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. Paul

    It would have been more appropriate to have Bil Clinton attend.

    February 17, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Sam

    I'm liberal and voted for Obama in both elections. I don't think he has done much to lead the country in right direction. But if you criticize insignificant move like this, we are not going anywhere. It's so silly. Just because he is playing golf, he's spending taxpayers money/socialist/worst president ever??? wow... If that's the case, look at every single political figure from mayors/governors/senators of any political party. How are they not spending our money when getting from point A to point B, doing various leisurely activities. Ridiculous! Our country is so divided...almost feels like cold civil war!

    February 17, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Natrldiver

    Still baffled at how all the lemmings of Obama keep bringing up Bush and his vacation time. Sure Bush went on vacation but to where? Crawford, TX where he would have his staff there so he could work. Now the real question is why do they keep comparing Obama to Bush?

    better yet why doesn't the media and the lemmings point out the successes and failures? Probably the successes list is non existent. The kool-aid drinking lemmings still believe that they are entitled yet they have done not one thing or put into any program to earn it. Then they bash the military who gets a pension because they sacrifice 20+ years 24/7, 365.

    February 17, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Vicky

    Have fun Mr. President! You deserve a vaca especially since your family vacation during the holidays was interrupted by the shenanigans in D.C.

    February 17, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Sarah Reinecke

    Obama keeping it real with the regular middle class.

    February 17, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Julius

    Ahhhhh......He is the president. cross burners will never get over his victory

    February 17, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Sherwin

    This is exactly why we in this country are stuck in NEUTRAL!!!! So the President went to play golf.. with one of the best golfers ever!!! I suppose if you have the opportunity then you would have refused...Stop drinking that HATERADE!!!

    February 17, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Sherwin

    Perhaps it would have been more appealing to you and other if he had gone shooting quail??

    February 17, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. zombie kid

    President Obama has been on vacation 78 days from 2009 to 2011. At the three year mark into their first terms, George W. Bush spent 180 days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas and Ronald Reagan spent 112 vacation days at his ranch in California.

    President Obama was on vacation for 26 days during his first year in office (2009). Ronald Reagan spent 42 days on vacation during his first year in office (1981). President George H.W. Bush was on vacation less than his son, 40 days, in 1989, his first year in office. President Obama was on vacation less in his first year in office than the previous three Republican Presidents.

    No President since Reagan was on vacation less than Bill Clinton. Presidents Clinton and Carter vacationed the least of any of the last seven chief executives.

    February 17, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Frank

    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.
    U3 unemployment is at 7.9 percent, the national debt stands at 16.5 trillion, healthcare insurance premiums are rising, and gasoline prices are an average of $3.71 a gallon. What good has he done exactly? I hope he enjoys his golf retreat with the wealthy one percent.

    February 17, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Miriam

    I cannot figure out why there are so many Obama haters. Perhaps the hate is within yourselves and about yourselves.. Obama cares about his Country and its people by working hard. What have you HATERS done for this Country? You haters do not even look after your own, by passing laws that improve everyones lot in life. You would rather see America fail and go down the drain than have people working and making a decent living. WHY? Because you hate Obama? Do you realize how stupid you look to the world and people who believe in America and want it to succeed?? Get a life and stop the HATE.

    February 17, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. John

    Keep in mind that the President is getting a salary of 400K and then from his investments and book sales. Do not assume this is a free ride, he has his own personal coffers to pay for his vacations. Furthermore since when can a person not go on vacation. This is a four day weekend for the government this is nothing urgent that cannot wait until Tuesday. I know there is someone who is going to be a smart ass about that, but the man cannot fix everything immediately it always takes time. People need to realize that he is a man with a job. Jobs are stressful and everyone needs a break to breathe and recharge.

    February 17, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. ATLJack

    Ya gotta love Republicans. G.W. Bush went on a MONTH-LONG vacation after he had only been on the mob for 9 months. During this time he ignored warnings about an impending attack on America.
    Bush spent 5 times as much time on vacation as Obama has.
    But that didn't both you did it because he is a Republican.
    Odd how your Republicans have a sliding scale.

    February 17, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. John P

    I am not an Obama fan but the Teaparty nuts really need to take a course in political science &/or economics so they can learn what socialism is. Spending a Sunday playing golf with Tiger Woods is not socialism.

    February 17, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. bribarian

    Obama.....is a racist

    February 17, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. jas495

    Another outing with a great role model! I cant believe it, 15 girlfriends while being married! Thanks Mr. President you make great choices!!

    February 17, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Darryl

    We have so, so many angry, disrespectful, unappreciatable, and uneducated people it isn't funny. No wonder Fox news has a following. Ignorance is bliss in abundance. LOL...LOL....Than God the majority of Americans are on the right side of History.

    February 17, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. Bob B

    Time to get to work Obama and do something to get our country moving again. All these guys are the same, they don't do any work and just campain for their party and take vactions. Third world here we come.

    February 17, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. ef2111

    Obama clearly has a better suit

    February 17, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. kashbmaryd

    There's no reasoning with these people. If Obama hosted the Pope for a church service they would complain. Let them do what they have to do. Obama is still their president, even if they deny it.

    February 17, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Peter Grenader

    Dear peole who support the GOP posting here:

    1) The man is allowed to take days off

    2) He's done so less than any POTUS since Clinton

    3) Why don't you spend your time constructively, like finding a candidate who's actually electable, and stop your endless whining. Your guy didn't win because he alienated every demographic outside of middle aged conservative white men. We welcome a fight which isn't quite so easy next time.

    February 17, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. Caddyshack

    Bush played some golf while away from Washington, for sure.

    What folks don't know about the current occupant of the White House is this: He doesn't PLAY golf while on these "golfing vacations"... he's actually a Caddy.

    February 17, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Well I must say

    Obama is a joke

    February 17, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. Gunny

    Don't like it? Win the election next time. Boo Hoo. Bush's vacation home was at 1600 Pennsylvaia Ave.

    February 17, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. Michael J.

    You're all a bunch of morons.

    February 17, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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