February 18th, 2013
05:43 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama on the links: Did the lessons pay off?

Palm City, Florida (CNN) - President Obama, fresh off lessons from a top golf coach and a round with Tiger Woods, took to the course for a final time on his Florida private trip Monday.

There were no celebrities or golf experts in today's foursome. The president played for a third day in a row with Trade Representative Ron Kirk, as well as longtime Chicago friend Eric Whitaker, and White House travel director Marvin Nicholson.

While the White House didn't allow media coverage of any of his rounds on the trip, a CNN team was able to capture Obama playing part of two holes. Wearing a dark windbreaker and a hat, Obama took several practice swings before most of his shots.

Did the lessons from Woods' former coach Butch Harmon, and a round Sunday with one of the world's top golfers pay any dividends? There was no word on how the president played overall. But like all golfers trying new things, he found not all improvement happens overnight. He hit one shot from a sandtrap near the green onto the rocks and into the water.

After three days at the exclusive resort, the Floridian, on a holiday weekend break, the president was returning to Washington Monday evening.


Filed under: Florida • President Obama
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Waiting for hateful responses from right wing trolls.

    February 19, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  2. jaron kadek

    Them White House reporters thought they was in the club. They find out they was just suckers.

    February 19, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  3. W.

    It hardly matters to me that the President plays golf with Tiger Woods or anyone else, or that he takes some time off. My concern is that he flies to his boondoggle in a 747 loaded with any and everything at an unbelievable cost to the taxpayer. Even Tiger Woods flies a Gulfstream jet rather than a jumbo jet. Couldn't the President just take a smaller jet for such a outing and save a bundle on travel costs? It may seem trivial, but when we cannot get congress to make a decision on a budget and are considering laying off herds of workers I would think that frugality would be a prudent judgment when casual travel is taken. This, I am sure would apply to all other high ranking government officials who have at their disposal aircraft that they use willy-nilly; with no consideration to moderation. We would do better to limit our excesses and be discrete in our out of pocket use of taxpayer's money. I support the President and all the others who minimally run out nation, but they must uphold their end of the bargain and not exploit their elevated station to the level of abuse.

    February 19, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  4. Catmandew

    Obama not doin his job again it would be different if the country wasnt fallin apart what are we payin him to do? I guess cause he don't have to work cause of bein what he is lazy, out of touch with what the real world!

    February 19, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  5. Brian in DC

    Pathetic CNN telling news that is 4 days old.

    February 19, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Nick

    Seriously, CNN: we have Benghazi, we have the USDA brainwashing employees on the taxpayer dime, we have the USPS spending $2 million on a conference, we have no budget in four years, and we're worried about Obama's GOLF GAME? Why don't you at least pretend to be journalists for a change instead of burying anything that would embarass the president and his Democratic cronies?

    February 19, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  7. Wake up People!

    The ish just don't stop with Fox-Lite. Why is this a trending topic?? Oh what am I saying??? More red meat for the rabid wolves.

    Congress is on vacation but the POTUS can't golf without it being a big media story??? The news has definitely gone to the dogs or should I say wolves?

    February 19, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Babyboomer

    @PJ
    Amen to that.. Let's move along. Nothing to see here...

    February 19, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. Ga

    I guess this is the shared sacrifice he was talking about....taking your private 747 to fla to play golf with tiger woods. Wake up everyone! Washington is sharing and we are all sacrificing!

    February 19, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. Mort

    Whenever obama takes vacation we pay millions of tax dollars to fly him around and guard him. He could have stayed in dc – i guess cost is no object when someone else foots the bill.

    February 19, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  11. Winding Wheel

    I don't mind that the guy takes a vacation. He has a stressful job. Nobody can logically argue that. What I have a problem with is the continued "celebritization" of this president by the MSM. The media used to be a valuable resource in keeping politicians honest, and unfortunately all this media does now is worship Obama. Had this been Mitt Romney all of the coverage would of course be negative and abrasive. I am neither republican nor democrat, and I have a huge issue with the state of the media today. Whether it be Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc. It's all slanted, it's all shameful, and the American people deserve better than that....or at least they used to.

    February 19, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Republicans have begun a new narrative critical of the president. "He doesn't pick up the phone." They're trying to build a case that Pres. Obama does not reach out to them, despite efforts by Repubilcans to reach out, or at least talk about the weather.

    What's amazing about this latest false narrative is that record is clearly the exact opposite. Phone logs show that Pres. Obama has made calls to various Republicans, which they seldom return, most notably calls to Boehner. Other records show that Pres. Obama has sent formal invitations to top Republicans to attend official state dinners with visiting dignitaries and heads of state. Republicans not only didn't show up, they didn't even have the courtesy to respond to say they were not coming.

    So, if Pres. Obama didn't answer his phone call from a Republican during his round of golf....so what. "FOUR!" One, he was on vacationi. Two, if it were a national security issue or some other emergency that demanded his attention then Pres. Obama would have been notified through other channels.

