Obama Tee Time Scuttles Soldiers' Wedding Venue

Army couple had to change course for wedding when Obama wanted to play golf.

ByABC News
December 29, 2014, 1:59 PM

HONOLULU — -- Even the best laid wedding plans are never a hole in one.

A pair of Army captains who'd planned their wedding Sunday on the 16th tee box at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course had to relocate the ceremony on short notice because President Obama booked a tee time to play through, according to sources familiar with the episode.

The vacationing Obama has been a regular on the course during his Hawaiian holiday, playing five rounds there in 10 days. The Kaneohe links are described online as "one of the world's best military golf courses" with majestic views of the Ko'olau Mountains and the Pacific coastline.

Hawaiian wedding blogs portray the 16th tee box as a popular venue for wedding ceremonies. But guests are told that all plans are subject to change when the president is in town, sources said.

In the end, the couple was happily married nearby on the lawn of the base commander’s home overlooking the tee. They also received a congratulatory call from their commander-in-chief.

"Listen, congratulations on your wedding," Obama said in the call. "I feel terrible. Nobody told us and had they mentioned they were going to have a wedding on the 16th hole we would have skipped the 16th hole. But I hope the wedding went OK anyway."

"It did. Thank you very much. It was a blessing in disguise," the groom, Edward Mallue Jr., responded.

The account was first reported by Bloomberg News and confirmed to ABC by sources familiar with the incident, but who asked to speak anonymously given sensitivities involved.

The White House declined to comment on the record. But a source familiar with the matter told ABC News that no one at the White House, including the president, had any advance awareness that a wedding had been planned Sunday on the course. Obama called the couple after he learned about the inconvenience.

A spokesman for Marine Corps Base Hawaii, which operates the facility, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. The bride and groom could not be reached.

The decision to relocate the ceremony was made independently by the golf course manager after Obama had requested a tee time, the official said.