PALM CITY, Fla. — President Obama is spending his President’s Day weekend in this upscale coastal community for a golf getaway with friends. But he isn’t spending his three days in the Sunshine State idly teeing off: The president received golf lessons today from the former coach of none other than Tiger Woods himself: Butch Harmon.
A veteran of the PGA Tour, Harmon is renowned today for his series of “Ultimate Golf” training videos. He flew to the area with his son, Claude III, to give the president personal tips.
“I’ve played golf with Ike, Nixon, Ford and President Bush 41,” Harmon told Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest. “I never played with President Clinton. I met him in the Oval Office. It’ll be interesting. I know the president is a real keen golfer. I’m looking forward to it. It should be fun.
“It’ll be fun to get him down in the learning center, show him stuff in his golf game and see how he takes it to the course,” Harmon told Rosaforte. “He’s just like all of us that play golf. He wants to get better.”
Obama is staying at the posh golf and yacht club known as “the Floridian,” which sports a recently-built training facility partially designed by Harmon, but the resort is secluded from view and was locked down by authorities today.
The White House has not allowed press to view the activities, but they did state his partners today included personal friend Dr. Eric Whitaker and U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk. Harvard classmate and fundraiser Tony Chase was there as well as Milton Carroll, a Texas energy businessman who donated to the Obama campaign
The property’s owner, Jim Crane, was also on the course. Crane, who also owns the Houston Astros baseball team, was an Obama reelection campaign donor who put together a fundraising event at the team’s stadium last March. The appearance was one of two that evening that brought in a estimated $2.8 million combined, the campaign said at the time.
Local media TCPalm.com reports the president is expected to migrate to another 18 holes tomorrow: Hobe Sound’s The Medalist, where Tiger Woods is also a member.
The president has not brought family along for the trip. His wife and daughters hit the slopes on their annual Presidents’ Day weekend ski trip. The Obamas’ holiday trips come after the president spent his week criss-crossing the country plugging his economic and education agendas, and a ceremony for victims of gun violence.