As Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House in January, the press is noting the president's accomplishments over the past seven years and seven months.
According to the fawning mainstream media, one of the heights the 55-year-old Democrat has reached is not boosting the country's economy nor successes in foreign policy, but instead that Obama has played 300 rounds of golf since taking office in January of 2009.
Yuri Gripas of the Reuters news service stated in a recent article that Obama “has shown himself to be the most avid golfer of any president since Dwight Eisenhower, who is said to have played 800 rounds in office and installed a putting green on he South Lawn of the White House.”
“Obama's summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard began in earnest Sunday as he hit the links for a round of golf,” Gripas stated before noting hat the president “shoots in the mid-80s to the low 90s,” a bit of information so secret that the source “spoke on condition of anonymity.”
The occasional partner further described the president as “a competitive player and a serious scorekeeper on the golf course.”
“Every shot counts," the source insisted, based on more than 20 rounds played with Obama. "He keeps score 100 percent" and “doesn't take mulligans -- do-over shots for which former President Bill Clinton had a well-earned reputation on when playing golf.”
In an interview last week with the Golf Channel's David Feherty, Obama said of his golf handicap: "I'm an honest 13. I think my irons are good, my drive is straight but unimpressive in length, and my putting's decent; chipping is OK. My sand game is terrible."
“By my count,” Gripas stated, “this is Mr. Obama's 38th time playing golf on Martha's Vineyard during his seven visits split between three courses: Farm Neck in Oak Bluffs; Vineyard in Edgartown; and Mink Meadows in Vineyard Haven.”
The Reuters reporter also noted:
But his most frequent venues for golf are the courses at Joint Base Andrews just outside D.C. He has played there 107 times. He has also played 54 times at Fort Belvoir in Virginia and 27 times at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
He has played only once on foreign soil: a round on April 23 this year with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Grove Golf Club in Hertfordshire, U.K., north of London.
“Obama's most frequent golf partners are current and former White House aides,” Gripas stated. “The golfer-in-chief also likes to play with pals from Hawaii and Chicago, and sports figures -- including retired NBA [National Basketball Association] star Alonzo Mourning -- who has played 14 times with the president.”
The president's foursome that day at Farm Neck on Martha's Vineyard included Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team.
“Obama rarely plays with other politicians,” Gripas asserted -- though he has played seven times with Vice President Joe Biden.
“In a fence-mending gesture, Mr. Obama invited then-House Speaker John Boehner to play on one occasion in June 2011, along with Gov. John Kasich, both Ohio Republicans,” the Reuters newsman said.
“Obama also reached out to members of Congress in May 2013, inviting three U.S. senators -- two Republicans and one Democrat -- to join him on the links,” Gripas noted.
“Among them was Saxby Chambliss, who hit a hole-in-one that day,” the reporter stated. “Also in the foursome were senators Bob Corker [a Republican from Tennessee] and Mark Udall [a Colorado Democrat].”
In July of last year, “Obama played a five-hour round in 94-degree heat with three House Democrats: Joe Courtney [Connecticut]; Ed Perlmutter [Colorado]; and John Yarmuth [Kentucky],” he added. “An aide to Perlmutter said the next day that the president the congressmen didn't talk politics at all. They talked sports and family."
“It has not escaped notice that Mr. Obama has rarely invited women to play golf,” Gripas noted, indicating that the president has had female golf partners on only three occasions.
“What the president seems to love most about the game, he has said, is spending time out of doors -- outside the White House bubble,” the reporter stated.
Further, golf is a more gentle activity than basketball, Obama's first love among sports. “He said he worried about taking elbows and the risk of breaking his nose "right before a State of the Union Address."
Nevertheless, many people in the media appear to be so anxious to give Obama a happy send-off that they're willing to devote positive articles to the president's golf outings. Here's hoping they're more critical when it comes to looking back on his record in more serious topics, such as the economy and foreign affairs.