Obama trades White House for clubhouse this weekend
February 16th, 2013
12:19 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama trades White House for clubhouse this weekend

Palm City, Florida (CNN) - President Barack Obama won't be hanging by the beach during his Florida vacation this weekend – unless he ends up stuck in a sand trap.

While his wife and daughters are in Colorado skiing, the president will hit the course at the Floridian golf club, an expansive resort in Palm City, Florida.

Obama worked on his swing with legendary golf teacher Butch Harmon, who coached Tiger Woods and “rode along with the president for a few holes in the afternoon,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

"I've played golf with Ike, Nixon, Ford and President Bush 41," Harmon told the publication Golf Digest. "I know the president is a real keen golfer. I'm looking forward to it. It should be fun," Harmon told Golf Digest.

"If I had the opportunity to give the president some help, I would advise him to make a better turn on his backswing, both with his hips and his shoulders," Harmon said in a separate Golf Digest interview.

Earnest told reporters, "The president is looking forward to spending President's Day weekend with some friends in Florida, and I'm sure they'll take advantage of the opportunity to play some golf."

Temperatures were in the 70s and skies were sunny Saturday morning. Obama arrived late Friday night to rain after wrapping up his State of the Union tour in his hometown of Chicago.

The remote golf club is obscured from roadside view by gates, trees and brush. It sits alongside the St. Lucie River.

Several members of the administration are traveling with the president, but the White House made it clear that this is a vacation weekend.

"The president of the United States is the president of the United States 24 hours a day, and will fulfill his responsibilities as president even while he's getting some well-deserved downtime with some friends this weekend. I don't think the American people will begrudge him that," Earnest said.

His golfing five-some included one member of the administration – U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Jim Crane, a Democratic donor who owns the resort and Houston Astros, played as well, as did three friends of the president: Dr. Eric Whitaker, Tony Chase and Milton Carroll.

Obama will golf again with Crane on Sunday, according to the Major League Baseball website, which reported the president called him earlier this week.

“I got a call on the cell phone last week and (Obama) said, 'Hey, thanks for letting us come in,'" Crane said, according to MLB.com. "It's going to be a fun weekend. I hope he gets some rest and relaxes. It's kind of a quiet place, so hopefully he'll be able to do that."

Filed under: Florida • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Denny

    If this president isn't campaigning, he's vacationing and playing and it's the hard working middle class like myself that has to foot his play bill. What a waste of tax payer money this guy is.

    February 16, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. petemg

    When is Obama in the White House to do his job. Every time something comes out about him it is a trip to anyplace but Washington. We need a president who does his job and does not vacation so much. If President Bush would have taken as many trips do you think he would still be president?

    February 16, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    This article serves no other purpose than to bring out the trolls and their hateful talking points about how President Obama cares more about his golfing than creating jobs and working for our country.

    The truth is, these same trolls don't have the stones to admit that all of the GOP's economic, military and foreign policies are all PROVEN FAILURES and the Repubs are still doing everything they can to bring our country down.

    February 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Leroy

    President Obama deserves a long R & R weekend. Fore!

    February 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Jim Read

    Doesn't anyone else find it disturbing that Obama is always either Golfing, vacationing, trying to destroy the 2nd Amendment but never working on things that are important like coming up with a working budget or finding a bipartisan way to stop the sequestration or lower the deficit.

    February 16, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Rdavid1020

    So I hear from Florida local news that many caddies refused to carry Odumbos clubs because he was only going to pay them with food stamps. What a total and complete moron.

    February 16, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. doug glaze

    I will not rest until every american has a job. How many people know that he is a lier and the truth is not in him. He is a satanit at heart . He thinks every one should praise him for his great work and they must believe him. I know he is back in office, but not with my help. I don't know one person that looks up to, but there is a lot of blind people out there that thinks he God's gift to man, even he himself thinks that.

