Tales from the Trail

Duffer: An unskilled golfer, also called a hacker

December 24, 2008

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama can body-surf with the best of them.

But can he golf?golf3
 
Obama, who freely admits not being very good,  sent great chunks of grass flying as he warmed up on the driving range at a private golf club on the Hawaiian island of Oahu before hitting the course  on Christmas Eve.
 
Several wincing observers also accused him of shanking, which golfers define as striking the ball badly by smacking it with the heel of the club.
 
Later, as he practiced his putting, a little boy watching him from the clubhouse was heard defending him after he missed several attempts to sink the ball.
 
“He’s just practicing,” the boy said. Onlookers debated whether the president-elect was being put off his stride by all the people watching him.

Mid-way through the game, Obama greeted a group of onlookers who asked him how the golf was going. “I’m terrible,” he replied to one person. “Got any tips?” he asked someone else. 

It was Obama’s second golf excursion in four days since jetting into Oahu on Saturday for a two-week vacation with his family.

He was playing with aide Eugene Kang, close Chicago friend Eric Whitaker, who is spending Christmas with the Obamas, and one other friend.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Reuters photo by Hugh Gentry (Obama warms up on the driving range at Mid Pacific Country Club, Hawaii, Dec. 24)

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