POTUS Loses at Golf

By Dschabner

Apr 26, 2009 6:04pm

White House trip director Marvin Nicholson beat President Obama in golf today.

The president did beat the other two in the foursome — Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

The four played at the Andrews Air Force Base golf course from 9:45 a.m. until 3 p.m. According to the pool report, the president arrived at the course wearing sunglasses, a cream-colored baseball cap, short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts. The temperature neared 90 degrees on the course at times.

Nicholson, who as the former personal assistant to then-presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was World News Tonight’s "Person of the Week" in 2004. (President George W. Bush’s personal assistant, or "body man," denied ABC News an interview at the time, though he was to be co-honored.) Nicholson was Kerry’s caddie before he became his driver, then his personal assistant. Nicholson once caddied at Augusta.

Norman-Ganin S. Asao, the head professional at Olomana Golf Links — where President Obama learned how to golf as a teenager and where he plays when visiting his native Hawaii — recently told TIME Magazine that the president is "maybe a 20-something handicap… He looks like he shoots in the 90′s to the low hundreds. Obviously he’ll hit those bad shots here and there but it always seems once the round gets going he starts to play a little better."

A recent analysis by Golf Digest placed President Obama squarely in the middle of the pack, skill-wise, of the fifteen golfing presidents of the last 18 commanders-in-chief. He was behind John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, but better than Ronald Reagan, Warren G. Harding Struggled, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and Calvin Coolidge.

Both former Presidents Clinton and Bush the elder have laughingly remarked how much more often they lose at golf since leaving the White House, as most recently noted by CBS News Radio’s Mark Knoller. Apparently Nicholson plays for keeps.

- jpt

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