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. QuietStormX

    So what! President Obama can play golf or any game with anyone he wishes and friends. No big deal for me.

    February 17, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. jackie

    All you hillbillies out there: Relax! Will ya? lol.. Any Obama related article posted here is filled with stupid hate comments from all these rednecks & hillbillies. Get back to your caves little people..Obama is doing just fine and we love him! So there! 😉

    February 17, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Crow

    Interesting. While I support the president in many ways, I'm surprised that he allowed a photo op with Woods who is "a person of known ill repute." When I was working in civil service hanging out with those types was ground for dismissal.

    February 17, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Mensa Conservative Democrat

    EVERY president goes on vacation. All of you Obama haters are patently pathetic. And that's putting it mildly.

    February 17, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Laurie

    Hey President Obama, thanks for all your hard work. Glad you are having a great weekend with some R&R and golf. Don't worry about the haters, they are just haters...they were never concerned about President Bush's excessive vacation time and they certainly won't point how how little vacation time you have taken in the last 4 years. Keep moving us in the right direction, that is why we reelected you!

    February 17, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Adam

    For everyone saying "Wow, Vacation again" you have to realize he is a human bien and, you know, needs to take a few hours off every once in a while. Look up his total vacation days and you will see they are well below other presidents.

    As far as tax payers money, who cares if he spends some one a round of golf. There are billions in taxes a year, a round of golf isn't going to make or break the country. Seriously, if the President playing a round of golf is our biggest financial problem we have come a long way since 2008.

    February 17, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Jason

    "Any idea what this costs the taxpayers!?!?" "Millions!!" "Another vacation!"

    It's President's Day you morons. Settle down. No need to spew nonsense and make stuff up.

    February 17, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Moo

    I think if Obama came out in favor of oxygen, all the Republicans (racists) would suffocate.

    February 17, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. jnpa

    Obama said, "but I'm a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them."

    Unfortunately, republicans aren't capable of doing that!

    February 17, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Hey, Nuclear MIke. The picture was taken in 2009... get it? Do you know how to read?

    February 17, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Jerry

    Hey Obama "Benders Forward", President Bush is NO LONGER in office. The $ stops at the Clueless One's desk; if he can still remember where his desk is located within the White House, that is!

    February 17, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Cam Spurgeon

    How about Congress? Rubio forRubio for example has been in office 2 yeats and has worked approximately 200 days. and the House even lewer days. Obama on the other hand is always at work whereever he may be and deserves some golf time. Mellow out and give the guy and the country a break.Take a stance against hate politics..

    February 17, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Ancient Texan

    Anthony- Bush did Not play golf during the war and nobody was ever disrespected more than Bush by the Democrats 24/7 for 8 years.

    February 17, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Ned

    Tiger makes how much? And he can't find a suit that fits?

    February 17, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. Oracularman

    The President is not your Slave!. He has every right to enjoy the perks of his presidency if you are able to enjoy the same – Flatscreen TV, Beer (EVERYDAY!!) , Growing FAT!!(Everyday!!), Spending using your CC(Everyday!!), Eating Out(Almost Everyday!!), BSing and showing you are the kings of your silos. Get Responsible!!!. People being critical of the President, get back to work on Monday!!!

    February 17, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. rm

    Some of you really disrespect Obama because of the color of his skin. This is 2013 and some of you redneckfolks are living back in the 60's. I doubt that some of you know GOD. He loves all of us. Regardless of who you are. Obama is a smart man and he is being disrespected by some senators and rep. GOD dont make junk. A dog needs respect. If you are giving him a very hard time because the color of his skin then he's half white. Give the brother a break. He is the only president that has hope for all GOD'S

    February 17, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Obama has put in more man hours and worked on more legislation than the last the rebulican presidents combined.

    February 17, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Amadea

    Golf, skeet shooting, ruling America ... There's no end to Mr. O's skills and talents.

    February 17, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Why dont you guys stop complaining and go back to work. This is Presidents weekend he can do what ever he wants.

    February 17, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Newport Pagnell

    Great role model. BTW he flew in on a jet that burns about 5 gallons of jet a fuel per mile.

    February 17, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. vidal808

    Yes and as I see on these comments, most are eating sour grapes, still! Obama is entitled to have vacations and rest. Let it be folks and stop sucking on those sour grapes – does not taste good and only gives you indigestion s hehehehe....

    February 17, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. rm

    Leave Obama alone. GOD is in control. Some of you don't him in the pardon of your sins. Let go and let GOD have his way. Sinners please pray that you Can overcome your hatred for this black man. He is our president. I have never disrepected the leader our our country. Job of the president is very stressful. Those men need rest and vacations. Being president is a very powerful job and its good to have people that care for his well being.

    February 17, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Shalon

    The lazy congress is on a 10 day vacation. The President does not have to justify his vacation time to anyone. He makes $400,000 a year and the owner of the golf resort where he is staying is a personal friend.
    Jealousy is very unattractive. Presidents live a lavious lifestyle, they all have and the Obama's will as well. And just think, complaining is all the haters can do about it.

    February 17, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    The angry GOP bashing continue. ...

    February 17, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. ronjayaz

    Wow! Butch Harmon & Tiger Woods! Our president is really serious abt* his golf. Now let's get serious abt the more important things.

    February 17, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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