Obama tees off with Tiger Woods
President Obama hosted Tiger Woods at the White House in 2009.
February 17th, 2013
02:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama tees off with Tiger Woods

(CNN) - President Barack Obama hit the greens Sunday with famed golfer Tiger Woods, according to deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

Obama is spending President's Day weekend at a sprawling resort in Palm City, Florida, where he's polishing his golf game. On Saturday, he worked on his swing with Woods' former coach, Butch Harmon.

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Along with Woods, Obama played with U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Jim Crane, a Democratic donor who owns the resort and the Houston Astros. Obama played with Kirk and Crane on Saturday, as well.

Few other details about the outing, however, are known, as the White House did not grant press coverage of the event Sunday. But, curiously, Tim Rosaforte of Golf World/Golf Digest was reporting information about Obama and Woods from inside the private club perimeters. This prompted the White House Correspondents' Association to release a statement.

"I can say 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," Ed Henry, the group's president, stated. "There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency."

Earnest responded with a statement, saying: "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."

READ MORE: High profile but out of sight: Obama's golf outing with Tiger Woods 

The president met with Woods in April 2009, when the legendary athlete visited the White House. Woods was in town to promote his upcoming charity tournament in the Washington area.

Later that year, in November, Woods became embroiled in a scandal involving multiple accounts of infidelity, a controversy that ultimately derailed his marriage and reputation. Woods, however, still plays professionally. His next tournament is the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona this week.

Asked in a January 2010 interview with People magazine whether Woods would be able to bounce back, Obama answered, "Absolutely."

"I don't want to comment on his personal relationship with his wife and family," Obama said, "but I'm a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them."

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama • Tiger Woods
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. bill pike

    any idea what all this costs the tax payers????? millions, and he talked about romney having money that he worked hard and saved so he could use HIS MONEY and not the taxpayers-don't you love socialism???

    February 17, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Carlos

    On vacation again?

    February 17, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. John Doe

    Stop playing golf and get back to work!

    February 17, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. nuclear mike

    Gee...why not choose a better person to use as a photo opp? The President sets another bad example...again.

    February 17, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Wes

    If you use the same criteria that was used on President Bush regarding vacation days, the uhblumbla has been on vacation the past 1460 days.

    February 17, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. just sayin

    glad to see our dear leader is working hard to avoid the sequestration he has set the country up for. his idea and he signed it into law. it still won't be as big a disaster as obamacare, but close.

    February 17, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    you have got to be kidding me.

    February 17, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. eroteme

    Bringing Tiger to attend his golfing pursuit is good politics but doesn't this interfere with his campaigning schedule? Meanwhile I believe his desk in the Oval Office coninues to await him. He should not require help in finding it, but a little help might be helpful.

    February 17, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Rob

    I can tell he's still upset about rising gas prices

    February 17, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. ja

    To all Haters.... Give the man a break. We all deserve a little time to breathe.

    February 17, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Drew

    Sorry haters but Obama has taken less vacation time than either Bush or Clinton and the last time I checked alot of our past presidents played golf..get a life.

    February 17, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Anthony in California

    So President Obama has already done more good in the last 4 years then Bush did in his whole 8....
    Bush holds the record for most vacation time spent (and with 2 wars going on) and none of you complained as he took the nation down the drain

    But hey.. you ingrates are gonna complain and disrespect President Obama NO MATTER WHAT.
    Too bad you guys will be on the wrong side of the history books when all is said and done.

    February 17, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. sifto

    They both need a polish-up to their images...I guess Obama does not mind consorting with domestic abusers and philanderers.....Anthony is still blaming Bush for Obama's mistakes....

    February 17, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Michelle

    First of all, let's get one thing straight – NOBODY has been on vacation more than Bush. That man was on vacation 967 days – 37% of his time in office he was on vacation. Obama whon't come close to that. Second, it does not cost millions for him to take a two day vacation – that's your over active imagination running away with you again. But, if you are worried about millions, how about trillions for a war based upon fantasy? About thousands of American lives as a result? What about thousands dead due to lack of response during Katrina? What about us coming to the brink of a depression? Obama has spent his presidency untangling all that crap. the lest he can do is take a day off.

    February 17, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The fact that the nation knows where (and what) Crawford, TX is all that needs to be said on the topic of presidential vacations.

    February 17, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. mecambridge

    Just returned from a Hawaii vacation and now this one in almost just the span of one month? And Michelle is off holidaying in Aspen. Must be nice to have nothing pressing back in Washington to do. Oh, have you finished your budget yet so you can stop breaking the law?

    February 17, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. justfakinit

    ah.. another day of golf.. who would have guessed. Must be nice ..this man plays more golf than Tiger does.. Maybe tiger can get some tips from the pro.

    February 17, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Papa

    No matter what President Obama does, the haters will whine about it. And by thehaters, I mean, the Republicans. Remember, the ones that gave us such great presdients as Goerge W and Ronald Reagan. Two of the most inept people ever. Presidents that almost drove this country into ruin and if it weren't for the Democrats, would have succeeded.

    February 17, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Rob

    The economy grew 19% 2001-2008

    Sure take a multi million dollar vacation while you also take the freedom soldiers died for

    February 17, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Chuck

    I'm really sick and tired of this "Lazy Black Man" garbage from your dishonest bigots. Ragaen who was shot and was the most oldest President had his own vacation record broken by Bush Jr. 668 days of scheduled vacation logged for George W, Bush. Research yourself. Its public records that you as a tax payer have full access to. Took a good chunk of that a month before the 9/11 attack I may add. Obama would literally have to vacation once every four days of the remainder of his term to catch up to Bush.

    February 17, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. glorydays

    Why not get a break from being the only one in Washington who actually does anything?

    February 17, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. jim

    Come on, the Pres is entitled to a day off to play golf. He's human,
    I wonder what he shot?

    February 17, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. ga.democrat

    The Republican haters just love this one. Could it be that they are jealous? The President works very hard and deserves a little time off.....good for him. I don't know many golfers who would turn down a round with Tiger. Enjoy yourself Mr. President!

    February 17, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    You haters need to tell The Senate and Congress to get back to work. They are the ones that take a break every other week and only work 3 days a week when they are in Washington. Good grief get a life or better yet find someone to spend your free time with-losers.

    February 17, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. oldwhitelady

    First of all, Drew is correct. I do not, however, believe that the President should, as the leader of the nation, including its youth, be hanging with a guy who ran around on his wife with multiple women of questionable moral status. I support President Obama and can see how important his wife and his daughters are to him. I even remember his telling one guy, "Put a ring on it." I don't want to impose my morals on anyone and I am a fairly liberal person, but as the President of the United States of America, he doesn't need to appear to condon Tiger Woods' lifestyle. He doesn't have to condemn him, but he doesn't have to buddy up to him either. But then, any politician has alread been in bed with so many devils, perhaps it doesn't matter.

    February 17, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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