    February 16, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    “The president of the United States is the president of the United States 24 hours a day, and will fulfill his responsibilities as president even while he’s getting some well-deserved downtime with some friends this weekend. I don’t think the American people will begrudge him that,” Earnest said.


    This is all true but sadly, there are those who will say he's not working, he's not taking care of the peoples business and that he needs to lead. Those are the ones who wouldn't support him regardless so who cares? Enjoy yourself Mr. President.

    February 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. maf

    Sweet! A Butch Harmon house call, so to speak!! Straight down the middle Mr. President, or maybe just a little bit left of center! HA!

    February 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Mary Boyer

    Sickening and stupid leader... this playboy. He should be a coach somewhere, maybe a girl's volleyball team for a rich high school. Maybe he's fit for a Club House... certainly not the White House. Very sad.

    February 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    You can play later–four years will run like crazy. First tighten this immigration. Foreigner invasion to this nation is so huge, rampant in this High Unempolymnt. Watch out. Good luck. Job-train and focus on Jobs here.

    February 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Meagan

    Yeah. He must be exhausted having just given a big speech and all...

    February 16, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. D C

    Amazing. The country is broke and falling apart, and he's spending $1,000 hour for golf lessons during his second vacation in as many months.

    February 16, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Darlene

    He takes more vacations than Bush ever did yet the media says nothing. Why is that?

    February 16, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Alaskan1st

    Yes, he is on duty 24 hours a day. Too bad we couldn't say the same about Bush who was on vacation twice as much as Obama and didn't know how to turn on a computer to get his emails.

    February 16, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Joe

    Friend of the working man, indeed. Maybe he could take the $1,000 per hour he'll be paying Butch Harmon and donate it to a food bank that's helping the middle class working men who have lost their jobs, thanks to his disastrous economic policies.

    February 16, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. mr_mouth

    why is this doosh always on vacation? he hasn't done anything worthy of a paycheck.

    February 16, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Jane

    Aaand, cue the Republican sheep on this site (whose heroes are on yet another 10 day 'recess' with two weeks till Boehner's Sequestration) to start complaining about how the President is always campaigning or vacationing, in 3...2...1

    February 16, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. TIRM

    Anytime Obama takes away from campaiging is a good day for America. I only wish I had as much free time as the president.

    February 16, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. asdrel

    "...while he’s getting some well-deserved downtime with some friends this weekend. I don’t think the American people will begrudge him that,”

    There will certainly be some who do. Those who criticize everything President Obama does will leap upon this this to emit more anger and bile against him and (worse) his wife and children. Seems very sad to me. Have a good weekend Mr. President.

    February 16, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. mikle

    I hope he stay there. Bla bla and golf 24 h. A day, that his job.

    February 16, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. make sense

    Why is this news anymore? The economy is in shambles, we have a spending problem with the congress, our president ignores, or wants, a deficit that your kids, kids; will still inherit, the electorate got what they wanted with voting for him twice which translates into socialism on fire, Wal Mart's core customer base can't even afford food, and we are worrying about the King playing golf on our dime.... C'mon everyone join the crowd...don't need to work when we got Obama the II as king...I actually now want a nation where there are more takers than makers...........................the faster this great Marxism experiment fails...the faster we can rebuild to make a greater society of the industrious and throw away the malt liquor swilling, hand out for something free, porch sitting, free phone, no working few that dumb down and hold back America.

    February 16, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Observer

    When President Obama has taken REMOTELY as many vacation days as Bush, then people will at last have a reason to complain about it.

    It's all sour grapes. GW Bush shattered all of fellow Republican Ronald Reagan's records for vacation time as president. Obama isn't REMOTELY CLOSE.

    February 16, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Scott

    While we pay 4 dollars. A gallon. Struggle to get gas just to go to work. And nuke threats from. North. Korea they travel. Around u.s. with our hard to pay taxes

    February 16, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Dale

    17 Trillion dollars in debt and our president spends 1,00s of dollars to play golf in Florida with millionaires. Where are the 99%ers protesting action?

    February 16, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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