There You Go True Americans'

The Hammer & Sickle Man is still associating and supporting those type of immoral people like the love he has for his past president buddy.
Lets not forget he is a Christian Man!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 02/19/13 - 10:54 am
1
1
Hmmmm...W took more? And
Unpublished

Hmmmm...W took more? And that makes it ok how?

Amazing the number of people who think you can justify bad behavior by pointing out someone else's bad behavior.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Faces of Survival: Breast Cancer Awareness Month series

Breast cancer has touched thousands of families across the Augusta area. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The Au­gus­ta Chronicle will be featuring ...
Search Augusta jobs