Obama Had A Chance At Breaking 80 & Other Insights

While there has been much consternation over President Barack Obama spending 214 or so his off days playing golf, leaving him still about 800 behind clubhouse leader Dwight Eisenhower, little else has been shared about his playing style, partners and the tone of his games.

Michael Schmidt
of the New York Times uses the presidential holiday to Hawaii to explore the particulars with some of the President's golf partners and writes:

“He needles you in the best sense of the word,” said one of the three golfers who have played with him, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified as criticizing the president, and because he hoped to be asked to play with him again. “He makes a bad shot, and he makes fun of himself. You make a bad shot, and he makes a joke with you. He just seems happy to be out there, so the poor play doesn’t bother him.”

Although Mr. Clinton routinely gave himself “presidential pardons” for mulligans and gimmes, Mr. Obama is known as a stickler for the rules, the golfers who have played with him said.

Mr. Obama counts all of his strokes and does not like to talk about politics. He has played for money. And, no, he does not make the Secret Service look for his errant shots. (“They are pretty far back,” one player said. “They give him his space.”)

Also included is an anecdote from Obama's talk with Tom Friedman where it was revealed that his game has improved to the point he had a chance to break 80.