Latest from Hawaii – click to read what the President is doing

Subject: Travel Pool Report No. 3


Travel Pool Report No. 3

Jan. 1, 2014

Kailua, Hawaii


President Obama has been golfing this afternoon at Mid Pacific Country Club in the Lanikai area of Kailua. “Mid-Pac,” as it’s known locally, sits on a lush hilltop and features stunning vista views of the Ko’olau Mountains and the Mokulua Islands in the Pacific.


Obama previously golfed here on Dec. 23, when the pool was offered access for a brief photo spray. Mid-Pac is a private course, but portions of it are visible from a public street, which is partly why the White House provides press access at this course.


The press pool, after holding in the club house without view of the golf course, was taken to the public street overlooking the golf course about 4 p.m. local. There were about two dozen onlookers, including a local TV news camera crew and a news still photographer, already in position on the street waiting to catch a glimpse of the golfing president. Also among the onlookers were several young men with no shirts on and some other people holding their dogs on leashes. Many of them held up their smartphones to take pictures. From the public street, which is elevated above the golf course, one has sweeping views of a few fairways and stunning mountain range behind it.


The pool was allowed to watch Obama and his golfing partners at the 18th hole, starting at about 4:15 p.m. local. Obama, wearing a white golf shirt and beige cap and khaki shorts, was seen leaning on a golf cart. Standing at the middle of the fairway, he then used a range finder to see how far away the hole was. The president then swung his club and hit the ball. He made a fairly decent shot from the fairway, landing roughly 22 feet of the hole. The crowd of onlookers cheered.


Obama then got onto the golf cart, which he drove himself. Then he approached his ball (positioned near Sam Kass’s), marked it and picked it up and paced back and forth. He tugged at his cap and leaned on his club. He chatted with Kass while eyeing the course and strategizing. The president watched as Marvin Nicholson and Kass both shot and missed.


Then Obama bent down and placed his ball on the marker. He used a putter and narrowly missed the hole by a foot and knocked it in as a gimme. He got it close enough to count as having two-putted.


At that, the victorious president smiled and waved at the crowd and said, “Happy new year.”


Someone shouted, “We love you!” And he replied, “I love you back.”


At about 4:25 p.m. local, Obama walked to where his motorcade was staged. We now are holding, awaiting imminent departure.


Philip Rucker

The Washington Post

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