Chambliss shoots hole-in-one during Obama outreach round
May 6th, 2013
06:35 PM ET
5 years ago

Chambliss shoots hole-in-one during Obama outreach round

Washington (CNN) - In another attempt at bipartisan outreach, President Barack Obama joined three of the best golfers in the United States Senate for a bipartisan round of golf on Monday.

The foursome included Colorado Democrat Mark Udall and Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, who were ranked as the top two golfers in Congress by Golf Digest as part of its 2011 list of Washington's Top 150 Golfers. At the time, both Udall and Corker had a handicap around two.

Also playing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Monday was Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss, who ranked as the 7th-best elected golfer in Washington in 2011 with a 7.4 handicap.

Chambliss, who was paired with Corker, shot a hole-in-one on the eleventh. The Chambliss-Corker pairing won the match, according to the White House.

READ MORE: What Chambliss told Obama told after hole-in-one

“The President enjoyed the chance to spend some time on the golf course with the Senators,” a White House official said. “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.”

Ahead of the outing, Corker said that “With the major fiscal issues our country is facing, not to 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.”

Asked whether golf was the right setting for a serious discussion of political issues, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president's "willing to try anything."

"Whether it's a conversation on the phone or a meeting in the Oval Office or dinner at a restaurant or dinner at the residence, he's going to have the same kinds of conversations and test the theory that this kind of engagement can help produce the results that everybody in this country - at least the majority of the people in this country, who care about and pay attention to these issues wants to see," Carney said at Monday's White House press briefing.

Corker and Chambliss were among a group of influential senators who previously attended an outreach dinner at the Jefferson Hotel hosted by Obama on March 6.

The golf outing was organized by the White House, and the senators received their invitations on Friday while most lawmakers were in their home states on recess. All three senators playing with the president were also among the top 40 overall on the 2011 Golf Digest list, which ranked elected officials, White House staffers and senior-level lobbyists based on their USGA handicap or estimates provided by sources.

According to Golf Digest, Obama was by far the worst golfer in Monday's group with an estimated 17 handicap in 2011. The president ranked as the 35th-best elected golfer in Washington, and was tied with Rep. Mo Brooks as the 108th best overall. However, some of the officials above Obama on the list have retired or were voted out of office during the 2012 election, which might help the president move up if the golf magazine decides to rank Washington's power golfers in the future.

Filed under: Bob Corker • Mark Udall • President Obama • Saxby Chambliss
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. ghostriter

    Chambliss was quoted as saying that the President "shouldn't be out playing golf while the American people are suffering. When reminded that he also was playing golf, he responded by blaming the mainstream media for asking gotcha questions.

    May 6, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Keep it up Mr. President. If you have to work around McConnell, then so be it. There are people in this country who want to see bipartisanship. Too bad it's taken republicans this long to catch on.

    May 6, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Saxby has one foot out of the door already, so he doesn't mind being a hypocrite and getting a few rounds of golf in.

    May 6, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Name willard

    Great support repblucian
    Poret has done some fascinating
    Research he say there aN apporoaching big event in amercian
    Which could entirely ruin barack obama presidency
    One thing that could hurt

    May 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sounds like nice clean fun.
    I find golf to be the most boring of sports, BUT I am given to understand by many friends who play it that it is one of the most personally challenging and satisfying of activities...when you have a good day on the links that is.

    May 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Pete

    O my God Pres.Obamas playing a short round of golf away from his duties as president,release the hounds,bring in the guards ...Send in the marines and arrest that man for taking a breather from all the BS the houses on Capital Hill have to offer and make sure it never,I mean never happens again so we don't get the sanctumonious republicans all riled up and boy would that be something !!

    May 6, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    No golf / Obama poutrage yet on the Ticker? I guess it's because Republicans are playing too?

    Anyway, great anecdote, ghostriter!

    May 6, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    Obama's got the highest handicap. Who' been taking too many vacations ?

    May 6, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Let me see if I get this correct.

    Today we learned that Joe Biden told a dirty joke, Chris Christie took down a spider, and President Obama got in some much needed exercise. Oh, yeah. And the gun lovers still love their guns.

    Did I miss anything?

    May 6, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Peace

    What a nice job these people have. They have to be invited for a free meal, go and play and on top of that pull in the check for voting "NO" in everything.

    May 6, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Patrick in Wisconsin

    ...and he's still taken half as many vacations as his predecessor. Keep it up Barack!

    May 6, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. California Gary

    Lynda/Minnesota – I don't think you missed a thing. That pretty well sums up the news day. My only concern on the golf story is that the senators have such low handicaps.......they have to be playing quite often to maintain handicaps like that........much more often than the Prez plays, and yet he gets a lot of grief for playing, and they don't. Go figure......

    May 6, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. PJ

    Now we know why Congress takes so many vacations. They have to practice their golfing skills.
    Udall and Corker, top two golfers, Chambliss ranked 7th.
    Wish they worked that hard at their jobs.

    May 6, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Joe

    More dirty deals made over a game of golf.

    May 6, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Nonsensical

    Why are they playing golf on a work day?

    May 6, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Philo99

    Aren't we still at war? Do you remember when Presidents showed respect to our young men fighting and dying in the name our country?

    I'd love to have time to play a round of golf but I've been working 80 hours a week since the Obama recession started just to keep my small business alive.

    May 6, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Craig Adams MD

    I love seeing this symbolic outreach! We need a bi part spirit in DC– Keep going Mr. President!!!

    May 6, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. JJ

    GOLF AGAIN??????????
    No wonder nothing is getting done; then again "if" the boss isn't in the WH he can shift the blame else where.
    That's something he's very good at.

    May 6, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. davecu

    I'm soo grateful that during these troubled time Barry has the ability to play a round.

    May 6, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. muffintop

    According to Golf Digest, Obama was by far the worst golfer in Monday's group. Are you kidding me? You place him with three of the best golfers and then refer to him as the worst golfer of the group? Why didn't you place him with three of the worst golfers in the senate and perhaps he would be the best golfer of the group. have got to do better than that. Phew!

    May 6, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Demigod Vadik, CA

    It is that Obama charm...

    ...its contagious...

    ...even the evil Republicans get to be human beings for a little while in Obama's presence...

    May 6, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. billyunn

    What? Obama plays golf?

    May 6, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. BrianMempis

    Hole in one. A precursor to next year's elections. Awesome.

    May 6, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. wobbles

    Shouldn't the president be a better golf player, since he spends so darn much time he supposed to be serving us, and money stolen from our taxes golfing all the time?

    May 6, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Andrew

    But in Congress, Chambliss drops the ball.

    May 6, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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