    February 19, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  13. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @broke and frustrated

    Where were you when GWB sat in the Olympic stadium in China in 2008 while our troops were dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and our country was losing 800,000 jobs a month? Where were your complaints when GWB attended two World Series, a Superbowl and an NBA finals while in the middle of two wars and an economic crisis? O' I got it, you didn't have TV in your trailer back then.

    February 19, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  14. beevee

    My suggestion to this reporter is 'find better things to report about if you want to become a reporter of repute. Writing about such insignificant things is not the way to hone your skills or improve your credentials'.

    February 19, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  15. dave

    not only is the public paying for him in Florida but we are also paying for his jet-setting wife and daughters in Colorado. Didn't they just get back from a months long vacation in Hawaii as well. Must be nice while the rest of the general public struggles with more taxes.

    February 19, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  16. Richard Miller

    I watched the CNN reporters group whine that they didn't get any pictures of this golf outing. For christsakes, you do not have the right to have access to everything the President does. Maybe you can send Wolfie and crew into the toilet to observe how the President uses the bathroom or how he is postured when he sleeps. You people need to get a life.

    February 19, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  17. wowlfie

    Obama is a narcissist and spends every day, including Presidents day, just thinking of ways to pad his own ego.

    February 19, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. Sandra Morris

    Your President works very hard and he needs time off. It is important he travels safely and as the President at all times. Air Force One is the President mode of flying, any President Black, White or In-between. America work with President Obama and see how great you can be again and again. Let the captive free; let him work to make America better for all the world. Politicians try to tie his hands and feet, CNN and all the others try to hold his feet to the fire, poor President Obama, its any wonder he can walk at all and I'm just saying America, that what I see.

    February 19, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  19. Oh Really?

    First off, W., Air Force One is a flying White House – everything needed for the President to do his job is installed on that plane. There is also room for his staff, security, reporters, etc. that are part of his official (and sometimes unofficial) entourage. Try doing that in a Gulfstream.

    Catmandu - Wake up and smell the coffee! It is Congress that actually does most of the business of the country – creating bills and laws, paying debts, etc......They have been out of session more than they have been in session for the past 4 years! You want to know WHY this country is falling apart? Look to the House of Representatives and Senate. What part of their jobs have they actually done in the past 4 years?

    Nick, see the response to Catmandu. If Congress did its job, maybe, just maybe, this country could get back on strong footing. Filibuster everything that Democrats support and put 'poison pills' in every bill to make sure that it cannot be passed.

    February 19, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Nick

    Seriously, CNN: we have Benghazi, we have the USDA brainwashing employees on the taxpayer dime, we have the USPS spending $2 million on a conference, we have no budget in four years, and we're worried about Obama's GOLF GAME? Why don't you at least pretend to be journalists for a change instead of burying anything that would embarass the president and his Democratic cronies?
    -----------------–
    You're way off message. You are supposed to be critical of President Obama for taking a vacation with sequestration looming in less than two weeks. He played golf, no less, with Tiger Woods. Please try to keep up.

    February 19, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Rudy NYC

    I fully agree. During the Libyan conflict I was watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer had asked Dana Bash what did John Boehner gave as an explanation for not attending the President's briefing at the White House leading up to our involvement in the Libyan conflict. What Ms. Bash said was shocking. First she said that John Boehner told her that he didn't join other key officials at the President's briefing because he was "busy." Then after she asked him why didn't he try to make himself available via conference call, Boehner replied that his phone wasn't working. Though Ms. Bash then laughed about the whole ordeal, I'm sure our troops felt otherwise. So just imagine the President is about to brief members of congress on our involvement in an important foreign conflict involving U.S. troops and John Boehner turns his back on his own country. Its no wonder the Iraq and Afghan wars lasted a decade. Outrageous un-American republicans.

    February 19, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. Pete

    It's funny how the media follows Pres.Obama around to see if anything scandalous happens but never does,no women,no drugs,no side deals,just golf or whatever!!He's not Gingrich,Sanford,McCain or their moron from Texas in Bush who was known to do partying outside the box remember his DUI and supposid drug involvement but was swept under the rug like his daughters drunken all nighters and drug involvements as well...So media quit being so blood thirsty and report news that interests viewers you're not the National Enquirer or other rags that prey on innocents waiting for the big one and mine you they've found their fair share in mostly republicans haven't they!!

    February 19, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  23. jpmichigan

    Just maybe, it maybe safer for the American taxpayer if Obama stays away more often. Out of site, out of mind. Less damage can be done, like the sequester he initiated, and Bengizi.

    February 19, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  24. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Dave

    A whole lot of Americans have "PAID" the ultimate price for an illegitimate Iraq war and an abandoned and prolonged Afghan war, thanks to right wing treason, propaganda and lies. And a whole lot of Americans have "PAID" the painful price of seeing their homes, their livelihood, their pensions and their peace of mind thrown at the wayside because of failed and ineffective economic leadership and economic greed by republicans.

    February 19, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  25. Oh Really?

    PJ, actually the legal holiday is called George Washington's Birthday. It has never OFFICIALLY been changed to President's Day. Unfortunately, the retailers and media have decided that they couldn't have a holiday for the first President and decided to lump them all together.

    But, Thanks For Playing!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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